Baseball vs. Softball

It’s “fair” to say the differences are striking, but both are a ball!

by Amelia Severn, staff

As we enter this spring season we get to watch both Shorewood soft ball and baseball, two similar sports, compete on the diamond. Both use bats, gloves, and balls but there are differences between the field, bases, the size of the ball, the way pitchers throw their pitch, and more.

Yuri Siler, junior, has played softball for six years including three years with Shorewood. She also plays outside of Shorewood with the Washington Ladyhawks as a third baseman. She started in 5th grade because her dad was a baseball player and her mom was a softball player growing up.

Her favorite part of softball is hitting and she really enjoys playing for Shorewood. “The team makes practice and games really fun…when we play really well and win a lot of games, like last year we went 10-3, it is a lot of fun,” Siler said.

Siler thinks there are many differences between softball and baseball, and that doesn’t just include the statistics. “Softball is played on a smaller field with less distance between the bases and a closer fence that is usually 200-215 ft.  Baseball is played on a much larger field that has a longer distance between the bases,” Siler said. “The biggest difference between softball and baseball is softball is played at a much faster pace. Softball players are much closer to the home plate where the batter is which causes the ball to come much harder and faster when hit. It takes about three seconds for the batter to reach first base which means in under three seconds the fielder has to field the ball and throw it to first before the batter reaches the base. Whereas baseball it takes a little under five seconds to reach first from home plate, giving the baseball fielder more time to make a play.”

In softball you can’t make as many errors because you have less time. ”

— Paige Petschl

Paige Petschl,  sophomore, has been around both baseball and softball all her life, as her twin brother Reid Petschl also plays baseball. She has been playing softball from the age of three and she grew up playing tee ball before switching to softball. “The main differences are definitely the size of the field, the size of the ball, gender, bat size,” Paige Petschl said “In softball you can’t make as many errors because you have less time.”

“I think both baseball and softball have their individual challenges. Softball is much faster and there is less time to make decisions but because baseball uses a smaller ball it is much harder for the batters. And for softball it is throwing underhand which produces less power than softball pitches. But overall I would consider them very similar sports,” Paige Petschl said. Paige Petschl plays both first base and outfield. Although she is not a pitcher she said “it definitely felt very weird to throw underhand and I feel like it would be very hard to learn how to. But I feel like you would get used to it as a pitcher.”

Paige Petschl is very excited for this year. “I think our team is going to be really good because we all play really well together, and we have a lot of experience,” she said.

Logan Anderson, junior, has been playing baseball since the age of 6.  “The size of the ball is probably the most obvious difference. The bases are a lot closer and the fences aren’t as far,” Anderson said. “Baseball is definitely more challenging than softball because the pitchers are throwing way harder.”

Anderson plays as a pitcher for the Shoreline Royals 18U teams during both the offseason and summer. “I love the 1-on-1 aspect of pitching, me versus the batter,” said Anderson. He considers the hardest part of baseball to be batting. “It depends on how good the pitcher is, but even if they can’t throw hard then they can have a nasty off speed pitch,” Anderson said.

Baseball is definitely more challenging than softball because the pitchers are throwing way harder.”

— Logan Anderson, 11

Reid Petschl, the other Petschel twin, has been playing baseball since t-ball days with his sister. Now he plays for the Shoreline Royals as mainly an outfielder but also a little bit of first baseman and pitcher. “I’ve never played softball but my sister has and I’ve seen a lot of her games…I think both sports have their challenges. I don’t think a softball player can hit a baseball pitch but a baseball player can hit a softball pitch. In baseball your arm starts to hurt after a while but for softball, it is the more natural way to throw so their arm won’t hurt,” Reid Petschl said.

Like Anderson, Reid Petschl thinks