Is it Harder to Hit a Baseball or a Softball?

Sport Science is a show originally aired on FSN that breaks down the physics of sports and athletics. In this episode, Jennie Finch, one of the most famous Olympic Softball Pitchers in history, is studied and put to the test. The question: Is it harder to hit a baseball or a softball?

Here are a few takeaways from the show:

  1. Jennie BROKE the equipment that measures the force on the ball. (Point, softball.)
  2. Reaction time from the release of the ball to the plate:
    Baseball – .395 seconds vs. Softball – .350 seconds (Another point! Softball – 2, Baseball – 0)
  3. It is harder to hit a rising softball than a curving (or dropping) baseball, because it’s easier to drop your hands to the ball than raise them. Especially with such little reaction time. (I do believe we have a clear winner.)

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