Sunday, March 20, 2016

Arizona State University Women's Softball

Sparky, the Sun Devils mascot.
We left the world of baseball for its cousin softball. If you've followed my blog you probably know that we are University of Southern California. Surprisingly, USC doesn't have a women's fastpitch softball team. That leaves us as free agents to cheer for other teams in the Pac-12 college conference.

When we're in the Phoenix area, that's the Arizona State University Sun Devils. We planned our trip for a tournament between ASU and their archrivals, the Wildcats from the University of Arizona down in Tucson. This is a suncation that just keeps on giving!

Fastpitch has some unique aspects. First, the pitch is typically thrown using an over-the-head windmill motion. Using this style, female pitchers can throw balls at about 65 mph, pretty impressive. The bright yellow ball is larger with a 12" circumference vs. a baseball with a 9.25" circumference, and despite the name, they are not soft. There are nine players on the field as in baseball, but games only last seven innings (unless there is overtime). And another major difference is there is no "leading off" the bases.

Good seats along the first baseline behind the UA dugout.

Usually, tickets are easy to get and reasonable in price, but seats for a series between these rivals go quick. Wayne bought our great seats way ahead from a season ticket reseller.

The scores from the three games were: 0-2, 4-5, and 3-2. That made the University of Arizona the overall winner of the series. With our free agent status, we clapped for the underdog, cat or devil. A good play is a good play. Next year the tournament will be at U of A, so we can spread the cheer out evenly.

A warm day turns into a cool evening at the game.

There aren't many professional opportunities for women softball players after they graduate from college. There is the National Pro Fastpitch league with six teams, primarily located in Texas, the east and mid-west.

We learned that our good friend Margaret in Powell River played softball when she was young. He position was third base, and protecting her body from a line drive with her non-glove hand really did a lot of damage. I think of her as I watch the young college players giving the game their all. -- Margy


  1. Coming from the UK, I am unfamiliar with softball as it is not played here at all.
    You did get great seats for an exciting view of the game and players

  2. Yep! I am also fromthe UK and as far as I knew we do not playthis game but it looks fun.

  3. Christine and Margaret - There are two forms of softball here in the States. The one played by women in high school and college is called fastpitch. It says there are some men teams, but I've never heard of them. There is another version played called slowpitch. That is more common for "friendly" games between local mixed teams representing groups and businesses. The college men and pro teams play baseball of course. - Margy


Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome. - Margy