Featured: Glen Rock Panthers Softball

Starting+the+season+well+and+perfecting+the+fundamentals+will+propel+the+Panthers%2C+and+these+seniors%2C+to+another+successful+season.

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Max Marcilla

Starting the season well and perfecting the fundamentals will propel the Panthers, and these seniors, to another successful season.

by Max Marcilla, Feature Sports Editor

Baseball and softball are often thrown into the same category of sport, as, perhaps, they should be. These sports are similar: they both have four bases, a pitcher’s mound, a dirt infield, and a grassy outfield. Some of the tactics and strategies, however, differ between these two sports. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Softball Head Coach Kelly Dowell about the preparation for the season, and we spoke on how softball and baseball are similar but not identical.

I first asked Coach Dowell if she could explain any offensive strategies in the game. Coach Dowell said, “Bunting is a main offensive tactic. A main difference from softball and baseball is that softball is a ‘small-ball’ game.”

In addition to their practice with bunting, the Panthers have also been working vigorously on their defense against the bunt. With distance from home plate to 3rd and home plate to 1st only at 60 feet, the corner defenders have less area to cover on a bunt. Despite softball fields being smaller then baseball fields, even an average bunt will be a hit unless the defense makes a good play.

Coach Dowell and I also conversed about the most important strategy of shutting an opposing offense down: the pitching. This is also the biggest difference from baseball to softball. In softball, pitchers throw underhand, which is “more natural and safer” to the athlete.

Another big advantage to the underhand style of pitching is the fact that the pitchers can throw for longer periods of time. “Our pitchers could pitch up to 14 innings at a time,” she said, “In fact, since the pitch count is much greater for softball, we could have one pitcher throw the entire season, opposed to baseball where you often need two or three every game.”

This led to an interesting conversation about season preparation specifically for pitchers and how to get their arms prepared for long games. “At this point, most of our pitchers have private pitch lessons,” Coach Dowell said, “By throwing a lot, and increasing your stamina, pitchers pitch many innings, very often.”

The Glen Rock Panthers are prepared for another successful year on the softball field. Come support the Panthers in their home opener April 3rd against Garfield.