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How Fast Do Softball Pitching Machines Throw?

  • by Coach Neil
  • 4 min read

Using a pitching machine to improve your softball batting skills has numerous benefits, including:

  • Increased reps per practice

  • Higher-quality reps per practice

  • Lower chance of injury for both batters and pitchers

But how do you find the best softball pitching machine or the best baseball pitching machine? In this blog, we provide some answers—especially when it comes to finding a machine that pitches at the speed you need.

How Fast Can Softball Pitching Machines Throw?

Softball pitching machines need to emulate pitch speeds of over 80 mph at the professional level, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that machines always launch balls at 80 mph. Instead, you can manipulate the “feels-like” speed by adjusting both the actual pitch speed and the distance from home plate.

For example, the MaxBP Pro Pitching Machine can simulate pitch speeds between 43 mph and 146 mph with plenty of intervals in between. At the machine’s low-speed setting, batters experience a “feels-like” speed of 89 mph when they’re 20 ft. away, 56 mph when they’re 25 feet away, and 43 mph when they’re 30 ft. away.

In addition to a high level of customization, our pitching machines have the following advantages over other options:

  • Ability to pitch at higher velocities

  • Different rpm settings to pitch curveballs, breaking balls, and more

  • Variety of pitch placement within the strike zone

  • Adjustable pitch interval settings between 3 and 8 seconds

To see how training with a MaxBP reaction training machine can transform your batting performance, see what our satisfied users have to say !

What Is the Speed of the Pitching Machine at 35 Feet?

Advanced pitching machines don’t have to pitch a specific speed at a set distance; instead, you can adjust pitch velocity and distance to create the desired emulated pitch speed. Let’s take the MaxBP Original baseball pitching machine as an example. When the pitching machine distance from home plate is 35 ft., you can practice hitting pitches with an emulated speed between 40 mph and 81 mph.

For a pitching machine speed distance calculator or a softball pitch speed calculator, use the following formula:

  • Emulated Speed = Longer Distance (in feet ) / Shorter Distance (feet) X Pitch Speed (in mph)

If you’re using a MaxBP reaction training machine, you can skip the math and visit our FAQ page instead! 

Can You Adjust the Speed of a Pitching Machine?

High-quality pitching machines allow you to customize the pitch velocity, pitch interval timing, and the ball’s rpm. With this level of control, you can target the exact pitches you need to get ready for game day. Let’s take a closer look at each of these essential qualities:

  • Pitch Velocity: Pitching machines give you control over how fast to launch the ball. To emulate a specific pitch speed,  find the right combination  of pitch velocity settings and distance.

  • Pitch Interval Timing: Stay on your toes by practicing with different amounts of time between pitches. Decrease the breaks to work on the speed of your repetitions, or slow down to nail your fundamentals.

  • Ball RPM: Two- and three-wheel machines give you control over the spin of each pitch. Adjust the rpm to practice hitting pitches like curveballs, breaking balls, and sliders. 

With MaxBP reaction training machines, you get all of the above benefits and more. Explore your options on our website

How Slow Can a Pitching Machine Pitch?

On the lower end, pitching machines can throw pitches that emulate speeds between 29 mph and 50 mph. This can be helpful for switching up your practice to focus on fundamentals or when working with youth athletes.

To achieve slower pitch speeds, you can use lower velocity settings in combination with farther distances (between 30 ft. and 35 ft.).

MaxBP reaction training machines are an excellent choice for both team and at-home practice because the portability and customizable settings allow you to make use of a practice field or your own backyard.

How Do I Choose a Pitching Machine?

When searching for a softball pitching machine for sale, ensure that it has the following qualities:

  • Two- or Three-Wheel Machine: Two-wheel machines have more control over the ball than arm or mechanical machines, so you can practice the types of pitches you need. Two-wheel machines also allow you to change the ball’s rpm, which gives you access to different pitch styles. Three-wheel machines take these benefits one step further, using the extra wheel for enhanced stability.

  • Adjustable Speed and Interval Settings: Human pitchers throw at different speeds, so your pitching machine should, too. Prepare for any situation by hitting pitches thrown with a wide variety of velocities and intervals.

  • Portable Machine and Power Source: Use a battery-operated machine to give yourself freedom in where and how you practice.

  • Quality Practice Balls: Use balls that are specifically designed to work with pitching machines to challenge your skills and extend the life of your equipment. MaxBP practice balls set the standard by being more durable and having higher material consistency than the competition.

If you’re on a tighter budget, you can still find a high-quality pitching machine for your batting practice. Browse our selection of refurbished reaction training machines. 

Optimize Your Batting Practice with MaxBP!

Perfect practice makes for perfect play, and pitching machines help you increase the quality of your hitting practice, making them well worth their cost. With MaxBP reaction training machines, you benefit from:

  • Highly customizable settings for pitch velocity, interval, and rpm

  • Variety in the strike zone to improve pitch recognition

  • Practice balls that weigh 6.0 grams +/- 1 and measure 41mm are durable and safe for batters and machine operators

Don’t wait to step up your game— find the right pitching machine for you today!