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Can a Baseball Pitching Machine Be Used for Softball?

Written by: Coach Neil



Time to read 4 min

The best baseball pitching machine options train players to hit the ball more consistently by improving reaction time and connection quality. Fortunately, high-quality baseball pitching machines are also useful for softball players to develop the same fundamental skills. In this blog, we cover the details.

What Is the Difference Between Baseball Pitching and Softball Pitching?

speeds exceeding 90mphThe key difference between pitching in softball and pitching in baseball is that pitchers must throw softballs underhand, while baseballs are pitched overhand. Even when considering the softball and baseball similarities and differences when pitching, coaches in both sports can rely on pitching machines for more effective practices. Let’s take a closer look at these similarities and differences to see why:


  • Pitch Variations: In both softball and baseball, pitchers can adjust the spin on the ball to create different pitch variations. Fastballs, curveballs, screwballs, breaking balls, sliders, and even more variations are frequently featured in both sports. 

  • Fundamentals: Batters in both softball and baseball need to master the same skills to hit dingers. Reaction time, connection placement, following-through, and other techniques apply, whether it’s a softball or a baseball being pitched. 


  • Pitching Style: Baseball features overhand pitches, while softball features underhand pitches. Batters in each sport need to understand how to track pitchers’ unique movements and release times to react more quickly.

  • Speed: According to the  World Baseball Softball Confederation , the top pitching speeds in softball are 77mph. In contrast, baseball pitchers can routinely pitch at speeds exceeding 90mph.

Are you searching for a pitching machine that does it all? Check out our selection of reaction training machines that prepare your batters for a wide variety of pitching variations, speeds, and rhythms.

Is It Hard To Pitch in Softball?

Pitching in softball is difficult to master. Pitchers must develop their rhythm, grip, swing movements, and footwork to deliver pitches that are both fast and accurate. If your pitchers are struggling with their swing movements, consider focusing on each aspect of the swing separately. Helping your players understand the backswing, arm rotation, final downswing, release, and follow-through as key pieces of a larger process can improve their overall technique.

It’s also challenging to become an excellent batter in softball. For example, softball pitchers stride forward before releasing the ball, which means batters not only have to track arm movement but also entire body movement.

Pitching machines allow your players to get the reps in that they need to improve their reaction times. MaxBP pitching machines take your batting practice to the next level by pushing both your players’ reaction speed and connection technique. Explore our pitching machines to learn more. 

Do Softball Pitchers Have Arm Issues?

Arm overuse is the most common challenge that softball pitchers face. According to Michigan Surgery Specialists, the most frequent softball pitching injuries are:

  • Tendinitis

  • Tennis Elbow

  • Torn Tendons

  • Neck Pain

  • Rotator Cuff Injuries

  • Anterior Shoulder Sprains and Strains

These injuries can leave your players in pain while they miss out on playing their favorite sport. They can also lead to long-term complications that affect your players’ ability to play softball in the future.

Because overuse and improper technique are the most common causes of injury for softball pitchers, a softball pitching machine can be an amazing tool for your team. These machines can provide your batters with seemingly endless reps, so your pitchers can save their arm (and shoulder) for focused drills and gameday. 

Can a Baseball Pitching Machine Be Used for Softball?

You can often use pitching machines marketed for baseball during your softball practices. For example, MaxBP’s pitching machines use golfball-sized balls to push the limits of your batters’ reaction times and connection techniques. These machines are beneficial for both softball and baseball players because they develop fundamental skills without limiting coaches to choosing between using softballs or baseballs.

Can You Use Softballs in a Pitching Machine?

While you can use softballs in a pitching machine, there are a few reasons you might not want to. If your pitching machine works by spinning wheels to launch pitches, then the seams on softballs can be harmful. That’s because the seams cause an uneven surface that wears down on the wheels over time, resulting in inaccurate pitches. Sidenote: If you’re in the market for a used softball pitching machine, be sure to inspect it thoroughly for wear and tear that could negatively impact pitch accuracy and safety.

To deliver accurate (a mix of strikes and balls so your hitter can develop a selective mindset) pitches time and time again, MaxBP’s pitching machines use specially designed practice balls. Explore our website to see how our machines can challenge your players to react faster than ever before.

Can Pitching Machines Throw Breaking Balls?

Wheel-powered pitching machines can throw breaking balls. By setting the machine’s wheels to different speeds, you can challenge your players to hit breaking balls, curveballs, and a variety of other types of pitches. The best softball pitching machine option is wheel-powered for this precise reason. You don’t want to have to purchase and lug around multiple machines for different types of pitches, so get a pitching machine that does it all

Supercharge Your Softball Batting Drills with MaxBP!

MaxBP pitching machines are specially designed to challenge your batters when it comes to both reaction time and connection quality. With a wide variety of pitch types, speeds, and intervals, you’ll be able to prepare your hitters for anything gameday has in store for them, making your pitching machine well worth its cost. Take a look at how our machines can transform your practice, and give our team a call if you have any questions!