The Jugs Softball Machine is our best softball pitching machine, which has a digital display for easily reading the current speed. You can use standard 11 to 12 inch softballs with this pitching machine and it can also be used for pop-ups, fly balls and ground balls.
Our step-up pick is the ATEC M2 Offensive and the head of this pitching machine can tilt, allowing different targets for the pitch. Its die cast wheels also gives it mobility like our top pick. Machine recoil is not a problem due to the frame being made of rugged steel with a tripod base.
The budget pick is the First Pitch SoftballMachine and the aluminum construction makes it both lightweight and durable due to the added steel. It can be easily switched between the two tubes to go for either baseball or softball practice. The speed is easily adjustable with this pitching machine.
A Little Background
A softball pitching machine is much like the baseball pitching machine, except that it is meant to take softballs instead of baseballs. While there are many pitching machines out there that are double purpose for both baseball and softball, there also exists some pitching machines that can also be solely for softball only.
Baseball and softball both have different rules and regulations despite being quite similar in game style. One of the things that make them different are the pitches and the balls. The softball is different from the baseball in various aspects and the style of pitching is also something that is varied between the two. This is why there are specific pitching machines that are meant for softball.
A pitching machine is very helpful for athletes in many ways. First of all, it can help you train yourself to hit the ball better at a higher rate. This is important for those who want to improve their hit ratio in softball. It is good for helping you get the sweet spot hit better so that you can avoid damaging your bat.
While it is true that there are softball pitching machines out there that solely focus on softball, it is hard to find them because of the fact that softball is not a popular sport compared to baseball. Hence, your best bet is to find a baseball pitching machine and see it if has a bunch of options for softball for you to practice your softball hitting skills.
How We Picked
In choosing the best softball pitching machine, you should have the following criteria:
Ease of use and setup: you should pick a softball pitching machine that is simple in terms of its switches, operations and how to set it up. The user instructions or manual should be clear and concise so that you will know how to troubleshoot it in case of any emergency. The buttons and all of the functions of the softball pitching machine should be indicated in the manual for reference.
Home or commercial use: do consider if the softball pitching machine is ideal for home or commercial use only. Most softball pitching machines are made to be in a team so they should be durable and are of heavy duty when it comes down to pitching. A light duty softball pitching machine is mostly made for home or hobby use but most will use it for teams anyway so it should be of heavy duty.
Speed options: a good softball pitching machine to consider is one that has a good set of speed options to choose from and can be controlled from a distance using a remote. In addition to that, having an “inconsistent” speed for a softball pitching machine makes it more realistic and mimicking that of a real player when it comes down to making softball pitches. If you have more budget then that is a good softball pitching machine to have.
Portability: you should consider a softball pitching machine that is easy to take down when you are not currently using it. This helps so that your machine does not get in the way of other people who might be training with another sport. It is important that a softball pitching machine can be easy to assemble and to take down because some softball pitching machines are used for traveling teams.
Compatibility with other sports: in addition to softball, the machine may also be a dual purpose pitching machine for baseball and other sports. The softball pitching machine will usually be a 2-in-1 pitching machine anyway, because softball is not as popular as baseball, hence most baseball pitching machines can also be softball pitching machine in a way due to the other functions it can perform.
Pitching style: you should consider the different pitching styles that are available in a softball pitching machine, as it will be covering most softball pitches for you to practice instead of going through your coach to train your softball hitting sills. Do remember that pitching in baseball and in softball can be different so don’t always assume that a baseball pitching machine can also be a softball pitching machine, unless it is indicated.
Power options: the softball pitching machine will mostly be plugged into electricity but some portable models can also take batteries, which allow you to take them with you during travels for national and international competitions and practice purposes.
Warranty policy: when you buy a softball pitching machine, you should know which parts of the machine are covered with the warranty so you know what to expect.
The =”Jugs Softball Machine is our best softball pitching machine that can go on speeds from 15 mph to 60 mph and is applicable for nearly all age brackets of softball. It is easy to move around and has cart to make it more mobile for all-around use.
The 360 degrees of movement allows many kinds of pitches and you will always see the ball due to its design. It has a warranty of 5 years to back it up.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only concern but not a deal breaker with the Jugs Softball Machine is that it might not be good for real leather balls as well as synthetic balls (but you can still use them), but this is true for most pitching machines anyway, so stick to dimpled balls instead when using it.
The ATEC M2 Offensive is our step-up pick and is great for college level and professional level players who are into softball. It can pitch breaking balls as well as fastballs. It can use dimpled balls, foam balls and leather softballs of regulation size.
The speed of this machine can go up to 90 mph and it has two wheels for more realism when throwing the ball towards the player.
The First Pitch SoftballMachine is our budget pick, which stands on 24-inch legs for ease of setup. It can go from 20 to 80 miles per hour in speed and accepts both baseballs and softballs. It can give you very accurate throws as a softball pitching machine.
The compact design lets you take this out to the ball game practice. It has a 1 year warranty for commercial use and 5 year warranty for home use.
Best Softball Pitching Machine that is Foldable
The Ultimate Hitting Machine is a foldable machine that does not need to be powered up to function so you can take it to the field and practice hitting softballs. It can also handle baseballs and can be easy to use for most beginners. It is so portable that you can pack it in a bag.
Best Softball Pitching Machine with Two Wheels
The Mound Yeti TwoWheel can reach speeds up to 90 miles per hour and can be converted from baseball to softball with the legs being detachable. You can make the machine pitch a variety of pitch types and it has transport wheels for mobility as well, with a 6-year warranty.
Best Softball Pitching Machine for Beginners
The Heater Sports Softball is ideal for beginners and can vary in speed up to 50 miles per hour. The machine can load up to 12 balls and has a powerful 1/4 HP motor that runs on AC power. It can also make fly balls and ground balls as well as line drives. It has a 1-year warranty and an enclosed wheel.
Best Softball Pitching Machine that is Lightweight
The 14-Ball Softball Feeder accepts most standard 12-inch softballs and pitching machine balls. Made of a lightweight but durable steel frame, it has a 5-second interval for balls. It is quite portable and has a 1 year warranty.
Best Softball Pitching Machine for 220V Systems
The Jugs Sports Combination is ideal for countries like those in Europe and Asia and want to have a softball pitching machine for their 220-volt system. It is also capable of baseball pitching so it is a dual purpose machine. It can go as fast as up to 124 mph and has a 5-year warranty.
Best Softball Pitching Machine for Indoor and Outdoor Use
The ATEC Power Streak is ideal for outdoor and indoor use and can also accept baseball due to its switchable set of legs. You can also use mini ball retainers plus make easy adjustments on the machine. It works on 110-volt systems.
Best Softball Pitching Machine with Three Wheels
The Triple Play Softball has a three-wheel mechanism which makes it more realistic than the 2-wheeled or the single-wheeled pitching machine. It is great for both field and indoor practice and can be a great tool for helping you improve your batting skills. It is portable and can be used on batting cages as well. It is capable of making different softball pitches.
Other softball pitching machines did not qualify in our list because they were lacking in durability as well as realism. It is important for any training machine for softball to be just as good as a player and can suffice some of the skills that they lack when it comes down to softball pitches.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is baseball different from softball?
A: There are key differences between baseball and softball, such as the following:
|Ratio of player’s gender||Baseball is mostly played my men||Softball is mostly played by women|
|Ball||The baseball is usually smaller than a softball, and is usually harder||The softball is usually bigger than a baseball, and usually softer|
|Gloves||Baseball gloves are usually smaller than softball gloves due to the ball size||Softball gloves are usually bigger due to the need of the bigger ball|
|Bat||Baseball bats can be thicker than softball bats||Softball bats are usually thinner when compared to baseball bats|
|Pitching style||Baseball is pitched in an overhand manner||Softball pitches are made with an underhand manner|
|Diamond size||The base distance in baseball is 90 feet, making the diamond larger||The base distance in softball is 60 feet, making the diamond smaller|
|Innings||A game of baseball has 9 innings||A game of softball has 7 innings|
|Base running||Baseball allows running before pitching the ball||Softball doesn’t allow running before pitching|
While it is true that most softball teams are comprised of women and most baseball teams are comprised of men, it does not necessarily mean that both sports have specific stereotypical gender requirements. There are men who play softball as well, much like how some men play volleyball too. Gender is not a basis for judging the pitching and hitting skills of a person.
The pitching requirements for softball is an underhand pitch, this is why it is different from baseball and you should consider a pitching robot that will help cater to your needs of an underhand pitch in softball. In addition, while certain pitches in baseball are similar to softball, they can be different in some parts not just due to the underhand motion but also to the direction and speed.
Q: Which is harder to play: baseball or softball?
A: That may depend on your perception of things but generally, baseball and softball have their own pros and cons and ways of playing:
Some people say that softball is harder but it is actually easier because of the proximity of the bases and the more likely chance of an infield hit. Perhaps one of the factors is in the reaction time of the sport: baseball’s reaction time is significantly faster than that of softball, making it seem easier than softball.
While the batting average for most baseball players are significantly lower than that of softball players, it is because the metrics for softball are different from that of baseball and the situations are also not the same.
It is important to know that the speeds in softballs have a counterpart in baseball. While the speeds appear slower, because of the game style of softball, the speeds of around 70 mph in softball actually equate faster speeds of up to 90 mph in baseball.
Q: What are the different pitches in softball?
A: The different kinds of softball pitchers (the most common ones) are the following:
The fastball is one of the easiest to throw and hardest to hit. It is also one of those pitches you can go aggressive on. Here are the properties of a softball fastball:
• Speed: the speed of a fastball can go up to 70 mph, which is equivalent to a baseball pitch of 95 mph.
• Motion: it is thrown directly but with a little bit more spins from the pitcher before it goes into a standard underhand pitch for softball.
The change-up is meant to be a deceptive trick to the batter that you seem like you are doing a fastball but you are doing a change-up.
• Speed: it is a bit slower than the fastball and is meant to deceive the other players.
• Motion: the softball change-up works much like the baseball change-up – you don’t snap your wrist when you release the ball, so the batter is in for a surprise.
The drop pitch is basically what it is – dropping the ball to the floor to cause a trick to the batter when pitching the ball.
• Speed: it can be similar to the fastball, but a bit slower.
• Motion: the motion of a drop pitch is like the motion of a fastball but you release it with a downward spiral movement.
The curveball is one of the most difficult types of pitches in softball that requires wrist twisting to perform a decent swing.
• Speed: may not be as fast as a fastball but can be tricky to hit.
• Motion: the curveball spins so it is the hardest to track for the batter, making it an effective pitch for inexperienced players.
The rise ball, out of all the softball pitches, is the most difficult of all. It is the opposite of the drop ball and requires hand twisting to make the ball rise.
• Speed: the rise ball probably has a similar speed to the drop ball.
• Motion: it is thrown in a rising motion with a hand twist. This makes it tricky to hit for the batters.
The softball pitching machine has the ability to help young players to train on how to receive a pitch properly and how to respond to different kinds of pitches. If you do not have someone to pitch you a ball then you can train with a pitching machine to help you out.
Q: What are the different health benefits of playing softball?
A: As softball is a team sport and has a powerful game play, there are many health benefits of this game to everyone, such as the following:
You get muscle strength. Specifically, softball targets many muscles in your body, mostly in the arms and the upper body, such as the forearms, triceps, rotator cuff, biceps, deltoids and the like. You need to swing with full force and this is why upper body muscles can be developed thoroughly if you go and play softball often. If having a good upper body workout is important for you then softball is a good choice due to its pitching and batting.
You get a fully conditioned body. Softball is a sport that, like baseball, involves many parts of the body so you need to run, catch, throw and hit the ball while in the field. Having a multitasking sport can help you get a properly conditioned body so that you will have a more balanced exercise or physical activity in the long run.
You also get more power, strength and endurance. Running all day in the field can help with your overall endurance so that you do not get tired easily in any physical activity. You also get a power boost because of constantly having to use your upper body muscles to pitch, catch or hit a ball, which can be a good workout for you to build strength in your body.
Softball is a great calorie burning workout. You can be burning up to 300 calories for each hour that you get into softball. As one of the highest intensity workouts and sports out there, softball can help you lose weight if it is your fitness goal, and can help you stay fit when you’re previously living an unhealthy lifestyle.
Flexibility is one of the key benefits of getting into softball. You need to have flexible body parts in order to make actions in softball, such as catch a ball, hit a pitch, run around the bases and many other things. With proper flexibility, you will be less prone to having injuries due to having tight muscles. Therefore, it is important to have proper drills and warm-ups before playing softball.
Your core and lower body muscles can be toned as well. If you want to tone your abdominal muscles as well as your legs due to constantly running around the base or catching the ball, softball is a good sport for you, especially for women or anyone who want to get physically fit.
You learn the value of teamwork, friendship and working together with people. Softball, much like baseball and all other team sports, promote a lot of teamwork as well as strategic thinking between people. If you want to enhance your ability to cope with a team or a group then softball is a good sport to do so. It can be a great starter for your children to learn the value of teamwork at a young age.
You get a sharper mind and thinking stability with softball. Like baseball and all other team sports, softball requires a lot of mental focus and this is a good thing to develop at a young age, and even for adults and those near their 40s to help them keep a sharp mind and good memory. Any sport or physical activity can help you feel more focused with anything so it’s a good break from work or school.
If you are aspiring to have leadership skills then softball is a good sport for you. Like how it teaches teamwork, you can also learn ways on how to be a good leader in a team by playing team sports like softball and baseball. It helps children learn how to assign and delegate tasks to teammates and also how to assess situations to get the team’s fighting spirit together to be able to win a game.
You can fight depression and feel happy about yourself with softball. It is a good confidence booster and can improve your mood as well, like with any sport or physical activity. Once you can find something that you are good at, like pitching or batting, you can feel more confident with yourself and you can have more self-esteem. This is important for kids so that at a young age, they can develop good positive thinking skills and a never-give-up attitude.
Q: What are the different softball divisions for women out there?
A: Softball divisions can vary depending on the league that you are in, but in the Little League, here are the softball divisions for women:
Tee ball is primarily the starting division for girls who want to learn how to play softball at a young age. Here are the details about the division:
|Required age||4 to 5 years old, some leagues can go for 6 to 7 years old as well|
|Learnable skills||Basic field skills and hitting the ball|
|Playing area||Can play on the 60 feet diamond but can also play on the 50 feet diamond|
|Roster size||No minimum or maximum requirement, but minimum is best for easy learning for kids|
Minor league is a division that focuses on slightly older kids and aims to teach more than just the fundamentals. Minor league players can compete on actual games and the league or division has three subdivisions: machine pitch, player pitch and coach pitch.
|Required age||7 to 11 years old|
|Learnable skills||Some basics but intermediate softball skills for the kids|
|Playing area||60 foot diamond with a pitching distance of 35 feet|
|Roster size||No minimum or maximum requirement, but can range from 8 to 12 in a roster, 9 players in defense during competitions|
|Subdivisions||Machine pitch, player pitch and coach pitch|
The little league or the major division is more for the older kids and the pre-teens. They can compete in international tournaments and the like and they get financial support for such tournaments.
|Criteria||Little League or Major Division|
|Required age||9 to 12 years old, some leagues can only be 10 to 12 years old|
|Learnable skills||Tournament and intermediate skills|
|Playing area||60 foot diamond with a pitching distance of 40 feet|
|Roster size||Standard; some players may compete for Junior players or the Major league|
The junior division is meant for the younger teens and can also compete internationally with financial support.
|Required age||12 to 14 years old|
|Learnable skills||Tournament and intermediate skills|
|Playing area||60 foot diamond with a pitching distance of 43 feet|
|Roster size||Standard size depending on the game|
The senior division is the highest division for the softball sport for girls in the Little League. They are mostly comprised of teens and young adults and can also travel and compete internationally with all expenses paid.
|Required age||13 to 16 years old|
|Learnable skills||Tournament and expert skills|
|Playing area||60 foot diamond with a pitching distance of 43 feet|
|Roster size||Standard size depending on the game|
Q: What are the basic equipment you need for softball?
A: In the sport of softball , you need a bunch of basic equipment, such as the following:
The bat for softball is usually similar to the baseball bat, but slightly longer and thinner when it comes down to the barrel diameter. Like baseball bats, you can also choose from wood, composite or aluminum when choosing a softball bat. Choosing a good bat is important for you to hit the ball more precisely without much delay when you are swinging.
The ball is also important in softball, and isn’t really that “soft” as the name implies because it is made out of mostly rubber, cork, leather and sometimes synthetic to make it durable. It is a little bit softer than that of baseball but not that soft. The standard size of softballs can be 12 inches and can be colored bright yellow for tournaments. The weight is usually 180 to 200 grams per ball.
The gloves used in softball can be similar at first with the baseball gloves, but the difference is in the size, since the ball that you need to catch with softball is slightly bigger than that of baseball. The positions that will most likely wear mitts along with gloves are the catchers and the first base positions.
The helmet is also highly important because it can protect your face from getting hit by a softball, much like with baseball. The usual material used in making a batting helmet is plastic with a combination of foam for both durability and comfort at the same time. Since most softball players are women, there can be pony tail holes for them to feel comfortable. The softball helmet usually differs from baseball due to the wire face guard that is attachable.
Sliding shorts as well as other safety clothing and equipment can be worn in softball to help protect a player from potential injuries and the like. The slider is similar to the shin guard in most contact sports. There are also throat protectors, face guards, chest protectors and the like for most softball catchers to keep them protected at all times.
Q: What are the usual materials that make up a softball?
A: The softball differs from the baseball due to its material and its size. Here are the different types of softball materials and their typical usage:
• The kapok material is ideal for most professional games such as for college players. Kapok comes from a South American tree and can also be found in Central America. It has good durability and can be mixed with polyurethane to create a softball that does not easily vibrate and damage the softball bat.
• The rubber material and cork mixture is a type of core or softball material that is meant for kids, for youth level and for game room or leisure purposes. If you aren’t that serious with softball then you can typically go with a mix of cork and rubber for your softball material.
Regardless of material that makes up a softball, a regulation sized softball should be 12 inches to the exact measurement for it to be tournament legal. Like baseballs, softballs also have woven yarns so they may look pretty identical at first glance.
Q: What is the typical bat length in softball? How is it different from baseball?
A: Softball bats can have an impact to how the ball in softball is hit. Softball bats can differ from the baseball bat based on the following:
|Criteria||Little League or Youth||Adult Slow Pitch Softball||Fast Pitch Softball||Adult Baseball|
|Bat Length||29 to 32 inches||33 to 34 inches||32 to 34 inches||31 to 31 inches|
|Bat Weight||14 to 27 ounces||26 to 30 ounces||23 to 28 ounces||28 to 31 ounces|
As you can see in the chart above, the minimum length of softball bats are usually longer than that of the minimum length of baseball bats. This is because softball has a different requirements for hitting the ball due to the different material and size of the softball as compared to baseballs.
Q: How is the size of a softball different from a baseball?
A: The softball and the baseball also differ in size other than in material, such as with the following:
|Circumference||11 7/8 to 12 inches||9 to 9 1/4 inches|
|Weight||6 to 7 ounces||5 to 5.25 ounces|
As you can see with the chart above, baseballs are usually smaller and lighter than softballs, so it is kind of odd to call softballs “soft” while they are usually the ones bigger than baseball. In addition to that, smaller leagues for kids might also use a smaller softball than the regulation size for comfort.
Q: What are the different types of materials used in a softball bat?
A: The softball bat can be made of any of the following materials:
Aluminum is a popular material for bats used in softball because of its lighter weight, which appeals for most softball players who are mostly women. Aluminum is also easy to control and not very heavy to swing and can be greatly durable against hitting the ball, but can be a little more expensive.
Graphite and titanium or composite bats are the ones that are also made for durability but can also cost more. They are also light but the catch is that they can significantly reduce the vibrations when you try to hit a ball with a softball bat.
Q: Can some baseball pitching machines also pitch softballs?
A: Yes, some baseball pitching machines are also capable of pitching softballs so they can be used as a baseball pitching machine and as a softball pitching machine in one go.
You should consult the user’s manual of a pitching machine to see if it accepts softballs and if it does the underhand pitch that the softball pitch requires.
Q: What kind of balls can be used for a softball pitching machine?
A: A softball pitching machine can be loaded with the following types of balls:
• Leather balls – these are mostly the standard types of balls that can be used in practice or competition.
• Poly balls – these may be the training balls that you can load in a pitching machine. They provide more movement than leather balls and can fly faster.
• Foam balls – these balls also fly faster like the poly balls and are softer and easier on your softball bat to prevent easy damage.
Take note of the following tips when loading balls on the softball pitching machine:
• Always make sure that you load only the given number of balls that the pitching machine is able to handle.
• Unless it is indicated in your user’s manual, you should not mix ball types so as not to confuse the machine. Some special machines can mix ball types for a realistic approach with ball speed.
• Synthetic balls, unless your manufacturer allows you to use them, should not be used to avoid leaving residue on the machine as well as because of the fact that they can easily wear out after every practice.
Q: How fast can a softball pitching machine throw a ball?
A: It depends on your machine but most machine will be able to pitch the same speed for both baseball and softball, such as 60 to 70 miles per hour. However, there are also some special machines that have different speeds for baseball and softball pitching.
The softball pitching machine can be easily tweaked for its speed, and most will have at least 20 to 60 miles per hour of speed, some exceeding up to 70 mph. The speed also doesn’t change no matter what distance you put it in. Nonetheless, the type of ball and the weight of the ball might have some effect on the pitching speed of your softball pitching machine.
Q: If I want to set up a batting cage for either baseball or softball, what space requirements do I need?
A: The batting cage can be setup in your area if you want to establish one for training baseball or softball players, and these are the most common space requirements depending on the cage system or number of stalls you need to install:
|Width||60 feet||77 feet||91 feet||105 feet||115 feet||126 feet|
|Depth (maximum, minimum of 70 feet)||90 feet||100 feet||120 feet||126 feet||132 feet||137 feet|
In addition to that, you may need to determine the number of cages that you want to install based on the following criteria:
• The location of your batting cage or ball park
• How many local competitions are in your community
• The number of baseball or softball teams in your area
• How many people are in your area
• The common age group in your area
You may also need to consider the total costs, such as the following:
• For an indoor batting cage system, you may need $110,000 to $150,000 for the total cost.
• An outdoor batting cage system can be pricier, from $150,000 up to $260,000 for the total cost.
Q: What kinds of pitches can a softball pitching machine do?
A: It depends on the machine and the construction of its mechanism, but most softball pitching machines are able to do the following pitches for fast pitch softball:
• Rise ball
• Drop ball
In addition to that, slow pitch softball pitches that most machines can do are the following:
• Arching ball
• Toss pitch
Q: What safety guidelines for softball gear are most common for fast pitch softball?
A: In fast pitch softball , players are mostly required to do the following:
They should have plastic cleats or molded / rubber cleats instead of metal because metal cleats are only ideal for baseball and for junior and senior leagues and not allowed in youth divisions. This is because metal cleats can be dangerous for young players so it is best to stick with molded cleats for their shoes.
All softball catchers should wear proper gear. For instance, they should have proper gear such as mitts, face masks, chest protectors, throat guards and shin guards, aside from the helmet. In addition to that, athletic cups should be worn by male catchers.
Major players in the game who get the most exposure and action should wear a properly fitting helmet, especially batters with batting helmets. Some pitchers can also wear a helmet for safety. The helmet must cover your ears and should be fastened just right if it has a chin strap. You can also add a face guard for better protection.
You should also check out the rules of your local softball association or league to know which bat types are not allowed and many other rules regarding softball gear.
Q: How is slow pitch and fast pitch softball different?
A: Softball can be different when it comes down to both slow pitch and fast pitch versions based on the following criteria:
Criteria Fast Pitch Softball Slow Pitch Softball
Speed of pitching As the name suggests, fast pitch softball pitches can reach up to 60 mph and this is because of the windup motion before throwing the ball Pitching in slow pitch softball is much slower due to the lack of the windup movement when throwing the ball
Bunting Bunting is allowed on fast pitch softball Bunting is not allowed on slow pitch
Base stealing Mostly allows base stealing, much like in baseball Does not allow base stealing
Scoring and game flow Fast pitch softball can result in less runs and shorter innings due to the fast pitching movement Slow pitch softball, on the other hand, has longer innings plus more runs
Q: What is RICE and why is it important in softball?
A: In any physical game </a such as softball, anyone can get injured by hitting the ball wrong or landing on a base with a sprained leg. This is why you need to remember the acronym RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compress and elevate, to address emergency injuries that occur in the game.
Q: What causes softball injuries?
A: Common softball injuries can be caused by the following:
• The length of the pitch as well as the number of innings can cause strain, sprains and injuries.
• Base sliding is also a common injury as with baseball so most games should have breakaway bases to help promote safety.
Q: What is the importance of warming up before a softball match?
A: A warm-up exercise is important before every softball match to help players be free from injury such as strained muscles. A good warm-up activity can be stretching or some quick jogs.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the Jugs Softball Machine is our best softball pitching machine, which holds a fair amount of ball types and has a good speed. It is great for practicing on how to hit most softball pitches.
Professional Quality Baseball & Softball Pitching Machines
Make sure you get the perfect professional quality pitching machine for your team or indoor facility from On Deck Sports. We offer baseball pitching machines suitable for every level of play from youth baseball, to high school baseball and softball, to professional-level training - all at the highest quality possible. We carry the hottest names in the industry, including Hack Attack Pitching Machines, commercial grade Iron Mike Pitching Machines, Atec Pitching Machines, Jugs Pitching Machines and more. Some machines are specifically for indoor use, while others are great for baseball and softball fields, batting cages, or outdoor training. Our team of experts will help you find the perfect pitching machine for your team. Whether you’re looking for a three-wheeled pitching machine with programmable pitching, or a portable machine that throws fastballs and curveballs for batting practice, we have the professional quality machine that will meet your baseball training needs.
Our experts will make sure you have the right pitching machine for every use. Order online today, or for Iron Mike pitching machine models, call to order at 1-800-365-6171. Have additional questions? Contact one of our baseball and softball equipment professionals today.
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Baseline Pitching Machine
First Pitch Baseline Pitching Machine Features
- Baseball and Softball
- Pitches, Ground balls, and Pop files
- Up to 70 MPH
- 1/4 HP Motor
- Adjustable Legs
- Light Weight (50 lbs)
- No Tools Required
- Full Size Pitching Machine Tire
- Five Year Warranty for Teams, Leagues, schools and residential use.
- 1 Year Warranty for Commercial use.
Download Instruction Manual HERE
SKU: 40Category: Baseball & SoftballTags: Baseball Pitching Machine, Baseball Training Machine, Baseline Pitching Machine, First Pitch Baseball Pitching Machine, First Pitch Baseline Pitching Machine, Softball Pitching Machine, Sports Training Machine Baseball, Sports Training Machine Softball, Top Baseball Pitching Machine, Top Softball Pitching Machine
The Baseline Baseball/Softball Pitching Machine is a great choice for your back yard batting cage or coaching your youth Baseball or Softball team. The Baseline features a swivel base, reversible legs for baseball and softball, and throws up to 70 MPH. It is built with the same high-quality construction and versatility of other First Pitch models in a smaller, easy-to-transport package. Great for adults and kids as low as 8 years old. For kids ages 7 and under we suggest the Relief Pitcher.
|Dimensions||32 × 20 × 14 in|
Our design began by identifying wheels as the most efficient ball throwing mechanism. Wheels can throw breaking pitches, provide accuracy, and deliver the much-needed speed. The true uniqueness to our machine is the use of a third wheel. The location of the three wheels visually opens the ball chute, allowing the hitter to see the ball through acceleration and release, providing complete vision and timing. By simply changing wheel speed, any breaking pitch could be instantly dialed in as the third wheel eliminated the need to pivot the throwing head when changing pitches. Accuracy and ball control were also improved due to the increased amount of ball surface being captured. Additional benefits of the third wheel were a reduction of throwing wheel and ball wear.
Other important characteristics of the design were to incorporate safety features that kept the operator protected from moving parts. Ease of vertical and horizontal controls were also key for pitch location and fungo work. In addition, portability was a requirement, providing mobility on and off the field and for storage.
Our three-wheel machine delivers every softball breaking pitch, from the raiser to right and left-handed drops. With the key features of portability, safety, vision and timing that are inherent in the design, the Softball Hack Attack quickly caught the attention of leading college and high school programs across the nation.
For younger players and specific drills at all levels of competition, the Hack Attack was quickly followed by the Junior Hack Attack in 2004. It is equal in quality and design and used to develop dedicated players into the all-star they want to be. The Junior is perfect for use at home in backyard cages, youth leagues games and travel ball.
Background on Pitching Machines
The first arm machines that were used were unguarded, leading to some very tragic accidents. Arm machines then needed to be heavily guarded, limiting the vision advantage. Due to the enormous recoil generated by the arm, the machines also had to be bolted to concrete pads, making them stationery and not available for field or fungo work. Even today arm machines remain bulky and massive. The strengths of this design were some level of vision and timing. The weaknesses were that it was limited to only fastballs, completely immobile and still carried a concern for safety.
The innovators of the wheel machines saw the ability to throw curve balls as the ultimate feature in pitching machines. While the initial wheel machines threw curve balls, they ignored the need for portability and for guarding throwing wheels. Slowly improvements were made to introduce some portability and fungo capabilities but essentially the basic design has stayed the same. The strength of these units was certainly the curve ball, although they required awkward and time-consuming adjustments in order to change the type of pitch. One of the major deficiencies was the lack of the all important vision and timing feature. This meant that wheel driven pitching machines at the higher levels of play were frequently considered just pre- season or off-season tools, avoided during the season because it was felt they affected a hitter’s sense of timing.
Pitching machine softball
The 10 Best Pitching Machines For Baseball/Softball 2021
Getting into the world of pitching machines can be an intimidating endeavor. We’re here to help you figure out the best pitching machine for you. You may be looking for baseball or softball, something budget friendly or the best in class without concern over price. Either way, we’ve got you covered with a number of pitching machine reviews for 2021.
1. Jugs BP3
The best overall model
The Jugs machine has become one of the most popular machines because of its reputation as an elite product with great durability. It’s a brand trusted by the NFL and MLB alike. We believe the Jugs BP3 is the best baseball pitching machine on the market in 2021.
The Jugs BP3 is the best model in the game. Its 3-wheel design lets you switch pitches from a right-handed breaking ball to a left-handed breaking ball with the turn of a dial. There’s no adjustments to be made.
We love the Changeup mode and pre-set hitting circuit. This allows you to change from a fastball to a change up without tipping off the hitter. We’d like to see a mode where you can add breaking balls in, but we haven’t gotten there yet.
It’s nice to see such a large variety in pitch speed. Knowing that you can range from 40-90 means that you’ll be able to use this with players in the later years of their little league all the way into their high school careers.
The price tag is pretty hefty, but if you’re running a league or working with an organization, you may be able to split the cost. This machine will absolutely perform for you.
- 40-90 MPH.
- Digital speed display.
- Changeup mode.
- Micro-adjustment on pitch location.
- Pre-set hitting circuit.
- Features 9 pitches.
2. Hack Attack
The fastest machine
The Hack Attack is very similar to the Jugs machine. It’s a 3-wheel machine that offers incredible quality, but also can compete with the top arms in Major League Baseball.
The Hack Attack is the best competition you’ll find for the Jugs BP3. It has a similar 3-wheel design which allows breaking balls in both directions without having to manually change the direction of the wheels. The Hack Attack has an open design to maximize how well you can see the ball.
The Hack Attack has also made it a point to speed the process up a bit. You’ll find that a 5 second re-load time is faster than most of the competition. Another huge benefit with the Hack Attack is that it has wheels specifically designated for transport. That is, it has wheels that make it easier to move.
- Pitches can reach 100+ MPH.
- 3-wheel design.
- 7 pitches.
- Micro-adjustments to location.
- 5 second reload time.
3. Junior Hack Attack
The Junior Hack Attack is the softer model of the Hack Attack. It’s a great machine, but what makes its parent model stand out is how hard it throws. Without that speed, it’s simply missing something.
While the Junior maintains a lot of the best features it can’t compete with its parent model. That’s largely due to the fact that it tops out at 70 MPH. On their website, Hack Attack addresses this by pointing out that using the machine at 45 feet would make pitches the equivalent of 90 MPH. If you’re looking to spend thousands of dollars, you deserve to have the machine do the work for you.
The Junior model still offers great reload time and small level adjustments to make sure pitches are going where you want them. That being said, 30 MPH on the maximum velocity is significant. Topping out at 70 MPH means that this model won’t cut it for high school players.
- Top out is 70 MPH.
- 5 second reload time.
- 7 pitches.
- Micro-adjustments to location.
- Requires adjusting wheels.
4. Jugs BP2
The best 2-wheel machine
The most popular brand takes the top prize again. Jugs BP2 is our top-rated pitching machine when looking at 2-wheel models. The BP2 offers a lot of the same features that the BP3 does, except for the wheel. That’s significant because you have to manually adjust the wheels for different pitches.
The Jugs BP2 is the best 2-wheel pitching machine you’ll find. The obvious downside to a 2-wheel machine is that you have to adjust the wheels’ angles to change the pitches that are being thrown. It forces you to tell the batter what’s coming. This machine will throw a fastball/splitter combination and a slider that breaks in both directions without changing anything which is nice.
The speed is controlled by a knob on the control panel. While the knob doesn’t have a specific setting, you can read the sped on the digital display. We also really like the micro-adjustment to location. Just like the BP3, you can use a lever to adjust the pitch by an inch or two rather than trying to left and readjust the entire unite.
It may be tough to purchase with a $2,695 price tag, but we assure you it’s the best option in its class. This model struggles because it’s a 2-wheel model. However, we believe that it still offers value in the fact that it’s able to reach 90 MPH. That speed means it’s still usable on a high school baseball field.
- 45-90 MPH.
- Digital speed reading.
- Micro adjust location.
- Easy knob adjustment.
- Requires adjusting wheels.
5. Spinball Wizard 2-Wheel
The best mid-tier combo machine
The Spinball Wizard 2-wheel machine may be the offers the best features out of any mid-tier model that we reviewed. If we’re being honest, we almost put it in the top tier. It’s a versatile machine that can be used with players from 10 years old into their collegiate years and beyond.
This is the first machine that is a “combination” model. That means it’s able to throw a baseball or a softball. If you’re a family who has several children playing, this could be invaluable.
We’re also really impressed by the speed that this can throw. A 40-100 MPH speed range could cover anyone who is facing live pitching. Another interesting feature is that this machine is able to stand about 5 feet tall. That means this is designed to provide a realistic release point for baseball players.
The biggest drawback that you’ll find is that the company is a bit slow on shipping the machine out. Typically, it’s about 2 or 3 weeks before you receive the machine.
The only other con that you’ll find is that this is a 2-wheel machine. In a perfect world, you’d like to have a 3-wheel option. Because it has 2 wheels, you’ll have to adjust the placement and speed of the wheels to change the pitch.
One final significant point is pricing. The Spinball Wizard retails for $1,699 for a baseball or softball machine. It’s $1,799 to get the combination model that can use both baseballs and softballs.
- Combination model (baseball and softball).
- Pitches 40-100 MPH.
- High release point – realistic pitching.
- It’s a 2-wheel machine.
6. Heater Sports Deuce 95
The best solo batting practice machine
The Deuce 95 is the first machine on this list that a hitter can actually use without any help. It’s a great pitching machine in general, but the fact that it enables a hitter to practice alone makes it stand out.
The Deuce 95 could earn several awards. We believe it’s the best softball pitching machine, the best combination pitching machine, the best pitching machine under $1,000 and the best life-long pitching machine. Three of those make sense, so we’re going to explain the final point.
The Deuce “throws” pitches from 25 MPH to 95 MPH. That makes this a machine just as much one of the best youth pitching machines as much as it is one of the best high school pitching machines. It’s designed for its minimum speed to be low enough to work with 7-8-year-olds while it’s top out can reach the average speed of a major league fastball.
Given the variety of uses and the $999 price tag, this may be the best value pitching machine you can find. With its auto-feed feature and 10 second delay between pitches, this might be the best home pitching machine that a young player can find.
- Pitches range from 25-95 MPH.
- 12 ball auto-feeder.
- “Throws” 5 different pitches.
- Ability to take BP alone.
- Baseball/softball combination.
7. Zooka ZS740
The most mobile pitching machine
The Zooka defines a mobile pitching machine. It’s a battery-powered, tripod pitching machine that only has one wheel. It’s lacking in some features, but its portability is second to none.
Zooka focused on a niche market. But they are dominating that market. They built a machine around portability and included features like a battery that can handle over 500+ and a machine that weighs 30 lbs including the tripod. Other machines are able to run on a battery if you purchase it separately. This machine is made and sold with a battery.
One factor that is a bit middling is the speed that the ZS740 shows. The minimum speed of 10 MPH is outstanding for younger players. That’s truly a speed that 5-6 year olds can handle. It is an outstanding option if you’re looking for a pitching machine for kids. Unfortunately, it’s top out speed is only 70 MPH which means that this machine will be phased out before your player ever reaches high school.
With the focus on portability, this machine is a 1-wheel model which limits the types of pitches that a hitter will see. Because this only has one wheel, it can only throw a fastball or a changeup. We’d like to see a bit more, but understand the concept of their build.
Ultimately, with a focus on portability, we see the value here. Especially when you consider the price.
- Digital speed reading.
- Over 500 pitches on 1 charge.
- Able to throw baseballs, lite balls, safety balls, tennis balls.
- Min. speed of 10 MPH, great for younger players.
8. Jugs Lite-Flite
The best pitching machine under $500
Once again, Jugs steps up as one of the best brands in the business. They offer a great combo option that can deliver baseballs and softballs.
The Lite-Flite lives up to the Jugs reputation. It’s a great option that still allows a hitter to practice 5 different pitches. This combo model also features a “switch-and-play” knob that makes it easy to go from baseball to softball machine in a matter of a few seconds.
Even at $450 players tell us that the Lite-Flite consistently outperforms anything else in this price range.
- Combination machine (softball/baseball).
- Throws multiple pitches.
- Switch-and-play knobs.
9. Louisville Slugger UPM 45 Blue Flame
The best lightweight pitching machine
The UPM 45 Blue Flame is truly unique in that it runs on manual power. That is, there are no batteries and no cables to power it up. The design makes me think of a catapult. After positioning everything for the pitch that you want, you simply press a pedal down with your foot to make the throw. It’s surprisingly accurate.
Because this model is man-powered, it doesn’t get the love that it should. Being incredibly light, mobile, and accurate means it is one of our favorite budget pitching machines. At $180, it’s something that won’t break the bank. It’s also something that you can let young players use by themselves without being worried that they’ll get hurt.
The design of the UPM 45 Blue Flame seems to imply that it was designed as a kids pitching machine or a machine for little league pitching.
- Lightweight (25 pounds).
- Surprisingly accurate.
- Easy to use.
- Can use a variety of balls.
10. SKLZ Catapult
The best soft toss machine
This stretches the concept of a pitching machine a bit, but we think it still belongs on this list. It is the cheapest model you’ll find that has a good reputation. The design is pretty simple and allows players to practice just about anywhere.
As we mentioned already, this isn’t a typical pitching machine in that it doesn’t throw a straight pitch toward the batter. Instead, this machine tosses the ball into the air in the way that a coach would during soft-toss.
It’s a great pitching machine for youth as it’s the perfect fill-in when you can’t find a coach or teammate to come out. Because of the simple mechanics, this is a great option for home use. Having an $80 price tag also makes this machine incredibly affordable.
- Holds 8 balls at a time.
- AC or battery power.
- Throws ball up to 25 feet.
- 8 second reload time between pitches.
- Pricing is very reasonable.
- Doesn’t throw a straight pitch.
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