Do you think you can hit one of these pitches?

Georgia Tech’s softball team will take on Boston College on Friday in the first round of the ACC tournament in Blacksburg, Va.

The Yellow Jackets are the defending champions, and are the top seed heading into their 5 p.m. game.

I must confess, I’ve always been impressed by fast-pitch softball. I have no idea how the players ever get a hit. The mound is just 43 feet away, and the action that the pitchers can put on the ball, coupled by the need for the batter to instantaneously decide what type of pitch they’re seeing, where it’s located and if it’s possible for them to do anything with it even if they get the bat on it, make it fun to watch and to play.

Because I’m not good enough with words to illustrate the challenges, I thought it might be fun to try my first blog video and show you how tough it is. It’s in two parts, both are very short, but I hope it gives you an idea of the challenges that someone like Jen Yee, who is batting a whopping .583 this year, faces when she’s at bat.

Part 1:

And part 2:

23 comments Add your comment


May 11th, 2010
6:49 pm

I can’t imagine how anyone is brave enough to pitch fastpitch. The ball goes to the batter fast but it comes back to the pitcher like lightning!!

Go Lady Jackets!!


May 11th, 2010
7:08 pm

Nice headliner Doug.
Go Jackets! Bring home another trophy.

Delbert D.

May 11th, 2010
7:10 pm

Doug – I used to be able to throw some interesting knuckleballs while warming up for slow-pitch league games, but this stuff is scary from 43 feet away.

Doug Roberson

May 11th, 2010
7:15 pm

I apologize that the quality isn’t up to the AJC’s usual excellent standards (shout out to video guru Ryon Horne). I was using the incorrect setting on my new phone. However, it will be much better next time.

Doug Roberson

May 11th, 2010
7:27 pm

Also, this story will be in the paper soon. It’s already up on


May 11th, 2010
7:30 pm

Many Softball players don’t take a full swing in Fast-Pitch Softball. The player is almost a step out of the batters box when they hit the ball. Watch the Top teams play and many players never swing fully at the pitch. Baseball player are in the back of the Box and Sitting on a Pitch. the Softball players are in the front of the box looking to fast chop a pitch.


May 11th, 2010
9:20 pm

Doug, you have a face and body for the Print media!..Lay off the varsity dogs and Large oranges..just kidding


May 11th, 2010
9:25 pm

WORM what is a Large orange? Do you mean a F.O.? If you don’t know what the Varsity has on the menue then STFU.

doug roberson

May 11th, 2010
9:31 pm

Though you are correct, I won’t take offense because there’s no way you can tell from those lo-res clips.

st simon

May 12th, 2010
12:06 am

Do you think GT football players can actually hit? Did you see how UGA hit Tech players in the mouth for 339 rushing yards?

UGA 30 – GT 24!!!!!
UGA 73 – GT 66!!!!!!



Ted Striker

May 12th, 2010
12:26 am

Nice column, Doug. And videos too. Kudos!

Ted Striker

May 12th, 2010
12:34 am

Doug, just went back and looked over your last few columns. Have read them before but never commented before this one.

I’m a UGA guy however I really appreciate the great job you do in contributing to the AJC site. You give it quality writing, passionate coverage, and both you and the sports you cover get Kudos from me.

Take care and keep it up!

Hey, POAD...

May 12th, 2010
6:31 am

…it is you who does not know the Varsity menu – there is a huge difference between a Frosted Orange (F.O.) and a large orange drink (a soft drink, since you don’t know) – and since you don’t know the difference then maybe YOU should STFU and lay off this site…


May 12th, 2010
9:12 am

Its a softball not a baseball folks!!! The larger diameter and MUCH softer core softens the blow immensely! Have you ever heard of broken eye sockets, head concussion, etc from a softball blow? If so its a freak accident where in baseball these injuries are fairly common.

With that said…the reflexes needed to be a successful softball hitter are superior to those needed in baseball. Certainly have to stay focused on the pitching hand.


May 12th, 2010
10:26 am

In video 1 there were 10 seconds of uneccesary footage that could have been cleaned up w/ proper editing. In video 2 it looked like you were “shooting while on a skateboard.” That’s a term used in the industry. Thanks for the clarification that it was shot on your cell, and not a video camera. That explains everything. Keep up the good work. Can’t wait for football season to start up.


May 12th, 2010
11:11 am

Litle yeller skeeters skeered of big burly bama will play middle tennessee instead


May 12th, 2010
12:25 pm

Love the Lady Jackets SB & BB. Good Luck Ladies!

Looking forward to the day Paul Hewitts gone!!!!!!!!

Roger Dorn

May 12th, 2010
12:58 pm

Looks easy enough to me. And the pitcher throws like a girl.


May 12th, 2010
1:34 pm

LeBron’s moment of truth awaits

Small Johnson

May 12th, 2010
8:11 pm

Just knocked one over Bubba Dump Stadium at historic and violent Grant Field


May 17th, 2010
12:53 pm

Best quote ever!!! This from Kenny Anderson who just graduated from some podunk school.

“”I’d ask people for help,” Anderson said. “This wasn’t like college. They’d say, ‘I’ll give you an idea, but you have to do the work yourself.’”

LOL!!! Apparently Kenny isn’t used to doing his OWN work in college. Hmmm…..where did he attend school at for 2 years again? LOL!!!


May 19th, 2010
11:27 am

I’d sit on a change up. There is less time to react than facing a major league fastball. Do the math.

saint symuns

May 20th, 2010
3:39 pm

Hey now, that implies Kenny Anderson ATTENDED classes at Tech. I saw him show up once for a class.