MU baseball stomps softball to even series in annual charity scrimmage

The baseball Tigers looked to avenge a loss from last year's game, as both the baseball and softball teams got together to play a game to raise money for Tiger Pantry.
Senior pitcher Danielle Baumgartner meets with senior catcher Trevor Mallett in the circle before pitching the bottom of the first inning of the Tiger Pantry Exhibition game on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.

Softball and baseball have many similarities. Three strikes to an out. Three outs to an inning. There’s a first, second, third and home.

Yet for all those similarities, it was the differences between these two sports raising spirited banter Saturday afternoon as the Missouri softball and baseball teams clashed in a charity scrimmage aimed at fighting hunger by raising money for the Tiger Pantry program. It was the second annual event.

The game was a softball one, but baseball won the clash, 15-3, to even the softball-baseball series at one win apiece. The softball Tigers prevailed 7-2 last year.

While the main point of this event was to raise money for Tiger Pantry and to support the fight against hunger, there were certainly some bragging rights to be had from the result. Much of that regarded the nature of the two sports – which makes each easier? More difficult?

Softball’s previous triumph had been just one example that the sport of softball might be more difficult than baseball.

Baseball has a smaller ball and larger field of play, as well as pitches are thrown from a greater distance and pitches are thrown overhand. Softball has a larger ball and smaller field of play, closer pitcher’s mound and pitches are delivered underhand.

Hitting a softball has many difficulties, including the closeness of the mound and the size of the ball. In fact, softball pitchers themselves come few and far between because of the underhand motion of delivery. While it’s a healthier motion for the arm, it’s much more difficult to hit because the path of the ball is coming from the ground up. Due to the closeness of the mound, softball players have less time to react to the pitch as well. The combination of the ground-up trajectory and limited reaction time could make hitting a softball more difficult.

That didn’t seem to be the case on Saturday, though. MU baseball hit four home runs in the softball game. To their credit, hitting a baseball is also considered one of the toughest (if not the toughest) routine feats in sports. So one would think that if any non-softball player could perform well at the sport, it’d be a baseball player. In this year’s charity game, MU baseball proved this fact to be true from the get-go after first baseman Tony Ortiz crushed an early grand slam.

While hitting a softball might be harder, Missouri baseball proved it was up for the challenge. Now, as fall ball approaches for the Tigers, their hope is to go back to hitting baseballs just as well as they hit the softballs Saturday.

Edited by Bennett Durando | bdurando@themaneater.com

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