That’s all that separates a softball pitcher and hitter. That mound-to-plate distance is about the same length as two and a half Cadillac Escalades or seven elephant trunks. (Hey, some people need visuals.)
That means pitchers—despite their cat-like reflexes—have little to no time when screaming line drives race back at their faces. Sometimes, there’s not even enough time to get a glove in front of their mugs. That’s why face masks were invented.
Scary Line Drive Knocks Off Pitcher’s Face Mask
A youth softball pitcher in Michigan saw her life flash before her eyes while in the circle during a 14-and-under game at the University of Detroit’s softball field.
She uncorked a pitch that was smacked hard up the middle. It drilled her in the face mask, knocking it clean off her head. She held on to her mouth for a bit (likely to see if she still had all of her teeth).
Meanwhile, the rest of her fielders were concerned with where the ball ricocheted to and trying to prevent the run from scoring. The runner scored anyway.
As for the pitcher, it looks like she was OK albeit a little shaken up.
“No one was harmed in the making of this video,” said TikTok user @teammichigan14u, who posted the video on social media.
The video racked up two million views and thousands of comments. Many commenters who chimed in said she should have caught the ball instead of letting it hit her face mask. Gee, what a concept!
“Or just catch the ball,” one said.
“You gotta be quicker than that,” another said.
There’s a reason softball pitchers wear masks, and this video is exhibit A. With so little time to react and pitches and line drives traveling as hard as they do, the last thing any pitcher wants is a broken nose and a couple of black eyes.