Hi folks new to forum here. Finding a lot of good information. My daughter has been pitching since she was 10. We live all the way up here in Maine. She is a dominant pitcher in this area at the 14u level freshman in hs. Basically has three pitches fastball around 52-55 mph - dropball - and knuckle change. up. Well really just two the fb and db have the same type of movement (down and away to a righty. Just wondering how she compares to other girls her age. She aspires to pitch at the cellege level is that realistic?
Based on what I have seen the answer is "it depends".
Has she physically matured most all the way already (muscle development) and this is the speed she has maxxed out at?
Does her pitches have "late-break" that is a somewhat magical thing it seems.??
What level of competition is she dominating at? Has she played national level Travel Ball?
I would think that if she already dominates and is at that development level she could at least play D3.
Then some guess from me on the scale:
My thoughts are that she's got to be in the low 60's (max) for low-mid D1.
Gotta be mid-upper 60's and great breaking pitches for high D1.
Somewhere in-between are the D2-ers. There are a load of upper 50's to low 60's pitchers in this country.....
That speed is right within the average range for pitchers her age. It isn't on the fastest side and it isn't on the slowest side.
The "collegiate level" varies quite a bit. There are many JC and NAIA schools that would be perfectly content with a pitcher who is just a bit faster then your daughter is at 14. For a D1 school, most will say that 60mph is the absolute minimum, but even this varies.
Tell her to keep working hard and chasing her dreams and aspirations. There is a recent grad from our travel program that plays infield up by you for the University of Maine. She's about 5 feet tall, but plays like nobodies business and has a great work ethic. She comes back to coach with us each summer. If you'd have asked me if a 5 foot woman could play infield for a D1 school, I'd have told you no.
Your daughter still has a lot of time to improve and pick up speed. Speed comes by perfecting mechanics and training the body. If she works on those two things, has a good attitude, and puts in the proper effort, she'll be just fine.
What level competition does she play? If she a first year or a second year 14U? How big is she? Is she still growing? It is very difficult to say which girls will and will not end up pitching in college. I just found out yesterday that the girl who was one of the best pitchers in our area at 10U and 12U has given up softball....so, anything can happen! If she truly wants to pitch in college then tell her to work hard and her dreams can come true!
Thank you for the replies. She is about 5'5" about 110 lbs soaking wet! LOL she plays JO travel ball been to a few out of state tournament s and have done well. She will be a 2nd year 14 this year but will be playing up at 16u. Her idea. Wants to be starting varsity pitcher at her hs and thinks the only way to get better is to face the older stronger girls.
She is correct that the only way to get better, aside from practice practice practice, is to face better competition. Good for her that she has high goals like wanting to be the starting varsity pitcher and playing college softball!
A 55 mph fastball at 14U is a good speed, not the fastest, but far from the slowest. Does she have a good, reputable pitching coach? If not, she needs one. She will need very good mechanics to push or pass that 60 mph mark.
College softball can be a reality for any softball player who wants it. A full ride is not a reality for most but between athletic money and academic money the college experience is in reach of most kids. There are sooooo many different levels of college softball from DI to low level JC. There are many levels of competition at each level, most DI programs couldn't compete in the WCWS.
Have fun with your DD and try to have fun as a pitcher's dad The ride is rough but fun fun fun if you let it be!
After speaking to many DI coaches, I've come to believe that speed is overrated to a certain extent. As most coaches and folks on this site know, pitch speeds as displayed on ESPN are inflated by 3-5 mph. Van Studemann will tell you that when Kelsi Dunne arrived at Alabama she topped out at 58 on the gun. What she did have was great control and spin/movement. She was able to add speed and become the best pitcher in Tide history. When I played baseball, I could always adjust and hit speed. What I had problems with was location and movement. I'm sure it's not much different in FP softball.