I get to see a college senior who plays for one of the local colleges (Pac-12) and who recently made the US Nation team up close fairly often. She doesn't seem especially tall to me and she's whip thin. I got to wondering how she does it, meaning being so dominant in softball. She hit 21 home runs last year. It got me wondering how important size, especially height really is and if college players are taller than the average woman. I know the manager of my oldest DD's 1st year 14U team loves tall players and has passed over some players in tryouts who were shorter against my advice.
I looked at the 2017 rosters of 9 teams (182 players total) that finished in the top ten last year (Florida St doesn't list the height of their players) and and did a little googling and found that:
The average height on these top ten teams is 66.63736264 inches or 5' 6.64"
The average height of a woman in the US is 5' 4"
The average height of a white US woman is 5' 5"
26% of the players on these 9 teams were 5 '4" or less
13% of the players on these 9 teams were 5' 3" or less
The shortest players (4 in total) were 5' 1"
26% of the players were 5' 9" or taller (arbitrary number that seems "noticeably tall" for a woman to me).
6 players were 6' tall or taller the tallest being 6' 2" (2)
I didn't take note until too late but the last four players I noted at 6' or taller were all pitchers.
So, it seems softball players, at least those in the top programs really are taller than average, but it's not a requirement. There are a good number of average or less than average size women on top teams.
The player who I mentioned in the beginning of my post is listed at 5' 7" so she is actually taller than average, which still, to my eye, doesn't seem that tall. I wonder if living in a prosperous, healthy west coast city skews my perception. Perhaps, people are just taller here?
My own DD, who just turned 13 in December is 5' 4", but is one of the shorter players on her team. Do I have to worry now? - just kidding if you can't tell.