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How much better is college softball now than 10-20 years ago?

Mar 4, 2015
176
28
New England
I've been having fun watching some older college softball games. One below is UCLA vs. Cal in the 2003 WCWS. I've watched others from this era with Natasha Watley, Jessica Mendoza, etc.

I'm not going to poison the jury with my opinions. More interested in yours.

How good is the quality you see in this game compared to today?

How well were Natasha Watley and Jessica Mendoza playing the game in their college years relative to today's players? Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott are the best ever, but is it because they've continued to get better? Were they dealing better stuff at age 19-20 than some of the best in recent years?

 
Mar 4, 2015
176
28
New England
I wont go as far as saying todays players are better than the players 20 years ago. I do believe that the talent pool is much deeper, meaning that there are a lot more talented teams in the country now than there was 20 years ago.
Yeah, if you go back a full 20 years, then the SEC was barely a factor. The rise of the SEC helped popularize the game in that region of the country, and so the talent pool has grown from that. Many more players coming from Florida, Georgia, etc.
 
Jan 27, 2010
1,832
63
NJ
I'd say overall the players are better. Off season workouts, weight rooms, hitting instruction is way better than it used to be.
 
Feb 17, 2014
7,082
113
Orlando, FL
Can't say that today's best are better than those of the past, but there are many more of them. Everything started to change in 1997 when the SEC finally embraced softball. They fought it tooth and nail but when they went in they went all in.
 
Jul 31, 2015
114
43
Can't say that today's best are better than those of the past, but there are many more of them. Everything started to change in 1997 when the SEC finally embraced softball. They fought it tooth and nail but when they went in they went all in.
Please elaborate. Would love to hear more about SEC softball history.

Players today are better. In 2011 Dallas Escobedo threw 70mph with very little movement and terrible mechanics, yet won a Natty with ASU. Would never happen today.
 
Mar 4, 2015
176
28
New England
Please elaborate. Would love to hear more about SEC softball history.

Players today are better. In 2011 Dallas Escobedo threw 70mph with very little movement and terrible mechanics, yet won a Natty with ASU. Would never happen today.
In the video that I posted, UCLA's ace was Keira Goerl, who allowed only 18 hits in 47 innings of the WCWS that year. Based on that video/game, does she look like she'd be an elite pitcher today?

Of course, even if the answer is no, that doesn't dim her greatness, IMO, or Escobedo's, for example. I believe talented pitchers if given the challenge of better hitters will adjust over time if they can.

One could theorize that this happened w/ Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott. That while they were dominant college pitchers to say the least, they probably had to continue growing to keep up with the progress hitters have made since 2006. They can still dominate well into their 30s, but they might be pitching much better than they did in college or else they might get overpowered.
 
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Jan 27, 2010
1,832
63
NJ
Lots of posts from regulars and those in the know state the hitting is much better today. Pitchers from 20 years ago would probably get rocked today.
 
Nov 18, 2013
1,903
83
It’s hard to compare the two era’s. Pitchers from 20 years ago wouldn’t be as dominant under today’s rules and equipment. On the other hand just think what today’s hitters would look like with aluminium bats facing pitchers at 40’.
 
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