1st Base, 2nd Base, 3rd Base, HOME!SOFTBALL: HITTING
By: Samantha Almond and Tiffany Burnham

Essential Question:
What does motion and force have to do with hitting in softball?

Velocity-The velocity of the ball hitting off the bat has to do with the time you hit the ball and where on the bat you hit the ball. If you hit too late and slowly swing the ball is not going to go very far and it’s going to hit off the top of the bat and most likely go foul. If you swing too soon and too fast you are going to miss the ball completely and get a strike. When hitting the ball you need to make sure you hit the sweet spot on the bat. The sweet spot on the bat is toward the end of the barrel where the majority of the force and momentum is transferred. When the ball hits this spot on the bat it has the potential to go further, depending on the amount of force used.

Mass- Mass is a very important thing in batting. Mass is important because you need to make sure that your bat isn't too heavy. In some cases the heavier the bat the better, because you can apply more force to the bat which will make the ball go further. One thing you don't want to do is use a bat that is too heavy for you though because if you can't apply the amount of force to swing the bat fast enough you can end up hitting the ball foul or swing too slow and striking out. The mass of the bat is very important when batting and can completely mess up your game if the mass of your bat isn't just right for you.

Third Law- Newton’s third law of motion states that every action force will have an opposite and equal reaction force. This law applies heavily to batting in softball. Swinging the bat up until it point when it meets the ball is the action force. Now when the ball pushes against the bat, the bat is also pushes against the ball this is the equal but opposite reaction force, because the ball is going to go flying out into the field with the momentum that you transferred through your bat and the forces will be equal yet opposite because different things happened.
external image athletics04.jpg
This picture is an example of Newton's Third law of Motion because it shows the ball bouncing back from that ball after the bat has swung and hit the ball. Which is a perfect example of Newton's Third law that states, every action force will have an opposite but equal reaction force.

Momentum-The transfer of momentum from the bat to the ball. The more momentum you put into swinging the bat the more momentum the ball will have when you hit it. When the bat hits the ball the ball will have the same amount of momentum that the bat had because the bat transferred its momentum to the ball.

Free Fall- Free Fall has a large effect on the game of softball, especially when it comes to hitting. When the ball leaves the pitchers hands it is flying toward the batter with the same force and momentum that the pitcher put into it, but now there is also free fall. Free fall is when the only force acting on the ball is gravity. This changes the position of the ball it so it will effect the position in which you hit the ball which can determine where the ball will go after it has been hit. With out free fall the ball would always go in a straight line forward without dropping which would make it extremely easy to bat.

Force- Force has a large part in the game of softball and especially when it comes to batting. The forces that are most important in batting are the force from the pitch and the force from the batter hitting the ball. The amount of forced used in the pitch will determine whether the ball will actually make it to the batter. The force from the batter will determine how far the ball travels and whether the ball goes foul.
In this picture the dark blue arrow shows how free fall or gravity pulls down on the ball which has effect on where you swing, the black arrow shows how the ball is going forward with the force from the pitch, and the turquoise arrow shows the momentum from the swing of the bat that will be transferred to the ball when they connect.

Another important thing in softball is your stance. Your stance is very important because it helps to apply more momentum and force into your swing.

Friction- Friction is involved a lot with batting, in the equipment used and during your swing. The equipment used is used for a reason. Cleats are designed to to create more friction so that you are able to start running and stop easier and faster. Aluminum bats used in fast pitch softball have a grip on the handle to help create friction as well. When you bat your hands are supposed to rotate and when your hands rotate it creates friction between your hands and the bat. If you are at batting practice and are continually swinging you will feel your hands and the handle of the bat start to get warm because friction causes heat.

Samantha and Tiffany's Knowledge