What kind of softball should you use with your softball or combo pitching machine? It is a common question, with a simple answer: Pitching Machine Softballs. Regulation size pitching machine softballs are designed to deliver a very constant pitch and have better wear factors than any other type of softball when used in softball pitching machines. Unique Sports carries a full line of pitching machine softballs to cover every need for indoor and outdoor use.
Regulation “Real Leather” Softballs: Regulation real leather softballs can be used in softball pitching machines however they will not pitch as consistent as a pitching machine softball. This is a fact that many coaches like as it simulates a real pitch with location changes each time. Regulation real leather softballs also have a shorter lifespan. In addition they tend to transfer material to the wheel(s) or throwing pads. This material transfer may cause a build up to develop on the throwing surfaces. Material build up, if left un-checked can affect performance of the pitching machine but can be controlled by removing it with #60 sandpaper or emery cloth. This should be done on an “as needed” basis at the time the material buildup is detected.
DO NOT USE SYNTHETIC LEATHER SOFTBALLS!! Synthetic leather softballs were not designed to be used in softball pitching machines and may leave a massive amount of buildup on the throwing surfaces of the machine, effecting pitching machine performance. Many Synthetics also have a harder core then a Regulation Real Leather Softball which makes the ball give less when it is being pitched. This can drastically affect the pitching accuracy. When using real softballs, use only regulation leather balls.
Ball Consistency: In order to assure accuracy, the softballs being used should be of the same type, wear and manufacturer. A softball pitching machine will only be as consistent as the softballs being used: