Softball Research


The Sports Medicine and Movement Lab (SMML) has analyzed the pitching of USA Softball including Cat Osterman, USSSA Pride, a professional softball team in Florida, and All-American softball pitcher and ESPN analyst, Amanda Scarborough. The Lab also worked with the Auburn University Softball team from 2014 – 2017. They assessed pitching, hitting, and throwing, and helped improve performance. In addition, they Sresearched the mechanics of over 50 collegiate softball pitchers to study injury risk and performance. Much of the SMML’s work has been featured on ESPN and the SEC Network.

Highlight Videos

Beyond the Bases: Auburn’s Pitching Lab

The SEC Network provides an inside look at how the Sports Medicine and Movement Lab is improving pitching mechanics.

Scarborough and Rutledge with Oliver
ESPN’s Amanda Scarborough and Laura Rutledge explore the science behind the pre-throwing program of AU Softball. ESPN Video: Beyond the Bases.
Scarborough and Rutledge on balance boards
ESPN’s Amanda Scarborough and Laura Rutledge try out some of the pre-throwing exercises. ESPN Video: Balance Board Report.
amanda scarborough pitching
ESPN’s Amanda Scarborough visits the SMML at Auburn for a pitching analysis. Video featuring ESPN Analyst Amanda Scarborough.

Pain History and Pitching Mechanics

From Spring 2016-2017 the SMML collected data on over 90 collegiate softball pitchers on pain history and pitching mechanics. Data included 17 NCAA softball teams representing 9 conferences, with three of the teams ranking in the NCAA top 20 for consecutive years. During 2017, many were ranked in the NCAA top 20, and additionally:

  • three were in the top 10 of NCAA most victorious pitchers
  • two were ranked in the NCAA top 20 for hits allowed
  • three were ranked in the NCAA top 20 for strikeouts per seven innings
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