The college softball drought is over for the time being. This is great news for softball fans who have been missing their college softball fix since the conclusion of the Women’s College World Series this past spring. Most colleges across the country will participate in fall ball games. Schedules should be posted on team websites, and all games are open invites to all fans.
Fall games are important to college teams and set the tone for the programs heading into the lengthy winter training months. The number of fall games played varies between teams. There is a limit on the number of fall games teams can play and who they can play against. Division I schools will typically play their fall games against DII competition, and some Universities will play a few games against smaller DI or State schools in the area.
Many fall games begin this weekend across the country for DI teams. If you love your college softball and are in need of a fix, check team websites for schedule postings. Below are three things to look for while attending or following along with college softball fall ball games.
Meet the Freshmen: Fall games are the perfect opportunity for coaches to put their newcomers on the field. The college game is a huge adjustment for freshmen and what better way to throw them to the wolves than to give them playing time during fall games. The only way for coaches to truly know what their new players are capable of is to try them out at multiple positions in the field and move them around in the batting order. There is a good chance that freshmen will get equal or more playing time than veterans in fall ball. The freshmen are the future of the program, and it’s important for coaches, teammates, and fans to get to know them during the fall season to see what they are capable of on the field.
Play New Positions: Every year, college softball teams graduate seniors after the conclusion of the spring season. This means position openings and competition for the returning and new players on the roster. The fall season is an excellent opportunity to put players in different positions. These players will get the chance to learn the new position at practice and then apply what they have learned to the games. If you are attending a fall game, don’t be surprised if players play multiple positions, this is normal and something that will benefit the team in the long run.
A Taste of What’s to Come: Fall ball games are practice games for teams before they head into the winter training months leading up to the regular season. Fall ball games do not count toward a team’s record and are only practice games; however, they should be taken seriously. Fall games are often a preview of what’s to come for the spring season. The freshmen will be putting on a jersey and stepping onto the field for the first time in the fall. The returning players will be back on the field where the magic happened last spring. Coaches will be trying players out at multiple positions on the field and in the hitting lineup and will study film so they can put the best team on the field come spring time. Fall games are also implemented to get fans excited and ready to come back and support the team during the spring home games. Fall ball games are important to the teams, the schools, the fans, and the sport.