Fireballing 15-year-old makes statement with 83 m.p.h. fastball

Told to throw as hard as she could, pitcher Raine Padgham was just following instructions.

Except in this particular instance — a training session at last week’s Baseball B.C. High Performance Camp at Whalley Athletic Park in Surrey — what happened next was as hot as her bright pink hair.

“Eighty-three,” said Anthony Pluta, Canadian Women’s Team pitching coach, reading out loud the velocity of Padgham’s fastball for everyone to hear. 

That’s 83 as in miles, not kilometres, per hour (which would be 134 km/h).

Eighty-three, as in possibly one of the hardest pitches ever thrown by a female player, and almost certainly the hardest ever thrown by a 15-year-old. 

“I’ve seen some pretty hard fastballs,” said Pluta, “but that’s the hardest I’ve seen from a girl in my short time with the national team.” 

“It just kind of happened,” said Padgham, a Grade 10 student at Abbotsford Senior Secondary. “I was super surprised at myself. I’d never broken the [80 m.p.h.] milestone.”

According to coach Logan Wedgewood, the pitch made everyone at the ballpark stop and take notice.

“For most 15-year-olds, regardless of gender, throwing 83 is really fast,” he said.

Afterward, there was no high-fiving or Gatorade shower, says Padgham, just a “good job” from coach Pluta before resuming the business of throwing her bullpen.

The question of whether the pitch actually broke any records has taken a little longer to sort out.

Because women’s baseball is a relatively young sport, the keeping of statistics and records doesn’t seem to be well established. 

Even the Guinness World Book of Records is woefully out of date, listing a 2013 throw of 69 m.p.h. as the fastest ever by a female player.

Internet searches turn up mentions of women throwing 80 and 81 m.p.h., but there’s no official statistics page. 

But there is a go-to person at Baseball Canada: longtime national team coach and manager André LaChance, whose deep knowledge of the women’s game is unmatched in the country.

LaChance’s take: 83 m.p.h. is not a record breaker, but it is remarkable for a 15-year-old.

A readout of Padgham’s pitch. (Submitted by Anthony Pluta)

“In the last 15 years I’ve seen several pitchers throw harder [in the mid-80s], especially in Japan and in the U.S.,” he said on the phone from his home in Ottawa. “So, not a world record, to answer your question.”

Next year when she’s 16, Padgham can take aim at different record. She’ll be old enough to try out for the senior national team and could possibly become the youngest member ever.

LaChance says her potential and talent are obvious, but he’s reluctant to heap expectations on the teen.  

“We always have to be careful to predict the future of an athlete, especially between the ages of 12 to 17 because they haven’t finished their maturation or growth and lots of things can change.” 

But, he added, “It’s going to be interesting to watch her progression, for sure.”

For her part, Padgham says news that the pitch wasn’t record breaking doesn’t change anything.

She’s already set a new goal for a personal best — getting her fastball up to 85.

“It gives me something to work for and to challenge myself with,” she said.

Source link

Johny Watshon

Life is like a running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">News</a> is my passion. Because my visitors have the right to know the truth and perfectly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Cogeco owner rebuffs Rogers-backed takeover offer again: 'Our shares are not for sale'

Tue Sep 8 , 2020
Share on Facebook Tweet it Share on Google Pin it Share it Email Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc.’s largest shareholder and chairman is rebuffing any notion that he and his family would let go of their stake in the telecommunications companies. “Our shares are not for sale. And let […]
Cogeco owner rebuffs Rogers-backed takeover offer again: 'Our shares are not for sale'

Chief Editor

Johny Watshon

Life is like running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting News is my passion. Because my visitors have right to know the truth and perfectly.

Quick Links