The batting average is the most common number that you will see in a softball player’s stat line. It is the average number of hits you get per at-bat or game. It is also referred to as a “slugging percentage” because it measures how often you get on base, reaches base via a hit or a walk, and then score.

Young softball batter preparing to hit.

Average, good, and excellent batting averages in softball

Different leagues have different batting averages. Let’s find out more about what’s considered to be “average,” “good,” and “excellent or rare” in softball - in terms of a hitter’s batting average.

  • In lower competition levels such as 8U, the batting average is not consistent and can go up to as much as .700 - which is insane in more serious competitions.
  • In 14U to 18U softball games, anything above .400 is generally considered “good,” and .500 is considered exceptional.
  • A good hitter at the college level should ideally have a batting average of roughly .300. The best college-level softball players in the country have a batting average above .400.
  • The batting averages are generally higher in slow-pitch softball than in fast-pitch softball. A good slow-pitch batting average is .500.

The softball batting average is typically higher when compared to baseball in the same level of competition or age group.

Who has the highest batting average in softball?

The highest level of competition in the US softball scene is the D1 college softball. Here are the top 5 players in terms of batting averages at the time of writing:

  1. Sydney McKinney (.522) - Wichita St.
  2. Jocelyn Alo (.515) - Oklahoma (also ranks #1 for home runs)
  3. Madison Carr (.453) - Utah Valley
  4. Cheyenne Cavanaugh (.451) - Belmont
  5. Shelby Echols (.448) - Houston Baptist

The top 5 teams with the highest cumulating batting averages at this level are:

  1. Oklahoma (.371)
  2. Louisiana (.351)
  3. Wichita St. (.348)
  4. BYU (.336)
  5. Southeastern La. (.334)

Unsurprisingly, most of these top players and teams also have higher runs per game (PG) ranking. Jocelyn Alo and Sydney McKinney are tied for the most runs per game at 1.35, closely followed by Tiare Jennings from Oklahoma at 1.34.

Calculating the batting average in softball

The batting average is the most basic statistic in baseball, and it’s what you probably think of when you hear the word. It’s an attempt to determine how often you hit a ball in play. If you’re good at hitting home runs, your batting average will be high; if you’re good at getting singles and doubles, your standard will be lower.

There are two ways to calculate a player’s batting average:

  1. Statistic: Batting Average (BA) = ((H + HR)/(AB + BB + HBP))*atBat
  2. Theoretical Formula for Batting Average is: (H + HR)/(AB + BB + HBP)

The “Statistic” formula assumes that a batter hits both fair and foul balls and does not walk or hit by the pitch. The “Theoretical” formula assumes that a batter hits balls both fair and foul, does not walk or hit by pitch, and strikes out less than 1% of the time.

In conclusion

Batting average (abbreviated BA) is a statistic used to assess skilled baseball and softball players. The term compares a player’s batting performance using hits and other relevant statistics.

The batting average is a good metric to judge a player’s capabilities, but it’s not the whole picture. Softball is a team game and one with a lot of nuts and bolts. That being said, the batting average is one of the best metrics to compare different batters and even teams on all levels.

It’s a valuable metric - but more scientific and advanced metrics that are more complicated to calculate are slowly replacing the de facto importance that the batting average stat used to have.

A good batting average in softball means that you are getting on base frequently enough so that when you do get on base, you can get past first base safely and score runs for your team.