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What Do Softball Pitching Statistics Mean?

Softball, as is the case with baseball, is a statistic-driven sport. By analyzing a player's statistics, you get an instant glimpse of how she performs during games. A softball pitcher's statistics range from basic to advanced. A pitcher's statistical categories are virtually identical to those in baseball.

Basic Statistics

In most cases, each basic category in a softball pitcher's statistic is abbreviated by a letter or series of letters relating to the category's name. Wins and losses, for example, are identified as "W" and "L," respectively. Other stats include "GS" for games started, "CG" for complete games, "SHO" for shutouts, "SV" for saves, "IP" for innings pitched, "H" for hits allowed, "R" for runs allowed, "ER" for earned runs allowed, "BB" for bases on balls and "SO" for strikeouts.

Advanced Statistics

Some stats require basic math to calculate. For example, "ERA" stands for earned run average, which indicates the average number of runs the pitcher allows per game. "WHIP" represents walks and hits per innings pitched. The chief difference is softball games last seven innings while baseball goes nine. Other statistics include "HBP" for hit by pitch, or the number of batters a pitcher has hit, and "WP," which indicates a wild pitch. "BK," for balk, is a relatively rare stat. "SFA" and "SHA" mean sacrifice flies against and sacrifice hits against, respectively.

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About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.

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