Who saw the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup, specifically, the game in which Marti Sementelli pitched most of the complete game?
If you have not watched it on YouTube, you should, at least, to see my point…
We’ve all been following Marti since she stepped on the World stage in 2008, pitching consistently with her youth legacy, from age 4, until, still, as a girl, lights out on a team which shall remain anonymous.
Likely the first girl baseball pitcher on a late night show, not unlike the fictional player from the new series, Pitch, yet, throwing out its gamer host.
Marti has not only lights out women, she has been striking out players, boys, girls, women and men for the majority of her existence.
I have always been a fan to the extent observing her has been possible.
What was impressive in the past was her command of eight pitches; her fastball as sound as any.
Her calm and methodical nature should inspire girls and women to go the distance…
Only her inner sanctum knows why she was relived of duty entering her third year of an historic tenure at the College level in the NAIA system.
Black Mountain, North Carolina, has been an epic arena, of the beaten path, in all areas of our National cultural heritage: it was no surprise to hear Marti would be invited to break down the gender barrier in Academic Baseball; considering the religious commitment in the same geographic realm of existence, knowing the boosters and executive leadership had never fully gotten behind her path to excellence in baseball, it came as no surprise that Marti had been released, with little public awareness or for that matter outcry.
That Marti was given a choice, which lead to an extension and greater scholarship opportunity in playing as an outfielder on the college softball team; that she took it; wore it with pride, and joined her school mates and athletic colleagues on the team spoke a silent volume as to what a girl who pitched a hand-fitting, hard ball must acquiess in fielding and hitting a grapefruit-size orb.
I cannot fathom the lifelong sentiments of either her baseball or softball teammates for the entirely of their time on this planet…
Ok: I’m done with the preamble – I have not taken the time to articulate my thoughts on Marti, as archetype and hero, nor opinions on the state of baseball for some time. There is much to say, both positive and negative, and the thing I intend on focusing on is only a very hopeful interpretation of what is observed during Marti’s most recent, International effort and method.
It seems apparent to me Marti has dialed down the number of kind of pitches she throws today.
While still an impressive fastball, what became so apparent was Marti’s homage to the Eastern Game as introduced by the Japanese, likely, first inculcated in 2008. However, seemingly a cultural chasm, observing both methods, they have learned in eight years how to balance when rocking each other’s world.
The Japanese threw solid fastballs this year, of 2016, while maintaining their off-speed approach in mix.
Marti now has terrific command of a dominant off-speed pitch.
In pitching to boys and men, it is likely that her approach was viewed as compensation for lacking the power in her fastball.
That argument has probably lead the the greatest amount of destruction among boys and men’s arms generations have ever seen or heard of, all in the name of powering against batters who have become equally able at pounding a fastball.
Yet the boys and men may still be lacking in both ability and discernment in targeting a slower, whipping pitch.
To me the most impressive observation of all women performing during the WBSC WC 2016 was how masterfully the women, who are deemed, by men, to be the best baseball players in the world, interpret a pitch from start to finish.
The Achilles’ heel: the pitcher with a dominant fastball approach. It failed them.
Only the batter who had experience facing the complex sequence of pitches could have met the match on the mound.
What I will not concede is whether Marti was the best pitcher during the tournament, leaving the pitching speed off the field.
I felt that the teams that dominated during the World Cup did so due to the expertise of their pitcher who used mechanics well to deliver the best possible sequence, without relying heavily on the fastball.
In that way, Pitch will be instrumental in setting the tone for the future of Women’s Baseball as a new sport, recognized by International Sporting organizations as a unique form of the game.