Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Softball: An Evaluation of Statistics for Playoff Berths and Winning Percentage

Presented by:
Katherine Arneson Kasey Coutermash (St. Olaf College)

Although the current use of statistics in baseball is extensive, a similar approach in softball is much less developed. In this paper, selected softball statistics (representing various offensive, defensive, and pitching measures) from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC, NCAA Division III) are analyzed to determine the relationship between these statistics and team success over the course of a season. Through the use of two-sample t-tests and multiple regression, we find that (a) seven key statistics separate MIAC softball teams that qualify for playoffs from those that do not; and (b) three key statistics are especially important in predicting team winning percentage. Moreover, the three key statistics from (b) represent all three softball skill areas: batting, fielding, and pitching; suggesting that good teams cannot overlook any area. We indicate several directions for future research, which include the use of logistic regression and the incorporation of more advanced softball statistics.