The whole history of "batches" and "dumbing them down" is made up though, completely made up if you know how softballs are made.
There is a variance in batches and compression based on current manuf standards. Some balls will be harder than the last batch at times. But its nothing done that "dumbs it down" it was just a batch that didn't test as well from the factory.
retested the ball? Is it a 44 400 or is not? Is dudley making balls to spec or not?
Your theory should be able to be filled in now. There is going to be a variance in core compressions on big batched produced and in between different runs of balls. The materials and process is just not able to get that exact right now, for a price that softball players wish to pay.