For cheap bats, you’re probably looking at getting either aluminium or cheaper composite bats. Some of these bats can ding easily, but vary wildly in length, weight, and susceptibility to warp, so it’s important to do your homework before you buy.
Fastpitch softball is the most exciting and competitive form of softball, and was an Olympic sport all the way up to Beijing 2008. The most important part of equipment for softball players is undoubtedly the bat. Bats come in various sizes and materials. They must be less than or equal to thirty-four inches long, and two-and-a-quarter inches in diameter.
What to look for?
The bat you choose should be wood, metal, or other, but some leagues insist you have a wooden one. Make sure your bat has an ASA-approved stamp, and is in the list of approved bat models that the ASA national office approves.
Generally, men tend to prefer slow-pitch bats while women prefer the specialized fastpitch bats, but this is a generalisation, and it’s almost entirely dependent on your own personal taste, what feels and looks right for you, and what you can afford to buy.
For a lot of purchases of cheap bats, you’ll be looking to buy for your daughter who is just starting softball, and it’ll be her first bat. Make sure you know how she’s likely to be as terms speed and power, and try and tailor the bat to suit her needs.
Some of the Best Cheap Fastpitch Softball Bats under $100
1. Easton MAKO 11 Fastpitch Softball Bat
The Easton MAKO 11 Fastpitch Softball Bat is a nice, entry-level bat. It retails from $22-$50, depending on what size bat you buy. It’s made of aluminium alloy, and has a capped end, with nice rubber grip.
The Easton is a great choice for beginners; especially younger kids just starting out; it suits the simple game of hitting fast and long. The cons include a tendency to dent quite easily, given that its aluminium, and that could factor into whether this is a long-term purchase.
If you’re just starting out, you’re a straight shooter, and you’re good at minding your equipment, this is a great cheap choice. If you’re a rough-and-tumble unorthodox player, you might want to look elsewhere.
2. DeMarini 2014 Bustos WTDXBFP Fastpitch Softball Bat
The DeMarini Bustos WTDXBFP Fastpitch Softball Bat (2014) is a middle-end fibre-reinforced composite bat. It’s got a two-piece grip to increase control and comfort, has an in-built rotation index to maximise bat life, and comes in four different sizes.
You’ll find that it handles nicely, isn’t too heavy, and is very deft on placement. The weight is on the low side for length, so it’s perfect for your child that’s lighter than most of his/her team, or maybe needs that little bit of extra length to hit the distances.
As its still aluminium composite, there is the usual risk of indenting, although we didn’t notice this in our trials. As with all mid-range bats, the price goes up, and this one retails between $87-$132 depending on what length you choose, so it’s definitely a mark-up from the first choice.
3. Easton FS50 Fastpitch Softball Bat
The Easton FS50 Fastpitch Softball bat is an entry-level aluminium bat, with a choice of five sizes. It comes in lurid pink, so it’s specifically marketed at the young female starting out her batting career!
It’s weighted really nicely for a cheap bat, and at $16-$35, it’s one of the cheapest options out there, and a nice choice starting out. And, by all accounts, it’s got some real troopers through some really promising first seasons, so it’s definitely road-tested.
Where it falls down is denting, which it does very easily, and as a cheap aluminium bat, one should expect this. If you can take that risk, it’s a good purchase. Otherwise, maybe steer clear
4. DeMarini 2016 Uprising Fastpitch Softball Bat
The DeMarini Uprising Fastpitch Softball bat (2016) is an alloy-based mid-range bat coming in with rave reviews. It’s priced from $51-$130 based on a range of five sizes, and very easy to handle.
The first thing you’ll notice about this is the range you can get hitting; it’s a true powerhouse of a bat. It’ll add metres to your bat, and the ball tends to come off the bat faster than some of the earlier models, which is probably a credit to the engineering involved.
It’s not ever going to have the precision of a composite, but for an alloy bat, it’s probably as good as you’re going to see at this price range.
5. Easton FS200 Fastpitch Softball Bat
The Easton FS200 is a durable aluminium-alloy bat coming in seven sizes, ranging from $31-$54 in price. It’s noticeably heavier than it’s cousin, the FS50, and clearly designed to be longer-lasting, and in your shed for a hell of a lot longer than most Easton products.
This bat is a slugger. It doesn’t pretend to be more accurate, or hit farther than any other bat, and it doesn’t do either of these things.
However, it’s a solid back-up bat, or an upgrade from the FS50 if you’re looking for an incremental development. It’s the kind of bat you could take for years to the cages, because it’s heavy enough to be useful, and solid enough to keep shape. That’s what you’ll get from this bat.
6. Easton 2015 FP15MKY MAKO -11 Youth Fastpitch Softball Bat
The Easton FP15MKY Mako -11 Youth Fastpitch Softball bat (2015) is another aluminium alloy bat marketed at the beginner. It’s lightweight, comes in six sizes, and is priced from $24-$69.
It’s light, and it’s for beginners. What makes it attractive is that it really is for beginners; it handles really easily, its light as hell, and it’s cheap as chips. What’s not going for it is that it warps. It’s unlikely to get you through more than one season. But again, that’s not what it’s aiming at; it’s aiming to be your first bat. For your first bat, it’s definitely got a shot.
There are loads of options out there, and oodles of choice. The best advice is to determine why you’re looking to spend under $100. If you want your bat to last, if you want a bat that will hit far, or one that will be very accurate, there are bats here that will fit your criteria.
Most of all, these bats here will provide you with a serviceable, ASA-approved bat to introduce your new player to the world of softball. The specifics are up to you!