Fastpitch softball is generally played by females of any age. There are still some men’s and co-ed leagues out there, but fastpitch softball is widely regarded as a girl’s sport. But since females starting at about age 5 and all the way up to college age can play fastpitch softball, finding the right bat can be a challenge. There are so many options available, and many of them claim to be the best for a certain type of player. It’s hard to know which manufacturer to believe, so we’ve analyzed some of the top models for you and have separated them from the bad ones. We will provide you with unbiased reviews of some of the best fastpitch softball bats available in 2016.
What is a Fastpitch Softball Bat?
The best fastpitch softball bats are generally made from aluminum, composite or a combination of both, which is referred to as half-and-half. Certain leagues ban different types of bats, so it’s always best to check the rules and regulations of the league or tournament before buying your new fastpitch softball bat.
The main difference between slowpitch and fastpitch softball bats is that a fastpitch bat is designed to hit balls that are travelling at speeds up to 80mph. As a result, the bats are generally lighter to give you the ability to react more quickly to the ball that is coming at a fast speed. The weights of the bats are generally from 23oz to about 28oz and lengths of about 32” to 34”. The barrel diameter is the same as with slowpitch softball bats at 2 ¼”.
Manufacturers have conducted a lot of research into making fastpitch softball bats perfect for the game. As a result, using a fastpitch softball bat when playing slowpitch softball, and vice versa, isn’t going to give you the results that you desire. An effective way of determining the right bat is to read some of the best fastpitch softball bat reviews online to get an idea of what is good and what isn’t.
Once you know the weight and length that you need in a fastpitch softball bat, then you can start looking into the technical details. There are a few different types of fastpitch bats that you need to be aware of. Even if you aren’t a technical person, we will let you know the advantages and disadvantages of the certain types of bats so you will know that you are purchasing the best fastpitch softball bat for you.
Aluminum, Composite or Half-and-Half
Aluminum bats are going to be stronger just because of the nature of the material. It’s a strong material, which could make it a little heavier than other bats, but it is also very responsive when the ball strikes the bat. Composite bats are made from fiberglass, graphite and carbon fiber, which are all lighter materials. These are very popular in fastpitch softball since you need a lighter bat in order to have a quicker reaction time to the speed of the ball. Half-and-half bats combine different materials and can sometimes be the best option. However, some leagues don’t allow half-and-half bats, so you’ll have to be aware of that when looking at them.
One-Piece vs. Two-Pieces
A one-piece softball bat is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a bat that is made of one piece of material all the way through the bat. The advantage is that it is more stable than two-piece bats, but it’s also generally a little heavier. Two-piece bats have two types of construction, so they counter each other to create the perfect swing weight balance. These bats are great for weaker players who want a little more pop because they are generally more flexible than one-piece bats. But stronger players probably won’t like them because they can be a little too flexible at times.
What to Look For in a Fastpitch Softball Bat
The first place you need to start when looking for the best fastpitch softball bat is the length and weight. If you aren’t swinging the proper bat with the basic specifications, then none of the other features will matter.
Once you determine the length and weight that you need, then it will be easier to decide whether an aluminum or a composite bat is right for you. The best way to determine this is to try different bats, if possible. Many sporting goods stores will allow you to at least swing them to find out if they feel comfortable to you, and some may even have demos that you can try out to get an even better feel.
Reading some of the best fastpitch softball bat reviews is also a good way to determine which bat is right for you. Find people who have a similar style as you and read what they think about the bat. It’s never a good idea to base your decision solely on reviews from other people, but it’s definitely a good place to start.
Top Reviews for 2016 Fastpitch Softball Bats
We’ve conducted dozens of reviews of fastpitch softball bats and will now provide you with some of the best fastpitch softball bat reviews for 2016:
Easton MAKO 11 Fastpitch Softball Bat
If you’re looking for an inexpensive bat that is good for a youth league, then look no further than this bat. It is available in lengths as short as 25” and as long as 31”. The Mako bats are widely known as being one of the best brands for youth baseball and softball, so there’s really no need to spend a lot of money on an expensive composite bat. This one provides just enough power and it is weighted perfectly for young kids where they will have enough control and feel confident in the batter’s box.
DeMarini CF7 -11 Fastpitch Softball Bat
If you want your child to have massive pop right when they unwrap a bat, then this is the one you need to buy. The secret is in the thermo-fused taper, which reduces the amount of vibration and directs the energy to the barrel of the bat. That just means that there is more energy right when the ball meets the bat, so you’ll know exactly when you make good contact. The handle is stiffer than many other bats, which also increases the power and makes it more likely to produce solid ball striking even when you don’t hit the sweet spot every time.
Louisville Slugger Xeno Plus Fastpitch (-11) Softball Bat
Sometimes a kid that struggles at the plate just needs a little confidence. Not only will this bat give them that, but it will also provide some pretty good results as well. The Performance Plus composite material is lightweight, but still durable enough to handle some wear and tear. No matter how tall your child is, or how strong they are, the swing weight will be balanced enough for them to be able to control their swing. Most people say that they saw immediate improvement from their child right when they first started using the bat, so it’s worth the money if your child needs a little boost in the batter’s box.
Wilson DeMarini 2016 CF8 Fastpitch Bat (-11)
What makes this bat special is the double wall construction, which basically creates a trampoline effect with the ball when the bat strikes it. It’s a composite bat and is one of the lightest ones that you can find. But the dish end cap is designed where it balances out the weight of the bat at the end and forces more energy toward the sweet spot. Combine that with the D-Fusion handle that also redirects energy toward the barrel and you have a sweet spot that’s ready to explode when the ball meets it. If you want to give your kid an advantage over the competition while still staying legitimate, this is the bat to choose.
Louisville Slugger Lxt Plus Fastpitch (-10) Softball Bat
The most important thing you can do for your child that plays fastpitch softball is to make sure that they are comfortable in the batter’s box. With a bat like this, they have no choice but to feel comfortable and confident. The TRU3 Explosive Power Transfer reduces the amount of vibration significantly and gives you a spring effect when the ball makes contact. It’s constructed with a double wall to ensure that the ball will pop off the bat quickly. This composite bat is one of the lightest that you can find, but you’ll never have to question the durability.
It can be an overwhelming process to try to find the perfect fastpitch softball bat. With all of the different options available, it’s difficult to know which one has the best features that will help you with your game. Comfort is the main thing you need to consider when buying a new bat. Now that you have some of the basic knowledge about fastpitch softball bats, you will be able to check out some of the best fastpitch softball bat reviews and find the bat that is perfect for you!