If you’re getting ready to slug a ball traveling toward you at over 77 miles per hour, chances are you’re about to play a pretty intense game of fastpitch softball. You don’t want to embarrass your team with a weak bat made for the slow pitch season. No. You will want to bring your “A” game for this next inning with some of the top fastpitch softball bats made by the pros and for the pros.
If you’re looking for an affordable bat that will work well for you in the upcoming season and will work for all both young and adult age and skill levels, you won’t go wrong with the three most popular brands Louisville Slugger, Easton, or DeMarini.
But how you do know which bat is right for you? For this, there will be more emphasis on the balanced softball bats rather than end load bats, which will be the ultimate game changer if you need a big hit when the time matters. You’ll find that the bats discussed here will be more composite bats rather than aluminum.
A Quick Look at Our Favorite Fastpitch Bats
How Do You Pick a Fastpitch Softball Bat?
When buying your next bat, relying on customer reviews will be beneficial to your final buying decision. That being said, you’ll need to decide which one is most comfortable for you. Sure, the reviews may be good ones, but they won’t make a difference on the field for you unless you know how they feel when you’re swinging. So, while you’re buying, you’ll want to consider these characteristics as you shop around: how the bat performs out of the wrapper, the size of the sweet spot, barrel length, weight, drop, material, grip, handle, performance, durability, and longevity.
Why End Load and Balance are Important
For the pro softball players, end load softball bats will be the way to go. End load softball bats are a unique kind of bat because they are loaded with weight at the end of the barrel. Because of the weight placement, players will need to be more mindful of their swing. With end load, you’ll have a more powerful, durable, and hard swing than a balanced bat. But beware, inexperienced players may have trouble controlling end load bats so they may not be the best first option.
Balanced bats are quite the opposite of end load softball bats, meaning the weight is spread evenly through the barrel making it easier to control, easier and more comfortable to swing, and more suitable for the inexperienced or the younger players. You’ll find these types of bats to be more common with girls playing fast pitch softball or players who are just starting out. The only downside of using a balanced softball bat is the swing is not as intense and may not produce the same magnitude of a hit as it would with an end load bat.
Which Associations Should My Bat Be Approved For?
With our help, you’ll also find bats compatible with any and every softball association known to the game. Most bats are approved by all necessary associations making it easier for you’re the choose without worrying if you have the right bat. Some of those associations will include, United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), National Softball Association (NSA), Amateur Softball Association (ASA), Independent Softball Association (ISA), or International Softball Federation (ISF). For the first time fastpitch players, make sure you know which association you are playing for so you can buy the appropriate fast pitch bat. You can ask your team or your league or expand your research.
The Best Brands
For the fastpitch leagues, you’ll want to keep close to three solid brands that won’t do you wrong while you're trying to hit heavy and fast. When in the market to buy your next bat for the upcoming season, you won’t go wrong with bats from the brands Louisville Slugger, DeMarini, and Easton.
This iconic brand has gone through 132 years of making the best bats known to man. This is the preferred brand of bats for our friends in Major League Baseball (MLB). Thanks to 17-year-old John A. “Bud” Hillerich who made use of his skills during his upbringing in Louisville Kentucky. For the best fast pitch softball bats during your next game, you might want to invest in a one of these.
Founded in 1989, DeMarini is in the lead for one of the best brands known to softball and baseball. They are an American made brand that strives to create bats with enhanced hitting power using some of the latest and greatest in sports innovation.
Easton bats have been around since 1969, and although they can’t match the track record of its competitors, they prove to be useful in a game that needs home runs and they come cheap. Easton equipment takes a little more time to break in, but they will treat you right on the field after a few months of steady cage practice.
Marucci bats are built to meet the demands of today's top level softball player. Utilizing the best technology available along with years of feedback from some of the best players in the game allows Marucci to produce the bats players want and need to be successful at the plate, no matter what level they play.
How Fast Pitch Bats are Built - One Piece vs Two Piece
Bats for fast pitch softball typically come in a couple of different designs. The first thing to know is how they are built. The barrel is the end-part of the bat, and the part that makes contact with the ball. The handle is the tapered portion of the bat the player holds, and the diameter of the handle is referred to as "taper."
Bats for fast pitch softball are usually a one piece design, or a two piece design. They are exactly as they sound - a two-piece bat is made up of a separate barrel and handle, and a one piece design is a single solid unit made up of both the handle, and the barrel.
A one piece bat doesn't provide a ton of flex to absorb the vibration of the hit. This means one piece bats often feel stiff in a batters hands, and can lead to a lot of vibration when hitting the ball, but can provide some serious power.
A two-piece bat is designed to proved a whipping motion during a swing, which helps increase bat speed. A two piece design is often more comfortable in a hitters hands during their swing, and is the preferred bat type for contact hitters.
Reviews of the Best Bats
Easton FP16S312 FS3 Fastpitch Softball Bat
This fast-pitch softball bat is perfect for people of all skills levels from younger players to adult players. The barrel is balanced, easy to control, and ultra-light. This two-piece composite frame is ideal for the inexperienced player thanks to the CXN ZERO technology which reduces the vibration of impact giving you a smooth swing. Don’t expect to have too many heavy hits due to the balanced weight. Consumers report the ball coming off this bat quick, having a nice pop and being a good fastpitch softball bat for girls as young as nine years old. Players who have formerly used DeMarini bats also noted how much more they preferred the Easton brand and its durability. Here are some of its key features:
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Our Favorite Features of the FS3
DeMarini Bustos Fastpitch Softball Bat (-13)
The DeMarini Bustos Bat is another perfect style for the young female softball player. According to consumers, this is a very lightweight bat but still, has a nice pop. This bat was designed for the younger player looking to clear the fence while at bat. Like its Easton competitor, this also is incredibly and reported as having great flex. One con to this bat is buyers reported the bat cracking not long after purchasing. Luckily, if you experience any issues with this bat, you can always take advantage of the 1 Year Manufacturer’ Warranty.
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Our Favorite Features of the DeMarini Bustos
Easton 2015 FP15MK10 MAKO CXN ZERO (-10)
This is the bat with unmatched speed and a killer sweet spot. And this bat has more five-star reviews than any other bat we’ve talked about so far. This is a serious fast pitch bat and can knock fast pitches traveling up to 98 mph out of the park. The fast-pitch softball bat is incredibly lightweight making it easier to swing at faster rates to slug those speedy pitches. This bat also has the CXN ZERO technology to decrease vibration and give a smoother hit for the ultimate performance. Almost 90% of buyers considered this the ideal bat for any game and it wasn’t costly. Although it sounds like a dream bat, buyers still reviewed this bat as taking a little while to break in before it's hot. This is yet, another perfect bat for the younger female fastpitch softball players. The key features of this softball bat are listed below.
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Our Favorite Features of the Mako
Easton 2015 FP15S111 FS1 CXN ZERO (-11)
Like the MAKO model, this bat is incredibly similar in a lot of ways. The ultra-thin diamond grip and CXN ZERO Technology help combat vibration for a much smoother pop. The sweet spot is better than average according to customer reviews, and like its sibling, this bat can swing at speeds fast enough to catch a pitch travel at speeds up to 98 mph. This is not the perfect bat, however, and was as abundant with five-star reviews. Buyers found very little wrong with this fastpitch softball bat except with colder months arrived and the bat was more prone to damaging dents and dings. But despite its minor flaw, consumers still have the opportunity to find a cheap bat for their daughters come softball season.
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Our Favorite Features of the FS1
Louisville Slugger Xeno Plus 17 (-10)
The Louisville Slugger Zeno Plus Softball bat is one of the best fastpitch bats in the game and steps up to the plate with the performance plus composite and dynamic zero friction double wall design. This design allows the bat to have quality flex without too much resistance. The manufacturer promises that this bat possesses an incredible sweet spot, and even balance, and a light swing weight to slug that faster pitches. Not only does it perform well, but it looks nice to boot with the synthetic fade grip for extra comfort. A few cons come with this design, despite its brand reputation and its key features. Customer reviews show that this bat can easily crack and break in just one season. Others observed that this bat felt more like an end load bat rather than a balanced bat, which could mean this is more suitable for adults with better control. Regardless, 85% of buyers found satisfaction in their purchase and have the pleasure of owning the best brand of softball bats on the market. Some of this softball bat’s key features include:
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Our Favorite Features of the Xeno
Marucci CATFX Composite (-9) MFPC79
Marucci is a well trusted name when it comes to softball bats, and their latest offering of the CATFX composite bat brings a lot to the table. Marucci offers a one year warranty on the bat, so if anything goes wrong while you're at the plate, they have you covered.
Featuring a -9 length to weight ratio, and a one piece composite barrel, this bat is ready to bang! Approved for play in ASA, ISA, and USSSA, this bat from Marucci is ready to rock.
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Our Favorite Features
A Wrap-Up on Buying a Bat for Fastpitch Softball
While these fastpitch softball bats are commonly seen among the younger female crowd in fastpitch leagues, these bats are still great for the adult demographic but can still be a little on the lighter side if you carry a little too much power. If you’re looking for a bat that with the longevity to last multiple seasons, any bat by Easton is going to be the better choice. You’ll get a more balanced, controlled bat with the ability to produce a nice pop. And once the bat is broken in properly, the sweet spot will be enhanced for better performance and enhanced confidence in any player. And if you’re a fan of DeMarini and want to try something a little different, Easton might be a good choice for the next season. If you’re looking for end load bats, you won’t find them in this batch.
Always Be on The Lookout For The Best Bat
As you continue with your softball bat buying experience, remember to check the reviews and test the bats out in-store before purchasing online to test the weight, the grip, the swing, and all other personal preferences that can positively or negatively affect your game. No matter the bat, any one of these designs will give you the experience you need to conquer the field this next season.