Fastpitch softball bats are generally used by females aged anywhere between 5 and 20. For this reason, these are also termed as girl softball bats (although it is sometimes used by boys too). Fastpitch bats usually have a 2 and a quarter inch barrel diameter, and its length to weight ratio is approximately between 8 and 13.
Most of the best fastpitch softball bats are made from Aluminum or Composite or a combination of two, termed half and half. Most fastpitch bats are approved for play in most fastpitch organizations, but yet it’s best to check with the local league’s rules before buying these softball bats.
The Ultimate Buying Guide To Choosing The Best Fastpitch Softball Bats
The key to finding the right fastpitch softball bat for you is to answer these 2 questions:
- How long should your bat be?
- How heavy should your bat be?
When you find the bat with just that right length and comfortable weight that allows you to hold it steady and swing effortlessly, you know you’ve picked a winner.
Generally fastpitch bats range anywhere between 26 to 32 inches for young players and 30 to 34 inches for the player in high school and college.
The expected drop weight of a fastpitch bat will be anywhere between -8 to -13. The drop weight is nothing but the length-weight ratio. The reason this number is negative is that you take the weight of the bat and subtract the length, and so it is termed as ‘drop’.
For example, if your bat is 30 inches long and weighs 20 ounces, then the drop weight for the bat is -10. The other thing that you need to check is the bat material. Typically, fastpitch bats come in aluminum and composite. The type of material determines the certification for the bat. Not all fastpitch bats are approved for play in all leagues. So, when buying the bat, it is important to check both the material of the bat and the certification.
The different sanction leagues include ASA, ISA, USSSA, and NSA. ASA tends to have the strictest bat-ball speed policies, so if the bat has ASA approval certification, then most other certifications will also be approved.
Quick buying tips
Before buying, try practice swings with different bats, so you can figure out the size and weight that suits you best Practice time is best to test the speed and performance of a bat.
Remember, during a long game, you might want a lighter bat, as opposed to a heavier one, so factor that in.
Lastly, if a friend has the same bat you wish to buy, test the bat wearing the whole softball gear, so you get the exact feel of the bat with all the equipment. Along with a lowdown on the size, performance availability as well as price, so you can make an informed choice!
Top 3 Best Fastpitch Softball Bats – Reviews:
Before buying a fastpitch bat, it is important to analyze the requirement. The size, grip, and design of the bat will depend on the age and expertise of the person who will be playing with it. Below mentioned are three fastpitch softball bats that come in a variety of sizes starting from the little leagues to college playoffs.
The Easton YB15MKT is a premium softball bat. It is available in 4 sizes – 31 to 34 inches with the bats measuring 21 to 24 ounces respectively. The YB15MKT MAKO TORQ-10 is sought after for its 360 Torq handle technology.
The Easton Mako Torq 10 is packed with features, some of which put it in a completely different league from its competitors. The feature list includes:
- 360 Torq handle technology
- Drop weight -10
- TCT thermo composite technology
- Two-piece Conation technology
- Fast swing; low MOI
The Easton Mako softball bat has a never before seen, rotating handle. This means that the handle of the bat rotates. This technology allows the player to maximize swing efficiency. It means that the player can use the existing swing to get into the hitting zone faster and hold it there longer, thereby increasing the chances of hitting the ball in every direction.
The thermal composite technology used in building this bat allows for the extra-long barrel, which provides the players with a significantly larger sweet spot. Also, this bat minimizes the harsh vibrations that players experience when the bat hits the ball.
Easton MAKO claims that their two-piece Connexion technology optimizes energy transfer. This means that more of your energy is transferred to the ball and the overall power of the bat impact is improved.
This is the best fastpitch softball bat in terms of innovation and technology.
While the main focus is the performance and features of the bat, it adds to the desirability quotient when the bat looks stylish and sleek and the MAKO Torq 10 by Easton ticks all the right boxes in the look department.
From a usage perspective, when you give this bat a swing, the rotating handle does allow better control, and it allows you to get to the balls faster, and if you are practicing, you will find that you can hit a lot more balls. The handle helps square up the stance with the ball perfectly, so you end up playing more than missing. This is true, even for the amateurs.
As with most softball bats, this one too rates high on the ‘pop’ meter; i.e. when you hit the ball, there’s a wonderful pop, which you enjoy more because there is minimal jarring from the impact of the bat hitting the ball.
Affordability and Availability
The Easton Mako Torq 10 is easily available online. If you keep a close eye, you might find a good bargain on this, as Amazon, eBay, and Justbats, have sales where softball bats are available at discounted rates. Buying online is cheaper, and the delivery is fast.
The Easton FP15MK10 MAKO CXN Zero is promoted as the zero vibration bat. The standout feature of this softball bat is its extra-long barrel. Like the MAKO Torq 10, this one too has the Thermo Composite technology. The addition is the CXN Zero Conation technology.
This fastpitch softball bat is best known for its zero impact vibration and impressive reach.
While Easton products have similar features, the FP15MK10 MAKO CXN ZERO -10 manages to include a bundle of impressive features:
- Ultra-thin diamond grip
- Drop weight-10
- TCT Thermo Composite technology
- CXN Technology
- Optimized Barrel design
- Fast swing; low MOI
The Easton 2015 FP15MK10 MAKO CXN ZERO -10 is the best fastpitch softball bat in its range when it comes to bat speed. The Thermo composite technology used to manufacture this bat provides a player with a huge sweet spot, and the bat speed is said to be top notch.
This one too has the 2 piece Connexion technology, which allows for better transfer of energy from the body to the bad, thus increasing the impact of the bat swing on the ball. The CXN Zero claims that the technology practically eliminates the vibration a player feels when the bat hits the ball.
Having tested the Easton CXN zero, the first impression is that the CXN technology does work. It’s not zero impact, but anyone who uses this bat can safely say that this one is low on vibration. The extra-long barrel takes a little getting used to, particularly if you are new to the sport itself. But once you get the hang of it, the long barrel and the wide sweet spot, ensure the ball goes a good 10 to 12 feet farther than other regular softball bats.
The color and texture are smooth and stylish. The vibrant orange gives it a ‘cool’ look, which bumps its desirability quotient up by a few more points.
Availability and Affordability
The Easton CXN Zero bat can be easily purchased from any online portal. Amazon usually offers competitive rates. The price difference is because this bat is available in 5 sizes (30 to 34 inches). Online orders will usually be delivered within few days, and while you can buy this from a sports store, the prices are more competitive, and there are better chances of discounts if bought online.
#3- Louisville Slugger Fastpitch Xeno – The Best For Women
The Louisville Slugger Xeno has been named the best fastpitch softball bat in the 2014 Woman’s College Softball world series. That’s quite a reputation to beat. Much like other Louisville bats, the Xeno too has been made with advanced technology that gives this bat high-strength walls. These allow for a lighter swing, and the barrel-handle connection ensures that the bat is steady and durable and has a larger sweet spot. The overall feel is one of stability and durability.
- S1iD barrel Technology
- Balanced swing weight
- iST technology – 2 piece bat
- Synthetic grip, 7/8″ standard handle
- Hundred percent composite design
The Xeno has thin, high-strength walls that provide a much lighter swing weight. This is the best fastpitch softball bat when it comes to peak performance right out of the box; i.e. you don’t need to spend too much time breaking in this bat, it swings light and feels good right from the beginning.
The IST technology is said to give the bat a solid and good overall feel. This bat has an aluminum inner disc that creates a flexible barrel and makes for a large sweet spot. It’s also said to give a much cleaner ‘pop’ and that too when it’s straight out of the box.
Having tested the Louisville Slugger Xeno, most of the claims are true. This bat provides a good pop. The overall texture and feel of the bat is solid and durable and it does feel good to hold this one. While the weight is said to be marginally less, it feels significantly lighter as compared to regular bats. The thin high-strength walls make this is a leaner bat, which allows for a light swing and a much better performance.
Availability and Affordability
The Louisville Slugger Xeno has a wide price range. The price difference is because of the difference in size and weight. The exact price will depend upon the size of bat chosen. Buying online is usually better, as the rates are competitive and the chances of discounts are higher.
All three bats are excellent in design, quality, and performance. The Easton 2015 YB15MKT MAKO TORQ -10 is positioned as a youth bat and the best among the three, but it is packed with new technology and unmatched features. That said the other two are just as impressive.
The Louisville Slugger Xeno has a few more features that make it an attractive proposition for the serious pursuers of the game. Although among the three, the Xeno grip has been known to have the shortest grip lifespan. The two Easton models and the Louisville Slugger are excellent buys, and all three are available at competitive rates on various online portals, including eBay and Amazon.