Picking the best fastpitch softball bats 2017 is mostly about what feels right for you. Your swing is likely to improve and get you those home runs if you are comfortable and confident. If you want to get it right the first time, pick a bat that is suitable for your size, weight, strength, and age.
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Best Fastpitch Softball Bats 2017
Every type of fast pitch softball bat in the market has its drawbacks and benefits. Some of the factors players consider when making purchase decisions include:
- Break-in time
- Size of sweet spot
- Trampoline effect
- The total weight and weight distribution
With these as our main criteria, we set out to find out which are the best fast pitch bats for the 2017 season and came up with this list.
DeMarini CF9 (-11) Fast Pitch Bat
The DeMarini CF9 is one of the best fastpitch softball bats to have hit the market. DeMarini has constructed the barrel of this bat with paraflex composite material. As a result, you are able to get a lot of trampoline effect and pop out of this barrel.
The flexible barrel allows you to hit the incoming softball harder and farther. The bat is perfectly suited for players aged between 12 and 14. The handle of this bat is constructed using D-Fusion 2.0 technology and has a slim profile at only 2 ¼ inch size.
This allows players to grasp this handle with ease and wield the bat with utmost confidence, having full control over the swing momentum. The ease and speed of the bat allows players to channel the maximum amount of their swing momentum into the barrel.
The CF9 bat is certified for use in all major leagues. It carries the USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA and ISF certifications. The bat is available in lengths ranging from 28 inches to 33 inches with corresponding weight options ranging from 17 ounces to 22 ounces.
DeMarini 2017 Vendetta -12 Fastpitch Bat
The DeMarini 2017 Vendetta is another top-performing fastpitch softball bat this year. This bat is ideally suited for players aged 10 and above. The barrel as well as the handle of the bat comes constructed with composite material.
This means that you get a lot of pop in the barrel and the enhanced trampoline effect lets you hit powerful shots on the plate. The composite barrel of this bat is incredibly responsive, offering you maximum control during swinging.
The composite handle of the bat features D-Lite technology, which minimizes any feedback on the handle and lets you wield this handle very smoothly. Another notable feature of this bat is the Big D End cap which mitigates vibrations throughout the bat and makes the bat perfectly balanced for the right swing.
The bat has a two-piece construction and carries all major certifications including ASA, NSA 2012, USSSA, ISF and ISA. The 2017 Vendetta bat has a weight drop of -12 and It is available in lengths ranging from 29 inches to 33 inches and corresponding weight options ranging from 17 ounces to 21 ounces.
Easton FP17SF10 Stealth Flex 10 Fastpitch Softball Bat
The Easton FP17SF10 Stealth Flex bat is another top fastpitch softball bat this year. This bat is the latest release in the trademark line-up from Easton. The most outstanding feature of this bat is the sheer amount of flex offered by its barrel.
Easton has constructed this bat using two-piece TCT Thermo Composite technology. As a result, you are able to gain maximum pop on this bat’s barrel while also channeling the most of your momentum into the barrel during hitting.
The CXN Zero technology used in this bat also eliminates any vibrations and minimizes any feedback on the player’s hands, so that the players are able to wield this bat with smooth confidence. The handle of this bat features an ultra-thin 29/32” body which helps the players grasp the bat with a firm and solid grip.
The handle is topped with a 1.2mm Hyperskin grip which augments the hold on the handle and ensures better swing stability. The Stealth Flex 10 bat features a weight drop of -10 and a barrel diameter of 2.25 inches. It is certified for ASA, USSSA, ISA, NSA, SSUSA and ISF leagues. The bat is available in lengths ranging from 30 inches to 34 inches with corresponding weight options ranging from 20 ounces to 24 ounces.
Rawlings Quatro Composite High School/Collegiate Fast Pitch Softball Bat
Rawlings Quarto composite bat is another top-performing 2017 fastpitch softball bat. The iconic black-and-white looks of the bat make it one of the best-looking top bats this year. The Quarto bat is made from composite material, offering top performance on the plate.
It features a four-piece construction and Rawlings has poured a lot of cutting-edge technology into the design of this bat. The ultra-high performance barrel of the bat offers great pop and lets you hit the incoming softballs into the distance with ease and speed.
The connection between the handle and the barrel utilizes trademark Rawlings design, ensures that the maximum amount of the player’s swing momentum is channeled right into the barrel. The connection also mitigates any feedback into the handle, offering a very smooth hitting experience.
Rawlings has further used vibration dampening technology in the handle, ensuring a very smooth feel upon impact. The Quarto bat has a weight drop of -10 and features a barrel diameter of 2.25 inches. It is certified for use in USSSA, ISA, ISF and NSA leagues. The bat is available in lengths ranging from 30 inches to 34 inches with corresponding weight options ranging from 20 ounces to 24 ounces.
DeMarini Bustos Fastpitch Softball Bat (-13)
The Buston fastpitch softball bat is another top performer from DeMarini this year. Featuring an iconic deep blue design, this bat comes constructed with a DX1 alloy barrel and composite handle. The alloy barrel of the bat is ideally suited to power players who rely on their swing momentum when hitting on the plate.
The bat has a two-piece construction. This, together with the composite handle, adds a significant amount of trampoline effect to the barrel and allows the players to hit incoming softballs into the distance with smooth ease.
The Half-and-Half construction of the bat offers the best of both alloy and composite materials. And in the hands of a power player, this bat can be a true hitter.
The bat has a weight drop of -13 and features a 2.25 inch barrel. It is available in lengths ranging from 29 inches to 32 inches and corresponding weight options ranging from 16 ounces to 19 ounces.
Miken Chill-10 Composite Fastpitch Softball Bat (2-Piece)
The Miken Chill-10 is a wonderful composite. It is a two-piece bat made with sensi-flex technology to maximize on energy transfer to the barrel. This of course enhances the bat’s trampoline effect, sending all sweet spot hits further towards and over the fence.
The bat is made using Miken’s new technology, Tetra-core, where the bat is made with an extra inner core tube. The inner tube increases compression thus enhancing the bat’s responsiveness to amazing limits.
Like most other Miken composite bats, the Chill-10’s design stops the aftershocks of ball impact and the sting from reaching the hitter’s hands. It needs no breaking in and offers a fantastic pop right off the wrapper.
Nonetheless, this bat is better off when used with younger players. Older, stronger, big hitters may cause quick damage. In fact, it should never be used in slow pitch softball matches. Also, avoid playing cage balls and using in very cold temperatures.
Types of Fastpitch Softball Bats
Aluminum Fastpitch Softball Bats
Aluminum bats have a comfortable, lightweight feel that makes you feel in control when you step up to the plate. Most aluminum bats have an increased sweet spot and the material is extremely tough to resist breaking or cracking. These bats are sure to last you season after season.
Most aluminum fastpitch softball bats are single-piece bats. Thus, the energy of the swing is fully transmitted to the ball during contact, giving the ball the necessary power to soar over the fence.
To add more swinging power to your bat, manufacturers now make double-layer aluminum bats. The extra layer adds pop to your hits and adds power to your swing without significantly increasing the weight.
Alloy Fastpitch Softball Bat
Alloy fastpitch bats are generally made of aluminum mixed with other metals. The end result is a bat stronger than aluminum, yet with thinner, more responsive barrel walls. Alloy bats are typically one-piece, though a few brands have two-piece alloy bats.
A great advantage of alloy bats is, even after prolonged use, they will dent rather than crack or break. This ensures that you can use your bat for much longer even after minimal damage.
Alloy bats are cheaper and do not require lengthy break-in periods. Nevertheless, alloy bats tend to have a smaller sweet spot compared to composite bats.
Fastpitch Softball Bats Composite
Composite bats were first introduced in the 1980’s but didn’t perform will. The introduction of graphite-fiber materials coated with epoxy resins drastically improved performance, thus composite bats made a grand resurgence in the early 2000’s.
Composite bats are lighter than alloy bats. They exhibit a higher swing speed and players achieve greater distances with each hit. They generally have a larger sweet spot compared to other bats and also have a higher trampoline effect.
Composite bats have a more precise weight distribution and are constructed in such a way as to reduce the sting in the player’s hand upon ball impact. However, composite bats require a longer and more elaborate breaking-in process compared to all other types of bats.
Fastpitch Vs SlowPitch Softball Bats
Why would anyone use a fast pitch bat in a slow pitch game or vice versa? It doesn’t make sense, as these are two distinctly different sports equipment made for very different play situations. Fast pitch and slow pitch differ in these different ways:
1. Manner of Use
As the names suggest, the pitching speed is very different for fast pitch and slow pitch softball. In a slow pitch game, the ball travels at around 25mph while a fast pitch ball moves at a minimum of 45mph.
Moreover, a fast pitch ball will likely travel in a vertical line to the strike zone while a slow pitch ball moves in an upward 6 to 12 feet high arc aimed to drop on the plate. This means for each of these games you will swing at different speeds and hold your bat at different angles.
Obviously, in a fast pitch game you will have to use quicker reflexes and have a faster response time once the pitcher releases the ball. On the other hand, in a slow pitch softball game you may have a little more preparation time but you will be expected by your team mates to hit harder and further.
Consequently, fast pitch bats are typically lighter than slow pitch bats. The lighter bat enables you to have a more balanced swing, exercise more control in your movement, and have a sweet spot large enough to at least make contact with the pitched ball.
Slow pitch softball bats will be heavier because you are expected to make a solid hit that will drive the ball far away rather than simply making contact. Your posture is also different to allow for balancing the extra weight in order to hit the arced pitch.
Fast pitch bats typically weigh in at between 23 to 28 ounces a piece. On the other hand, slow pitch bats will weigh in the range of 26 to 30 ounces.
The extra weight in the slow pitch bat is to create greater momentum for slugging the ball. Using such a heavy bat in a fast pitch game would drastically slow down your reaction time and result in strikeouts.
Both slow pitch and fast pitch softball bats come in generally the same sizes. However, fast pitch bats have a wider range as they can be shorter. All brands produce slow pitch bats in the length range of 33 and 34 inches, with the 34” being the most popular. Fast pitch bats are in the same range but can also be made at length of 32 inches for junior players.
All softball bats have a narrow barrel with the diameter measuring 2 ¼ inches. Depending on the brand and model, the barrel may be uniform in thickness or may taper to that maximum diameter size.
Most softball bats whether for slow pitch or fast pitch have a tapered mid-section that is about 6 inches long. They all come with a narrow handle that is typically 7/8” in diameter.
Softball bats are often described by their drop. The drop is the differential that shows the ratio between the weight and the length of the bat. It is a simple number gotten by deducting the length from the weight. For instance, a 34” bat weighing 24 ounces will have a -10 drop.
Most fast pitch bats have a negative drop of between -8 and -13. A -13 drop bat will feel much lighter in the hand compared to a -8 drop. Slow pitch bats will typically have a drop ranging from -8 to -4, though it can go even higher to +4 for the very big hitters.
5. Hit Types
As mentioned above, slow pitch bats have only one use. They are for slugging the ball as far out as possible. In contrast, fast pitch hitters may not get a chance for slugging due to the high speed of the ball. Instead, they are allowed to use their bats for slapping, bunting, and hitting singles.
6. Age and Gender
Fast pitch softball is a highly competitive game reserved for female players. Players can be as young as 5 years old to college and pro level. The bats for fast pitch usually reflect the age of the players.
On the other hand, slow pitch softball is played by both genders as a recreational pastime. It is mostly played by adults and the leagues are usually after-work indulgences.
7. Bat Choice
If you use a fast pitch bat in a slow pitch softball game, you are very likely to damage it. The impact of the ball on barrel is usually more forceful so you risk denting, cracking, or breaking the bat.
Contrarily, if you use a slow pitch bat in a fast pitch softball match, the bat will likely remain free of damage. It will also be free of hits as you probably will strike out on all pitches due to the heavier weight and your slow reaction.
Baseball bats are expensive, Make your choice wisely depending on the type of softball game, playing strategy, and your weight, height and strength.
Always keep in mind your leagues regulations and specifications before making your purchase of your preferred best fastpitch softball bats. Generally, a bat with an ASA sticker will work for most softball leagues.
Choosing the best fastpitch softball bat depends on the style and preference of the player. If the player is a power hitter who relies on her hitting prowess, an alloy-barrel bat such as the DeMarini Bustos is a great choice. If you want the top-performing material as well as cutting-edge technology in your bat, the Rawlings Quatro fits the bill well. If you want a simple and reliable top performing fastpitch bat, the DeMarini CF9 or Vendetta would be the way to go. After weighing the pros and cons of these shortlisted bats, you can make the final decision based on your own needs and preferences.