With the 2017 season fast approaching, do you have the right bat to let you play at the top of your game? Or do you just grab whatever is closest when you’re leaving the dugout?
It’s important to find the best fastpitch softball bat for you. The right bat can improve performance and reduce your chance of injury.
If you are new to softball or just need a refresher, check out what makes a softball bat different from a baseball bat. Knowing what you are looking for is the first step in finding the right bat!
In this article, we will show you the best fastpitch softball bats for the 2017 season. First, we’ll do a quick review on the importance of picking the right bat and some quick tips on how to choose the best fastpitch softball bat for you.
Once we’ve got that covered, we’ll get into the reviews so you can find the right bat for you.
Why You Need To Find The Best Fastpitch Softball Bat
Whether you already have a bat or are looking to purchase one for the first time, it’s a good idea to go back to the basics of bat selection.
Most players actually use a bat that is too heavy for them. It’s tempting to use the heaviest bat that you can swing. It is common softball knowledge that a heavier bat puts more power behind your swing.
However, you are better off using a bat that is the right weight for you, rather than pushing yourself to use something heavier. Using a bat that is too heavy impairs your performance.
Your swing will be slower, meaning you won’t be able to get it around in time to face off against faster pitchers. You won’t be able to follow through properly either, reducing the power of your swing!
Plus, a bat that is the wrong weight can put you at risk for injury. Your hips, arms, and shoulders are all at risk from strain caused by the excess weight.
We’ll go through what you need to look for when choosing the right bat for you. Once you know how to find your perfect bat, we will get into the reviews.
Choosing The Best Fastpitch Softball Bat For You
We’ve covered this before in a lot of detail, so we will just give you a quick refresher before we get into the reviews.
The main things you need to consider when finding a bat are length, the barrel material, one piece or two piece, balance, grip, and price.
The right length can only be determined through testing. Try out bats of different lengths, practicing your swing. Ideally, you will have teammates or friends whose bats you can borrow at practice so you can actually test how it feels to connect with the ball. With enough testing, you’ll find the length that feels best for you.
Barrels are generally made of composite materials or aluminum alloy. Composite bats are lighter and have a bigger “sweet spot” while aluminum bats are more responsive and generally less expensive. Composite material bats tend to have other advantages, such as more evenly balanced weight.
One piece bats have the barrel melded to the handle, while in two piece bats they are separate.
The balance refers to whether the bat is top heavy or whether the weight is distributed more evenly along the barrel. Power hitters often prefer a top heavy bat, while balanced bats are more common.
The grip on the handle is entirely personal preference. Go with what feels right!
And as for price, figure out your budget beforehand. You will be able to find a bat to suit any budget (though of course, the best fastpitch softball bats do tend to be more expensive).
Now that we know how to choose the right bat, let’s take a look at the best fastpitch softball bats for the 2017 season.
The Best Fastpitch Softball Bats for 2017 – Reviews
The 2017 Louisville Slugger LXT Hyper tops our list of the best fastpitch softball bats of 2017.
An improvement on the already popular 2016 model, this composite bat’s sweet spot is essentially the entire length of its barrel.
The bat’s PBF Barrel technology provides powerful bounceback. Plus, the composite material reduces vibration to almost nothing. With this bat, you can swing with all your strength without having to deal with the sting in your hands.
It is perfectly balanced (not top heavy) and optimized for a fast, smooth swing. Of course, for power hitters the bat may feel a bit on the light side, but for most batters, this bat is a dream.
Plus, unlike other composite bats, this Louisville Slugger model does not require any breaking in. That means you can start using it in games immediately!
With a 2 1/4 inch diameter barrel, this bat is sleek and streamlined while still providing the substance you need for a powerful swing.
Much like the Louisville Slugger LXT Hyper 17, this bat from Easton makes the most of the bat’s sweet spot through advanced technology.
Easton’s TCT™ Thermo Composite Technology lengthen’s the bat’s sweet spot and improves the trampoline effect, sending your hits further. You won’t feel the vibration at all thanks to this bat’s comfortable grip, called HYPERSKIN.
The thin handle is great for getting a tight grip on the bat. However, since this is smaller than what you might be used to, it may take a little while to get used to the thin handle.
If you put in the practice, it will be well worth the effort!
It is a two piece bat made of composite materials, however. So you will need to break it in to make sure to order it before the season begins.
This two-piece composite material bat is great for any skill level.
The barrel diameter and length are standard. The diameter is 2 1/4 inches and the length is 12, which will suit most players.
It is very durable, so you don’t have to worry about it losing its trampoline effect midway through the season, making it another one of the best fastpitch softball bats this year.
The fact that this bat comes in a variety of different weights means you will be able to find one that is perfect for you.
The composite material provides a nice long sweet spot. There will be barely any vibration no matter where the ball makes contact, so you can rest assured that every hit will be satisfying and comfortable.
It requires a little bit of break-in time, but not much, especially compared to other composite material bats.
Unfortunately, this bat may not be as attractive aesthetically as the other best fastpitch softball bats on this list. But don’t let that turn you away from this all-around great bat.
This light bat is perfect for players looking to improve the speed of their swing. It’s comfortable and stable, which also makes it suited to beginners.
For new players, this is one of the best fastpitch softball bats.
With the same TCT technology as the other Easton bat on this list, you will get a nice long sweet spot and no vibration. The HYPERSKIN grip is comfortable and will ensure your hands stay tight around the handle for a strong swing.
With its light weight and ultra thin handle, this bat is perfectly suited to smaller players. However, depending on your size and strength, this bat may be too small for you.
Plus, the average dimensions of this bat suit it more towards beginners. If you’re a more experienced player, you might want to consider other bats on this list.
If you are looking for aluminum instead of composite material, this is the best fastpitch softball bat for you.
The DeMarini Bustos Fastpitch Softball Bat is well balanced for an even, fast swing. It is easy to control, making it a great choice for all skill levels.
Beginners and intermediate level players will really get the greatest benefit out of this sleek, well-balanced bat.
While the aluminum make won’t reduce vibration as much as a composite material bat, the thick Hyper Comfort Grip will make sure contact with the ball is easy and comfortable.
Plus, you can still benefit from the trampoline effect since aluminum bats cause it too.
As far as aluminum bats go, this one is highly durable. Keep in mind, however, that aluminum bats can never compete with composite materials when it comes to durability.
Starting Off the Season With The Best Fastpitch Softball Bats of 2017
So now you know some of the best bats that you can use in the upcoming season. All of the bats on this list are excellent choices. So which one should you choose?
Honestly, it is up to you. Some, like the DeMarini and the Easton Hyperlite, are better suited for beginners. Others, like the Louisville Slugger Hyper 17, will be better in the hands of a more experienced player.
Like we said, you also need to keep in mind the lengths and weights of the bats. The ones on this list are all quite well balanced, but the weight and length will change how that balance feels in your swing.
Pick your bat measurements based on what has worked for you in the past or check out our buyers guide for more information.
With any of the bats on this list, you are sure to have a great season!