There are currently more than 120 different fastpitch bats on JustBats.com. Some are blue, some are approved for ASA, and some are made of aluminum.
Here, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Michele Smith, outlines some of the common mistakes that players make when picking a fastpitch bat.
These tips are important to remember. Essentially, fastpitch softball bats are divided into three categories -- design, material, and league.
Design: One-Piece vs Two-Piece Fastpitch Bats
This denotes how the bat was constructed. Recently, most fastpitch bats have been two-piece, as more players prefer a trampoline effect. Here is the difference between one-piece and two-piece fastpitch bats:
- One-piece fastpitch bats use the same material throughout the entire design. The advantage of the one-piece design is that you receive a stronger, stiffer bat that is favored by power hitters looking for as little flex as possible.
- Two-piece fastpitch bats have a handle that is a separate piece from the barrel. The advantage of a two-piece design is that it allows the barrel to flex at the point of contact, which creates a trampoline effect off the barrel. Two-piece bats have less vibration in the handle due to the aforementioned separation of the handle and barrel.
Material: Alloy vs Composite vs Hybrid Fastpitch Bats
Fastpitch bats are made from a number of materials. However, the material categories of these bats tend to fall into three sections. Here is the difference between alloy and composite and hybrid fastpitch bats:
- Alloy fastpitch bats are constructed with a one-piece design out of aluminum or, at least, aluminum that is mixed with other metals to make a stronger product. The advantage of this strength is that it allows alloy bats to have thinner, more responsive barrel walls.
- Composite fastpitch bats are made out of a mixture of carbon fiber, graphite, fiberglass, and--sometimes--Kevlar. These bats have less vibration in the handle.
- Hybrid fastpich bats feature a two-piece design that bonds the alloy barrel to a composite handle. This makes the handle lighter and allows the alloy barrel to be made longer than on a traditional alloy bat.
League: ASA vs USSSA Fastpitch Bats
Most fastpitch softball Leagues are governed by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA). The main difference in bats made for ASA and bats made for USSSA, NSA, or ISA is that non-ASA bats have a higher performance. ASA bats must adhere to the 98 mph batted-ball speed standard:
- ASA approved faspitch bats
- ISA approved fastpitch bats
- NSA approved fastpitch bats
- USSSA approved fastpitch bats
What type of fastpitch bat do you swing? Which one type do you think is best? Let us know by leaving a comment.
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