A Comparison of Fastpitch Softball Bats

Overview

Fastpitch softball bats range from basic aluminum models, to sophisticated pieces of equipment that sell for hundreds of dollars. When choosing a bat, the level of play and size of the player must be taken into consideration, along with your budget. The player must also be comfortable with the bat, which should be at the forefront of the decision-making process.

History

Fastpitch softball can trace its origins back to around the turn of the 20th century. In the early days of the game, softball bat technology was nonexistent. The first bat was a broken broom stick. Today, fastpitch softball bats are technologically advanced in ways the founders of the sport could never have imagined.

Aluminum Bats

Many fastpitch softball bats are made of single-walled aluminum. These usually represent bats on the lower end of the price spectrum and of lesser quality than double-walled aluminum or composite bats. Double-walled aluminum bats are exactly what they sound like, consisting of thicker aluminum and producing more power.

Composite Bats

Composite bats are made from several different materials and first appeared in the late 1990s. Initially, these bats performed no better than aluminum bats. Since then, the technology used to manufacture composite bats has improved, resulting in most high-end composite bats outperforming all but titanium models in scientific testing done at Kettering University. Composite fastpitch softball bats are usually comprised of a combination of carbon fiber, graphite and aluminum.

Titanium Bats

In 1993, Easton, Worth and Louisville Slugger introduced titanium softball bats on the market. These bats quickly outperformed nearly all others in high-speed impact tests. Titanium bats represented such a dramatic increase in performance that within three months of their introduction they were banned by all governing softball bodies. If you play in an organized league, titanium fastpitch softball bats may not be a viable option.

Wooden Bats

These represent the lowest performing and subsequently are the cheapest, fastpitch softball bats. These bats can be had for less than $20. While failing to live up to other bat materials as far as performance, wood can still be a good option for a young player. Wooden bats are also ideal for coaches of youth teams, providing an affordable way to obtain equipment.

About this Author

Andrew Jeromski is a freelance writer based in Boston. He covered Major League Soccer for three seasons for the Lowell Sun newspaper in Lowell, Mass. He has a background in journalism and creative writing, and is also an award-winning writer of fiction.