We’ve all accepted that baseball is pretty much a national pastime, but for others, the love of the sport goes a little deeper than watching it on the big screen.
For hardcore fans and professional players, there’s an entirely different dimension to the game.
Whether it comes to statistics, the equipment, or strategy of the players, there are some people that just take it a lot more seriously.
For those softball fans, the ASA (or Amateur Softball Association of America) is one of the best standards to follow when it comes to the all-important softball bat.
Every year, this overseeing committee (also known as USA Softball) approves a certain number of softball bats for use.
And since they’re one of the biggest sponsors of tournaments in the country, it’s important to know which ones have been cleared for use in their games.
Best Slowpitch Bats
#5 Mizuno MVP Prime SE Gloves
A juggernaut bat for those who want to hit big.
DeMarini’s tradition of crafting the high-quality bats for the professional players is evident in their Dale Brungardt signature series.
Offering a good blend of handling with vibration compensation, this end loaded 12″ Stacked Composite Barrel bat is the ideal bat for power hitters.
While not approved by the ASA, it’s perfectly legal in other leagues such as the NSA, USSSA, and ISA.
It’s a good introduction to the DeMarini line of slowpitch bats and can be used a stepping stone for their ASA-certified equipment (which we’ll talk about in a bit.)
#4 2019 Miken Freak 23 Slowpitch Softball Bat Maxload
A short barrel that delivers a heavy impact.
Miken manufactured this softball bat with specifications from offensive batter, Kyle Pearson, one of the heaviest hitters in the game.
Kyle’s signature playstyle can be replicated with the max load design combined with a 2-piece, composite design that can take the force of a heavy swing.
Approved for exclusive use in ASA matches, the Miken Freak 23 is one of 2019’s most outstanding slowpitch bats.
Able to combine the need for consistent ball control with powerful swings, it’s a bat that needs to be broken in, but can pop off once you put the right amount of work into it.
#3 2016 Louisville Slugger Z4 Slowpitch Softball Bat
Not the latest toy, but still stands the test of time.
One of the few composite bats to use a revolutionary 3-piece design, the Slugger Z4 is one of the best shock-reducing slowpitch bats to ever hit the market.
Using their unique TRU3 tech that reduced vibrations as they travel from the three different parts of the handle, this softball bat is also end-loaded to help deliver the maximum amount of force possible on a swing.
It’s also one of the few Lousiville Sluggers that have been approved for use in the ASA, making them extremely difficult to find nowadays.
It’s been praised for being hot right out of the box, needing little to no breaking in to use effectively. Perfect for professionals and beginners alike.
#2 DeMarini Steel Slowpitch Softball Bat
A single-alloy bat that’s raring to go.
Not all softball leagues have equal rules and regulations; occasionally, you might find yourself playing in one that requires alloy bats.
This is normally bad news for anyone who’s gotten used to composites—luckily, DeMarini has come up with a solution that combines their trademark quality with the demand required of the product.
The DeMarini Steel Slowpitch Bat is one of the few single alloy slowpitch bats on the market that can reasonably replicate the feel and power of using a composite bat.
The single wall construction and steel material deliver an impact with a satisfying crack!
#1 Easton Bryson Baker Balanced ASA 2017 Slowpitch Softball Bat
One of the most balanced softball bats ever made.
Easton softball bats are known for their innovate black carbon handle designs, which have some of the best shock-absorbing properties of any softpitch bat.
They’re extremely balanced in terms of weight, offering a good middle ground between power and speed when it comes to swings, giving any batter excellent ball control.
As with all Easton bats, the Bryson Baker needs a fair bit of breaking in to work properly, but the lifespan of this bat is quite long compared to other products.
The Thermo Composite Tech makes the sweet spot on this bat very large, while not sacrificing weight-to-size ratio.
It’s a relatively rare bat though, so make sure you nab yours when you get the chance!
Best Fastpitch Bats
#5 Louisville Slugger 2018 LXT (-10) Fast Pitch Bat
A balanced bat for both comfort and speed.
The 2018 Slugger LXT (-10) offers a solution to one of the most common problems with fastpitch bats: balancing power with speed.
The composite construction means that there’s more material available to take the shock of both ball impact and swing speed, giving the batter an easier time with prolonged use.
The patented PBF barrel also provides the bat with an extremely wide sweet spot, making it a good introduction for those looking to break into professional softball.
Finally, the X-cap design further improves on the swing speed of the bat, giving some leverage when it comes to ball control.
#4 Easton 2018 STEALTH FLEX HYPERLITE Fast Pitch Softball Bat (-12)
Easy grip for unparalleled striking.
If you’re looking for the final word when it comes to comfort and ball impact, the Easton 2018 Stealth Flex is the way to go.
With their own CXN zero technology combined with the composite material, this 2-piece wonder virtually eliminates all vibration upon contact.
The hyper lite barrel design is a welcome touch, allowing you to swing at even faster speeds.
Be forewarned: this is a serious bat for the serious softball player.
Everything about it is designed for the big leagues: features, support, and especially the price isn’t for the faint of heart.
This does make is somewhat inaccessible to a large part of the market, but to those who can afford it, it’ll definitely serve them well.
#3 Louisville Slugger LXT Hyper 17 (-10) Fast Pitch Softball Bat
Form meets function.
This softball bat puts the “sweet” in the sweet spot.
Every inch of its design is focused towards getting the full use of the PBF barrel, making it one of the hottest fastpitch bats on the market straight out of the box.
The Fade synthetic grip isn’t as comfortable as other bats on this list but does provide adequate shock absorption.
This is one bat that has a ton of pop in the hands of almost anyone.
It’s a good bat to use for those who aren’t too much into power swings but have excellent swing control.
It’s extremely well-received by both beginners and professionals alike.
#2 DeMarini 2018 CFX (-11) Fast Pitch Bat
Speed, weight, and ball control in one.
For young players looking to make it big, DeMarini understand the need to give them the best of everything in order to break in the major leagues.
That’s why the 2018 CFX is specifically designed to not only help but enhance the performance of younger players.
With one of the best weight control and vibration systems out there, it’s a must buy for any passionate softball player.
The composite material offers a variety of benefits to take the edge off with prolonged use, like redirecting excess energy right into the barrel.
This gives better ball control upon contact and can be used for a variety of strikes. Finally, the RCK knob provides a better grip for smaller hands.
#1 DeMarini 2017 Vendetta (-12) Fastpitch Bat
Power and responsiveness in one package.
Again, DeMarini’s Vendetta proves that when it comes to feel, there are very few bats that hold up to a classic DeMarini.
The Vendetta is one of the most responsive bats on the market, virtually eliminating vibration while increasing responsiveness upon ball contact.
It’s one of the best mid-tier slowpitch softball bats and is quite popular with young professionals.
While the power output of this particular bat isn’t as strong as the other models, it has one of the smoothest swings of its peers.
Combined with the low swing weight, the Vendetta is one of the best bats you can currently get.
And there you have it: ten ASA-certified softball bats.
There’s something for everyone depending on their experience and playing style. Some bats perform better in some areas than others—and that’s perfectly fine, it’s all about finding that one perfect fit.
Whether you’re looking for a slowpitch or fastpitch softball bat, always keep in mind these select few that have managed to prove themselves time and time again with their quality and innovation when it comes to the game.
Because if you’re taking the sport seriously, you’ll always want the best that equipment can provide.
The sheer amount of varieties and choices will mean that you’ll need to take some time to figure out which bat is best for you—but just like the bats on this list, breaking in bats will most likely guarantee the kind of quality, feel, and power that you’ll be looking for with every swing.
It’s rare that you’ll be able to be as hot as some of these bats right off the box and fresh on the plate, but there’s no rule stating that you can’t try.
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