Table of Contents
- What to Look for in a Slow Pitch Softball Bat
- Best Slow Pitch Softball Bats for 2023
- Other Great Slow Pitch Bats
- Best Slow Pitch Softball Bat Under $100
- Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to shopping for sporting goods online, few things have become as complicated as simply selecting a slow pitch softball bat.
Space age materials, proprietary formulas, a range of prices and an alphabet soup of governing bodies that decide what is and isn’t legal can turn a fun experience into a tedious slog.
If you are in the market for a new slow pitch softball bat, checkout the 2023 lineup of slow pitch bats from JustBats.
The right swing with a good bat can’t go wrong, so in this buyer’s guide we’ll run down everything you need to know and review some of the best slow pitch softball bats for 2023.
What to Look for in a Slow Pitch Softball Bat
Choosing a softball bat depends on knowing what you’re looking for. First and foremost, that means understanding yourself as a hitter.
Are you a big, strong power hitter trying to generate maximum leverage? A faster middle infielder who’s good at legging out ground balls? Or do you want to drive the other team crazy by hitting ‘em where they ain’t thanks to your superior bat control?
Consider one of the first maxims in Ted Williams’ classic book, The Science of Hitting: “Hitter, Know Thyself.” It will make decisions about length, balance point, bat weight and composition that much easier.
Types of Slow Pitch Softball Bats
There are three major factors that differentiate slow pitch softball bats: design, construction, and materials.
Bats tend to come in one of two styles that describe the way the bat is put together.
One-piece bats use the same material throughout the bat, and the entire assembly is just that: one piece of material. These bats tend to be a little stiffer and more durable, and are generally good for power hitters seeking stiffness and more direct energy transfer to the ball.
Two-piece bats consist of a separate handle and barrel that are bonded together. This allows the bat to flex more during the swing, enhancing the trampoline effect at contact. The flexible construction offers the added benefit of dampened vibration, which means less sting should you hit a cue shot down the line.
Modern bats have either single-wall or double-wall construction within the barrel.
Double-walled bats have an enhanced trampoline effect, as the outer wall flexes before being reinforced by the inner wall (which creates a potent energy transfer to the ball). For this reason, they’ve been prohibited by many leagues, so check with yours before making a purchase.
The materials used in the bat will have a large impact on its performance and lifespan.
- Alloy bats are made of aluminum mixed with another metal in order to create thin, responsive walls. Almost all one-piece bats are made of aluminum or an aluminum alloy. These tend to be the cheapest option, but are also the most durable.
- Composite bats are made from a mix of carbon fiber, graphite, fiberglass or even Kevlar. These materials are flexible, which enhances the trampoline effect of the barrel. Note that composite bats have a break-in period, and the barrel’s flex durability declines over time.
- Wood is the material of choice for a traditional league or the true hitting artiste. While they don’t offer the same pop as today’s top-of-class composite bats, they do provide a feel and hitting experience that no alloy or fiber synthetic fiber can match.
How to Choose the Right Softball Bat Size
You might start by asking yourself, “What length softball bat do I need? What’s the right length for my height?”
Well, since almost all slow pitch softball bats are 34 inches long, that question is moot.
Weight is the primary decision a hitter must make in choosing bat size. While a stronger player can generate more force by using a heavier bat, lighter bats in the 26 to 28 ounce range are better suited to average-sized players or those seeking better bat control.
Besides weight, a bat’s balance point is another key consideration. Players generally have two options on that front:
Balanced bats have the weight evenly distributed throughout the barrel and are generally easier for the hitter to control.
End-loaded bats feature an extra half ounce of weight or more near the cap at the end of the bat, which helps generate greater centrifugal force to the point of contact. Because the weight is farther from the hitters hands, however, end-loaded bats are slightly more difficult to control.
If you need more detailed recommendations, we wrote an entire post about how to choose the right softball bat.
Slow Pitch Softball Bat Regulations
There are five major governing bodies for slow pitch softball:
- Independent Sports Association (ISA)
- International Softball Federation (ISF)
- National Softball Association (NSA)
- United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA)
- USA Softball (formerly ASA, the Amateur Softball Association)
USSSA and USA Softball are the two largest organizations among that group, and issue separate “stamps” to manufacturers to signify that a particular bat has been approved for play.
Regardless of your league’s governing body, all slow-pitch softball bats must adhere to the following:
- Have a 2.25-inch barrel diameter
- Be 34 inches or shorter
- Weigh 31.5 ounces or less. (26 to 30 ounces tends to be the standard weight range.)
So there really isn’t a best softball bat for ASA, USSSA, or any specific organization. Our recommendations below are usually approved for all of these and should be great no matter what softball bat regulations you need to adhere to.
State federations and local leagues often set their own rules about what bats are allowed or disallowed, and you should make sure to know about any such “house rules” before making a big investment.
Best Slow Pitch Softball Bats for 2023
When choosing our Top 5, we considered factors such as cost, durability, performance and versatility. Each of the bats on this list provides a solid mix of those attributes.
1. DeMarini Nautalai
DeMarini’s Nautalai features a ZnX Alloy handle for increased stiffness and durability and ultra-soft compression for a game-ready feel right off the shelf. This end-loaded bat has been updated to a 13.5-inch barrel length and is ideal for power hitters looking for a little extra length or contact hitters looking for a little more pop. The Demarini Nautalai comes in a variety of colors and sizes and has great reviews on the grip/handle setup.
- Approved for: ISA/NSA/USSA
- Design: Two-piece with an alloy handle and a composite barrel
- Barrel length: 13.5 inches
- Weight drop: 34/25.5, 34/26.5, 34/27.5
- MSRP: $249.95
2. Monsta Blacklisted Torch
Monsta Athletics has broken into slowpitch softball with some of the hottest bats currently on the market. The Monsta Blacklisted Torch 2023 lineup continuously claims to be the hottest ASA softball bat on the market. In a review from Slow Pitch Bat Bros, the Monsta lineup of bats was the undisputed winner in their exit velocity competition for ASA approved softball bats. The challenge? Due to the popularity of these bats they are tough to find in stock!
- Approved for: ASA
- Design: 3rd generation FIB technology
- Barrel length: 13 inches
- Weight drop: 25-28 oz
- MSRP: $379.99
3. Miken Vicious Balanced
The 2023 limited edition Miken Vicious Balanced slowpitch softball bat is a great choice for power and contact hitters alike. Not only that, but this bat is not going to break the bank at it’s modest price point compared to others on this list. The A1 knob on this bat provides a smaller knob for hitters that like to lay their bottom fingers below the knob for more control.
- Approved for: ISA, NSA, USSSA
- Design: E-Flex 360 barrel designed with C-4 carbon fiber
- Barrel length: 13 inches
- Weight drop: Varies by model
- MSRP: $319.95
4. Worth Krecher
The Worth Krecher slowpitch softball bat is back this year as one of the more popular choices for slowpitch softball hitters. Worth is not attempting to re-invent the wheel with this year’s model. This bat is built with XL load which gives hitters a slightly end loaded feel and is an excellent choice for slowpitch players at any level.
- Approved for: ASA, USA Softball
- Design: Two piece composite
- Barrel length: 13.5 inches
- Weight drop: 34/25, 34/26, 34/27
- MSRP: $229.95
5. Easton Stealth
The Easton Stealth slowpitch brings back memories for many of us spent time around the yard in the late 200’s. The Easton Stealth has been one of most iconic bats in Easton’s history with the “cant-miss” orange and blue color way and bold Stealth print on the barrel. The barrel is fully end-loaded with Thermo Composite Technology which creates softer compression and ensures that this thing is ready to rock as soon as you put in play.
- Approved for: ISA, NSA, USSSA
- Design: Two-piece composite barrel
- Barrel length: 13.5 inches
- Weight drop: 34/26, 34/27, 34/28
- MSRP: $219.95
Other Great Slow Pitch Bats
These bats didn’t make our Top 5, but they’re some of the most popular and proven models on the market:
- Axe Avenger: A two-piece composite design with a 2 1/4-inch barrel, the Avenger provides a unique color way that is sure to make you standout on the field. Axe bats have historically been very popular for their handle design, and based on early reviews the Avenger is right there with the rest of them. The result, more bat-speed and control over the bat to keep you feeling confident and fast at the plate.
- Louisville Slugger Super Z-1000: No slowpitch softball bat list is complete without listing one of the Louisville Slugger bats. This bat is endorsed by legendary Louisville Slugger slowpitch player Jeff Hall, which historically means these bats are hot out of the wrapper and a solid choice for any hitter.
- Miken Ultra Gamer: The Gamer Series bat is a high-performance, all-composite model with a 1/2 ounce end load. It features Miken’s C4 Composite material and is designed to be hot right out of the wrapper. This bat is perfect for power hitters, but can also be a great fit for those looking to add some power to their swing.
Best Slow Pitch Softball Bat Under $100
Your options are limited when it comes to budget slow pitch bats, as Easton is the only major manufacturer to offer models priced at less than $100. It should go without saying, but you won’t find advanced materials and innovative designs in those three models — choosing them means you’re sacrificing performance for price.
How much of a difference will it make on the field? Just like no pair of sneakers will make you jump higher, no softball bat will magically transform you into a better hitter.
What a more advanced bat will do is help you get the maximum effectiveness out of your swing. The bats in the list above have big sweet-spots, which means they’ll be more forgiving when you slightly mishit a ball. And they have more “pop” (often as a result of their super flexible space-age materials) which means they’ll do a better job of transferring the energy you generate via your swing into the ball.
So, if you’re someone who consistently hits the ball 15 or 20 feet short of the fence, a more expensive bat might translate into more dingers. But if you’re a more casual player who is still working on their swing and doesn’t hit many (or any) home runs, the difference between these two classes of bats will be less palpable, and you may do just fine with a cheaper option.
There are many solid choices between $100 and $200. But if your budget is absolutely locked in at $100 or less, the Easton Rival is easily the best option.
A one-piece, aluminum alloy (end-loaded) bat with a surprisingly big sweet-spot and great reviews from players. It features a 12-inch barrel that’s easy for players of all ages and skill levels to control and swing with speed, and it’s approved for play by all major organizations. A durable, low-cost option that will last multiple seasons.
- Approved for: ISA, ISF, NSA, USA Softball, USSSA
- Design: One-piece aluminum alloy
- Barrel length: 12 inches
- Weight drop: 34/26, 34/27, 34/28
- MSRP: $99.95
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about slow pitch softball bats.
What is the difference between slowpitch and fastpitch softball bats?
The biggest differences are length and weight. Fast-pitch bats tend to be shorter and lighter (prioritizing bat speed and barrel control over mass), whereas slow-pitch bats are designed for maximum leverage and impact at contact. Aside from that, they’re similar in terms of materials, technology and construction.
Can you use fastpitch bats in slowpitch softball?
If your fast-pitch bat is stamped with the certification for the league you’re playing in (and doesn’t appear on that league’s banned bats list), you can use it. Keep in mind that state and local leagues often have their own bat rules and regulations, which can be stricter than those set by the national governing body.
However, you might not want to. Fast-pitch softballs and slow-pitch softballs have different COR values and compression levels. COR stands for coefficient of restitution, and essentially describes how much energy the ball retains at impact (i.e., how bouncy it is). Compression describes how hard the ball is.
An NCAA fast-pitch softball has a COR of .44 and a compression score of 400. By contrast, a regulation USA Softball slow-pitch ball has a COR of 52 and a compression score of only 300. In other words, the slow-pitch ball is softer and bouncier.
While a fast-bat bat and a slow-pitch bat might be made from the same material, manufacturers’ fine-tune their products to perform best when hitting a particular type of ball.
Also, it’s important to note that hitting a slow-pitch ball with a fast-pitch bat is primarily a performance issue: the bat is smaller and lighter (less mass), and wasn’t designed for low-compression balls. But hitting a fast-pitch ball with a slow-pitch bat is a durability problem, because their thin walls can break when making contact with the harder ball.
Does a heavier softball bat hit farther?
All other factors being equal, a heavier bat (more mass) will hit the ball farther. However, that’s only true if you’re able to swing a heavier bat at the same speed as a lighter bat.
Additionally, using a bat that’s too heavy can cause your mechanics to break down, leading to an inefficient sequence of movements.
Your goal should be to find a balance between size and speed: you want the heaviest bat you can swing correctly.
Surprised to see a post about slow-pitch softball bats on The Hitting Vault? While it’s true that our resources are used by elite hitters at every level of baseball and softball (all the way up to MLB), many of our members are everyday ballplayers who — even though they have no illusions of going pro — still want to reach the absolute pinnacle of their potential.
Want to learn how The Hitting Vault can help you unlock your power at the plate… even if your goal is just to impress your coworkers in your local beer league. Start a 7-day trial of The Vault for just $1.
New for 2023, Meta's barrel boasts an eye-catching green base with Louisville Slugger's iconic wordmark and shield emblazoned in gold. To pair its EKO™ Composite Barrel with a composite handle, Meta utilizes a stiff 3FX™ Connection System.How do I know what slow pitch softball bat to get? ›
Nearly all Adult Slowpitch Bats will have a length of 34," but weights within will vary. For contact/gap hitters, it may be best to choose a bat weight of 26 or 27 ounces. Athletes seeking maximum power and distance at the plate should opt for the heavier weights of 28 or 30 ounces.Will there be a 2023 the goods bat? ›
DeMarini has added another classic to their great legacy of bats. With decades of producing quality bats. Demarini has launched the new 2023 DeMarini the Goods baseball bat.How many hits does it take to break in a slow pitch softball bat? ›
Slow Pitch Bat Break-In Period
Composite Slow Pitch softball bats require around 100 - 150 hits on them to start performing up to their potential. When breaking in a composite bat, it is important to start off at about 50% power and gradually increase as your swing count rises.
The first, simple test is to have your kid hold the bat straight out in front of them, parallel to the ground, with their dominant hand. If they can't keep the bat steady in this position for 20 seconds, then the bat's probably too heavy. Another test to try is evaluating your hitter's soft toss performance.What exercises help you hit harder in softball? ›
Hitting is a rotational movement: the hips, torso and arms all rotate to produce power that is transferred from one muscle group to the next. When in the weight room, traditional exercises like squats, lunges, rows and pull ups are all important.How can I aim better in softball? ›
- Aim your hips and shoulders at your intended target.
- Rock back to begin your throwing motion.
- After your release, naturally follow through with a few steps. These steps should be fluid, as your body should want to go in this direction.
In general, bats live anywhere from 10 to 20 years in the wild. However, there are some reports of individual bats living for up to 30 or 40 years. The oldest recorded bat was a mere 41 years old, the male Brandt's myotis. This means that a bat's average lifespan is quite good compared to other animals.What months are bats out? ›
When are bats active? It is the period between March and November in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that it is usually wintertime in Australia, South America, South Africa, Asia, and Europe when North Americans are able to see them active at night during their summer months. What do bats do for mating season?Will the same bat keep coming back? ›
Once a bat chooses a place to roost, it will keep coming back, so have a wildlife professional check your home for any potential entry points. Bats can squeeze into holes as small as your thumb, so they will take a close look around your chimney, vents and rain guttering.
It's certainly true that almost all batters in slow pitch will hit the ball and many of them will hit it hard. Strikeouts are a rare occurrence, and almost always happen when a ball is hit foul with two strikes rather than on a called or swinging strikeout.Can I break in a bat with a rubber mallet? ›
The Hammer/Mallet technique is often used by players on their own bats. As the name implies it simply involves hitting the barrel of the bat with a hard rubber mallet, or a ball mallet made by fixing a softball to a handle. There is even a commercially available Bat HammerTM for breaking in bats.Do aluminum bats lose their pop? ›
In theory, aluminum bats begin to lose pop over time as imperfections in the aluminum caused by hitting baseballs negatively affect the pop in the bat. While aluminum properties make it so the bats rarely break, they do indeed lose their pop in time.Is it better to have a lighter or heavier bat? ›
The data shows that a heavier bat produces a faster batted ball speed. This makes intuitive sense since a heavier bat brings more momentum into the collision. Doubling the mass of the bat results in an increase of almost 12mph.How do you know if a bat has pop? ›
All you have to do is knock the knob of the baseball bat (the end where your hands go), and look for a dimmed sound. What you can do to help is take a newer bat that you know isn't dead and knock it first to compare the sounds of a bat being dead or alive.How do you tell if a bat is the right size? ›
Position the bottom of the bat in the center of your chest, facing outward. If your arm can reach out and grab the barrel of the bat, then it is the correct length. Stand the bat up against the side of your leg. If the end of the bat reaches the center of your palm when you reach down, it's the appropriate length.How many hits does it take to break in a new bat? ›
Depending on your stamina, this process often won't take any more than an hour to complete. You'll need to put in anywhere from 150-200 swings to properly break in your bat, so you may want to have some teammates around to help. To break in your bat, you're going to: Hit the ball off a tee.Do you need to break in the Easton Ghost? ›
This Easton Ghost bat is approved for all fields including ASA and USSSA. The new double barrel technology featured with this Easton Ghost bat will take your game to new heights immediately; with no break-in period required!What can you not do in slow pitch softball? ›
No Stealing: Base stealing and leading off are prohibited. The base runner must remain on base until the ball is hit. Runners may advance only when the ball is hit within the field of play or when a batter is walked.Will there be a 2023 DeMarini CF? ›
DeMarini's CF for 2023 is a light swinging high, smooth-feeling bat with a long barrel and flexible connection piece. Compared to the 2022 version, the 2023 DeMarini CF Fastpitch bat is all the same.
Bats that are 100% alloy or with an alloy barrel are game-ready right out of the wrapper and will not require a break-in period. Composite bats, on the other hand, require a break-in period. The carbon fibers in the barrel are stiff out of the wrapper, and need to be loosened up before they will reach peak performance.Do meta bats need to be broken in? ›
Before you go out and use your new bat, you may want to break it in. Not all manufacturers make bats ready out of the package. If you just got a new composite bat, you may need to break it in. Breaking in a composite bat can extend the life of your composite bat and even help you hit further.Is the meta bat end loaded or balanced? ›
The Meta is a balanced-weight bat, and the Meta Select PWR is a power-loaded (end-loaded) bat. The aspect of both bats is different from each other. In terms of balance swing weight, you should go for the Meta balanced one. On the other hand, if you prefer power swing weight, the Meta Select PWR should be the choice.What does CF mean in DeMarini bats? ›
DeMarini offers two piece composite bats such as the Zoa and CF series (composite handle plus composite barrel) as well as Half + Half™ bats with a composite handle and alloy barrel such as The Goods and Voodoo series.How many hits does it take to break in a DeMarini bat? ›
To properly break in your composite bat, we recommend taking 150-200 swings playing soft toss or off a tee using real baseballs. Start off by swinging at about 50% of your typical swing. Slowly work your way up to full strength over the first 100 swings.What is the difference between DeMarini CF and Prism? ›
Demarini designed these two bats with specific hitters in mind. Demarini Prism: Well rounded hitters looking for a high performance barrel to match their style of play. Demarini CF: Elite players with high swing velocities, that will generate more of a trampoline effect due to the Paraflex barrel.How many hits does it take to break in a meta bat? ›
You'll need to put in anywhere from 150-200 swings to properly break in your bat, so you may want to have some teammates around to help. To break in your bat, you're going to: Hit the ball off a tee. Soft toss against a fence.Can you hit heavy balls with a composite bat? ›
Is it ok to hit weighted balls with composite bat? Yes. We can't speak for other weighted balls, our hitting Plyo Ball ® and mini-hitting Plyo Ball ® have been hit daily in our gym since they launch and we've had zero issues with cracking or denting bats.What temperature is too cold for bats? ›
What Temperature is too Cold for Bats. Bats cannot simply survive in freezing weather. In fact not the majority of flying animals can. This means that your bat house temperature must be adjusted somewhere around 45 degrees, anything less than that becomes colder for bats even in hibernation.Do you have to break in a cat 9 connect? ›
Although the CAT9 Composite is hot out of the wrapper, most composite baseball bats still require a break-in to reach their optimal in-game performance level. You utilize this break-in period to loosen the resin and composite fibers inside of the barrel so the material can be more responsive upon contact.
Two-piece bats have more flex on contact, so they feel nicer; they cost more; are generally less durable; and have more extensive barrel profiles. The better feel and bigger barrel tend two-piece bats towards smaller and younger hitters.What is better end loaded or balanced? ›
A balanced bat is likely your best choice if you are a contact hitter who values bat speed and control. If you are a power hitter who wants to hit the ball farther and harder, an end-loaded bat may be a better fit. When in doubt, pick the balanced bat.How can you tell if your meta bat is broken? ›
If you see a massive crack that has split your composite bat in half, then there's a great chance it is dead. On the other hand, look closely for hairline fractures, stress cracks, or spiral fractures. Sometimes the smallest of cracks can have a huge negative impact or none at all. It may vary from case-to-case.