Best Slow Pitch Softball Bats for 2022

Best Slow Pitch Softball Bats for 2022

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 slowpitch softball bat, checkout the 2022 lineup of slowpitch 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 2022.

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.

Design

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.

Construction

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.

Materials

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: 

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: 

  1. Have a 2.25-inch barrel diameter 
  2. Be 34 inches or shorter
  3. 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 2022

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

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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 a 13-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 inches
  • Weight drop: 34/25, 34/26, 34/27
  • MSRP: $279.95

2. Monsta Torch

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Monsta Athletics has broken into slowpitch softball with some of the hottest bats currently on the market. The Monsta Torch 2022 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.

  • Approved for: ASA
  • Design: 3rd generation FIB technology
  • Barrel length: 13 inches
  • Weight drop: 25-28 oz
  • MSRP: $299.99

3. Miken Freak Gold 

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The 2022 limited edition Miken Freak Gold slowpitch softball bat is a great choice for power and contact hitters alike. The new A1 knob on this bat provides a smaller knob for hitters that like to lay their bottom fingers beow the knob for more control.  

  • Approved for: ISA, NSA, USSSA
  • Design: E-Flex 360 barrel designed with C-4 carbon fiber
  • Barrel length: 12 inches
  • Weight drop: Varies by model
  • MSRP: $319.95

4. Worth Krecher

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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 Tri-Shell

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The Easton Tri-Shell slowpitch softball bat is part of Easton’s 100 year anniversary series, which is shown by their retro design of the bat. This model contains a two piece, all composite material with Fire Flex technology as well as the CXN Max Connection which eliminates nearly all vibration when making contact.

Like many Easton bats, the Tri-Shell contains a balanced feel which is much different than the mostly end loaded bats in the 2022 slowpitch softball lineup.

  • Approved for: ISA, NSA, USSSA
  • Design: Two-piece composite barrel
  • Barrel length: 13.5 inches
  • Weight drop: 34/26, 34/27, 34/28 
  • MSRP: $319.95

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: 

  • Miken Vicious: A two-piece composite design with a 13-inch barrel, the Vicious is a great option for slowpitch hitters playing in multiple different leagues as this bat can be use for any of them. Known as a “dual stamp” bat, this stick is described by JustBats as the true swiss army knife of slowpitch softball bats.
  • 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 Izzy Psycho: First manufactured in 2015, the Miken Izzy Psycho was re-released in 2019 with the exact same materials and specifications as the original model. That it was brought back by popular demand should tell you something about its quality: despite four years of improvements in technology and innovation, this one-piece composite bat with a full-ounce of end loading is still noted for its durability and being hot right out of the wrapper. 

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. 

Easton Rival

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: $88.99

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.


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