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Tips needed for buying softball bat

Old 03-27-04, 07:27 PM
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Tips needed for buying softball bat

I want to buy a softball bat, but I don't really know where to start. What are the best brands? What size and weight do I get? Etc.

I'm looking to pay no more than, say, $65 if I can help it.

If my size matters, I'm 5'11, 185 pounds. I'm a decent player, but I play for fun and I'm not on a competitive team.
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Old 03-27-04, 07:29 PM
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You won't get a decent bat for less than $100. DeMarini is the industry leader.
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Old 03-27-04, 07:38 PM
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What's your definition of decent? I know Wal Mart has a decent selection, and most are under $65. You saying those are "crap" or just not as good as the top of the line DeMarini?
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Old 03-27-04, 07:40 PM
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A good bat will be ASA certified and double or even triple-walled. For the low-end bats you're referring to, they're most likely single-walled and good for smacking around for fun but seriously lack the high-quality technology that many of the upper-end bats use. If you're not serious about playing competitive softball, go out and grab any $50 bat that feels good when you swing it.

As far as weight/length, you'll have to figure that out yourself, as we all prefer different weight/lengths.
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Old 03-27-04, 08:36 PM
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Scorcho, thanks for the tips. Does the double/triple walled bats offer more power? I guess I'm a bit confused as to what that does for me.
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Old 03-27-04, 09:24 PM
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I would also consider going to the batting cages and trying out varying lengths to see what fits you best. It all depends on your strengths and weaknesses. If you're a power hitter or if you're a placement hitter.

I have two bats that were under $100 and are ASA certified, but I'm nowhere in Scorcho's range as I play in a company league so it's less competitive than a city run league. Also, my company league only plays about 16 games in a season so my bats put up with less abuse than if I played in a year round league.

We're not far off in height and weight. I'm 5'10 170lbs. I got a cheapy Easton Hammer from Big 5 for about $25. 33" 26 oz. I use it in situations where I need to get the ball in play with runners in scoring position. In fact, there are times I shorten my hold and choke up a little bit. I cut the cheap rubber grip it had off and replaced it with a leather grip.

When I need power, I switch to my 34" 28 oz. Worth Powercell. I picked it up for about $60 using a coupon. I get more distance with less swing.

Always look for sales that can bring a bat from above $100 to below. I'm not sure if there are Big 5 Sporting Goods in your area, but they always have pretty decent coupons. Just check their site for their inhouse coupon specials.

Here's something to read... http://www.sportmart.com/info/index....Type=infosport

Last edited by devilshalo; 03-27-04 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 03-27-04, 11:07 PM
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There is a misconception floating through the sport that double/triple-walled bats offer more power. The fact is that they don't. In fact, balls travel a slight bit slower coming off a multi-walled bat than they do a single-walled bat. The advantage comes in terms of sweet spot. They're much larger on a multi-walled bat, which is why the frequent player covets them so much.

I'm 5'7" 170 lbs. and I was swinging a Nike double-wall (ebay - $100) for the past 3 years. Alas, it's got the shit beat out of it so I'll be buying a new bat in the next few weeks. Surprisingly enough, I'm one of the big power hitters on the team (no jokes -- I can put a serious charge into a softball and a golf ball for someone my size) so I'll be going for a middle-to-heavy weight double-wall bat by DeMarini.

But if you're just looking to smack the ball around for fun and not on any competitive level, don't drop more than $50 on a bat.

And BTW -- if you really want to get good on a competitive level, learn how to consistently hit a slow-pitch softball down the opposite foul line (right field for righties, left field for lefties).
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Old 03-28-04, 11:10 AM
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El Scorcho, how does one learn to hit the pitch down the opposite foul line. I tried to do this yesterday at practice and was unable to get anything further than right/center (I'm a rightie).

I'm a little torn about what kind of bat to get. I myself am competitive, but I play on non-competitive leagues. In other words, I want to do well, but I play the game to have fun. A good bat would help me play better, but a great bat in the $300 range is unneccesary at best.

Would a new, $50 bat be worthy, or do you think I should just try to get the $100 variety and play a little better?
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Old 03-28-04, 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by James W. Powell
how does one learn to hit the pitch down the opposite foul line. I tried to do this yesterday at practice and was unable to get anything further than right/center (I'm a rightie).
What I tend to do, because hitting down the right field line is my bread and butter, are a couple of things. I keep my hands ahead of the ball at contact (think of it like golf, keeping the face of your club open and always slicing) and I'll point my left foot towards right. Sometimes it's a dead giveaway if you are intentionally turning your body to face right, but over time you can make the adjustment at the time the ball is pitched.

Or maybe Scorcho has other ideas.
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Old 03-28-04, 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by devilshalo
What I tend to do, because hitting down the right field line is my bread and butter, are a couple of things. I keep my hands ahead of the ball at contact (think of it like golf, keeping the face of your club open and always slicing) and I'll point my left foot towards right. Sometimes it's a dead giveaway if you are intentionally turning your body to face right, but over time you can make the adjustment at the time the ball is pitched.

Or maybe Scorcho has other ideas.
Bingo.

Some things I do:

1) start with your normal stance -- you don't want to telegraph your hits
2) stand off the plate an extra 8-12 inches. You want the ball to be as away from your body as possible when you make contact. Low & away pitches are easiest to slice to the opposite field.
3) As devilshalo said, bring your hands through before you bring the bat barrel through the zone.
4) Forget about hitting an inside pitch to the opposite field. Go with what the pitcher gives you.

As far as the bat is concerned, if you got the cash you could find a decent bat for $100 or so on eBay. If not, drop the $50-60 and buy a semi-good quality single-wall bat. Your effectiveness at this point is based on not how far you hit the ball, but instead exactly where you hit the ball. Get the precision first, then worry about distance.
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Old 03-28-04, 01:07 PM
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While I appreciate the virtues of hitting to the opposite field, why is it such an advantage in softball?
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Old 03-28-04, 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by Bushdog
While I appreciate the virtues of hitting to the opposite field, why is it such an advantage in softball?
1) Worst OF is usually in RF, best is usually in LF.

2) Triples are extremely tough to get when you pull the ball to LF due to left field's proximity to 3rd base. Hit it down the right field line and there has to be a relay throw just to get the ball to 3rd.

3) Not many players hit to RF so it catches players off guard consistently.
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Old 03-28-04, 02:06 PM
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Just to add: it's very important to get some cleats, if you don't have some already. Running the bases in tennys or x-trainers is suck.
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Old 03-28-04, 02:34 PM
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What's the best bat for under $60? I found some sites that review bats, but they're all bats in the $120-$300 range.
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Old 03-28-04, 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by El Scorcho
1) Worst OF is usually in RF, best is usually in LF.


hey, I play right field.

but, if the batter is a righty, I usually give him the foul line and play closer to centerfield.
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Old 03-28-04, 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by RoyalTea


hey, I play right field.
I play in right also. I like the idiots to test my arm trying stretch a single. They scratch their head when they get thrown out at second.
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Old 03-28-04, 02:52 PM
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Originally posted by James W. Powell
What's the best bat for under $60? I found some sites that review bats, but they're all bats in the $120-$300 range.
I think the best way is by weight and length. Anyone you know own several bats that you can test? Or, try the batting cages. What may work for Scorcho, may not work for you. It's all about personal choice. Once you figure out what weight and length you really feel comfortable hitting with, hit consistantly with, go down to the store and look for the same weight and length, then narrow it down by price.
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Old 03-28-04, 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by devilshalo
I play in right also. I like the idiots to test my arm trying stretch a single. They scratch their head when they get thrown out at second.
Those third graders just can't figure it out!

BTW, my bat last year was a 34", 30 oz. with most of the weight towards the end. It was a tree trunk. I'm the smallest guy on the team and swung the heaviest bat, just because I like my bats heavy.
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