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Why Aren’t Softballs Soft? A Quick History Lesson.

Black & White Photo Of Vintage Womens Softball

A Brief History

If you’ve held a softball before (or worse gotten hit with one), you know that the “soft” is quite misleading.  Softballs are actually quite the opposite of what their name implies.  So why in the world is the name misleading?  We’re going to take a very quick, shortened down version of the events that led up to the softballs naming.

To understand how the softball got it’s name we have to go back a few years…quite a few.  All the way back into the 1800’s.  If we jumped in a time machine and travelled all the way back to Thanksgiving Day in 1887 we could witness the first “softball” game in Chicago Illinois at the Farragut Boat Club.  There was a gathering of people at the club this day to witness the outcome of the Yale vs Harvard football game.  After hearing the scores of the football game a boxing glove was wound up tightly into a ball and a broom stick served as a bat.  A group joined together and started playing this new game they had just come up with.  At this point the first “softball” game had started.

Within a week of this first makeshift game, a fellow named George Hancock designed the first ball which was about 16 inches and an undersized bat for this game which we would come to know as softball.  The Farragut Boat Club started holding indoor games and rules were established for the game.  Within a year the game would start being played outside and by 1889 the game had rules published for it.

About 6 years later, firefighters in Minneapolis started playing kitten ball (or lemon ball, or diamond ball), which was a variation of the original game but used a 12″ ball instead.  It wasn’t until 1926 that Walter Hakanson coined the name Softball for this sport.  By the 1930’s the name had spread across the country and was being used to describe the many variations of this sport.  By the time 1936 rolled around, the Joint Rules Committee of Softball had standardized the rules and naming across the United States.

What about fastpitch?

Fastpitch softball (which is what we are mainly focused on here at SotballGalaxy.com) didn’t really hit the scene until the 1930’s and 40’s.  In fact, by the 1940’s it had begun to dominate the sport.  Commercial and Semi-Pro leagues started popping up all around the country.  Both men and women participated in fastpitch softball.  It had become quite the spectator event as well, especially the men’s games.  It should be noted that fastpitch softball is one of the few world’s sports where women were welcomed extensively.  For this reason, we consider modern softball as a sport that is mainly dominated by women.

Fast forward into the future and by 1991, fastpitch softball had hit a growth spurt and the decision was made to include it in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games that were held in Atlanta Georgia.  (Here is a neat video of some of the highlights of the softball games played in the 1996 Olympics)

Ending Thougths

Of course there is much more history to the sport than this very brief write up we did.  But we think you get the gist of why it’s called softball now.  Consider this though…  Would softball even exist today had that boxing glove not been sitting there in that one spot in the Farragut Boat Club back in the 1800’s?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  We are thankful that it was though!  The modern game of softball is one of the most exciting sports to play for so many and we couldn’t think of a better way to spend our time than enjoying the game we all love!

Not enough history to fulfill your thirst for learning here?  Check out this book right here then.

Fastpitch: The Untold History of Softball and the Women Who Made the Game

We think you will enjoy it!

 

 

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The 15 Best Gifts For Any Fastpitch Softball Player

Top Best Birthday Gift For Softball Sports Player


We all know that it is sometimes near impossible to find the best gift for that special someone in our life.  This is also true for softball players.  Here at Softball Galaxy we’ve saved you time by giving you some great options for the best gifts for that softball player in your life, and most importantly it’s almost all related to….you guessed it, Softball!  So without wasting any more of your time, here are our 15 picks for the best gift ideas for your softball player.

*UPDATE – Yeah, yeah…we know it’s not 15 items anymore like the title says.  It’s more!!  These are tried and true items that we keep discovering so of course we’re going to share them with you!*

 


Franklin Sports Eye Black Stickers – Customizable with White Pencil

The girls in the Softball Galaxy family love this product!  They love being able to customize their eye black, and there were no problems with these coming off, even when their faces got hot and sweaty.



Softball Earrings Studs

Girls will be girls, and it just so happens that most girls love jewelry.  These affordable earrings are perfect for the young softball player wanting to show their hobby to the world and look good while doing it.  We can personally vouch that these make GREAT birthday presents your softball girls!



Softball Bracelet

What softball player wouldn’t want this amazing looking bracelet?  Cute and affordable, this bracelet makes a perfect gift for that girly softball player in your life.



Stack 52 Exercise Cards Tri Pack: Strength Bodyweight Workout Playing Card Game

Most softball players strive to reach their greatest potential, which is why this playing card game makes such a great gift idea.  Not really suitable for the youngest players, this will however be perfect for the older girls that want to build their strength up for the game.  Being able to workout anywhere without equipment, these cards and 15 mins a day can help your player build up the body strength they want to have to have improve their game.



Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro Smart Fitness Band (Small), Diamond Red, SM-R365NZRNXAR

Wanting to drop a little more money on a nicer gift for the softball player in your life?  Every softball player would love to sport around this really cool Samsung fitness watch.  With session apps powered by Under Armour, 50m water resistance, gps mapping and more this pool-ready, durable watch is sure to bring a smile to your players face!



Anker AK-A3182011 SoundCore Sport Portable Bluetooth Speaker [IPX7 Waterproof/Dustproof Rating, 10-Hour Playtime]

Picture this.  Your softball player is heading to the tournament.  Why not listen to some tunes (Guess what!  We have song suggestions as well!)  Strap this bluetooth speaker onto her bat bag and let her jam out to calm her nerves before the big game.  This speaker can handle the rain shower that passes over head, and is durable enough to handle the roughness of any dugout.  Crystal clear sound, good bass, up to 10 hour battery play time, and handsfree calling (with the build in microphone) makes this one great little speaker to gift to the softball player in your life.



Softball Flower Sign, Life Will Always Throw Curves, Baseball/Softball Sign

Do you have a softball player that keeps their room looking cute at any cost?  Do they enjoy decorating their walls with items that express their interests?  If the answer is Yes, then you can bet they would love this sign.  Look closely at the flower and you can see why any softball player with a sense of style would want this.


Softball Chick Fastpitch Women's Tank Top

 

 

 

 

 

Softball Chick Fastpitch Racerback Tank Top

This really cute Softball Chick design is not just available in women’s sizes, but smaller sizes as well as in tank tops, t-shirts, sweatshirts and more!  Any softball player in your life will definitely love this design.



Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win

Does your softball player love to keep her nose stuck in a book.  That’s great!  Always encourage the things that they love.  If they love reading and they love sports, then this is definitely the book for them!



Under Armour Women’s Radar III Softball Batting Gloves, Tropic Pink/White



VULCAN Bat Grip

While these grips are worth their awesome looks alone, they aren’t just to please the eye.  They also please your hands.  Wrap on these good looking Vulcan bat grips on your softball players bat while they sleep and let them wake up to the great new feel and look on their favorite bat.  Perfect gift for the softball addicts in your life.  Paired with the grip and rip below, it will almost be as if she has a completely new bat without all the expense!



Grip-N-Rip Bat Grip Taper, Pink

Cheap, yet very effective.  Makes the grip on a bat feel much more pinkie finger friendly.  Grab one for every bat in your players arsenal!



Hot Glove Glove Break-In Kit Value Bundle



Varo ARC Bat Training Weight, 12oz, for Softball (Jennie Finch Edition) – Barrel Feel – Improve Your Batting, Barrel Speed, and Develop Swing Mechanics



ALPHA Bat Rack (Multi-Purpose) Fence & Wall Mounted Baseball/Softball STEEL Bat Rack

Are you tired of seeing all the bats and gloves piled into a corner?  Give your player’s room an update with this cool looking bat rack! Store the ball, bats and gloves up off the floor and enjoy the much more pleasing view of her room.



The Softball Game Journal (A 50 Game Journal)

If your little softball player loves to write or keep journals in her spare time, then there’s nothing better than letting her have a softball specific journal that perfectly represents her love for the sport.  Perfect little gift for accompanying a larger purchase or stocking stuffer at Christmas time.  To top it off it is extremely inexpensive!



Boombah Rolling Superpack Softball Gear Bag

Here it is!  The best of the best when it comes to transporting all your softball gear.  We love this bag in our family so much that we have a 2nd one on the way as of writing this post.  Never worry about not having enough room for all of her gear with this bag, and having it on wheels makes it easy on her back when moving from field to field.


Tanner Tee

Don’t let her practice on those junky low end tees that continue to crack and break and may or may not be held together with electrical tape (yeah…we know….we’ve been there too).  If your softball player routinely uses tee practice to improve her form then she will be forever grateful if she receives this amazing, solid batting tee.  Can you spend less on a different brand?  Yes, but in the end you will most likely regret buying cheaper when you could have gotten quality the first time.

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The Best Warm-Up Music For Softball Walk Up 2019

Music Headphones For Softball Topic

Everyone has some jitters before the big game. It’s not a bad thing, but if too nervous it can definitely impact your focus and performance. One of the great ways that we recommend settling your nerves before the big game is to jam out to music. Here at Softball Galaxy we have compiled a playlist of some fantastic tracks to get you in the mood before any game. Or use these songs as walk up music when allowed. Either way, turn up the volume to 100% and jam out with this awesome pumped up music!

 

1. The Score Stronger

2. Papa Roach – Born for Greatness


3.Bring Me The Horizon – Throne


4. Katy Perry – Roar


5. Zombie Nation – Kernkraft 400 (Original Mix)


6. DJ Snake, Lil Jon – Turn Down for What


7. Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis – Can’t Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton) [Explicit]


8. Family Force 5 – Bzrk (Feat. Kb)


9. The Script – Hall of Fame


10. TobyMac – Unstoppable (feat. Blanca from Group 1 Crew) [feat. Blanca Callahan]


11. Baauer – Harlem Shake


12. Darude – Sandstorm (Radio Edit)


13. Drowning Pool – Bodies

 


14. Wiz Khalifa – Black And Yellow


15. Fallout Boy – Centuries


16. Saliva – Click Click Boom [Explicit]


17. The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – Something Just Like This


18.  Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes


19.  Skillet – Monster


20.  Skrillex –  Try It Out (Neon Mix)


21. Twenty One Pilots – Ride


22. All Good Things – For The Glory


23. Panic! At The Disco – High Hopes

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Top Fastpitch Softballs

Picture of softball

So ball season is back in full swing and you’re low on softballs for your girls. There’s plenty of options to choose from, but are there any that are actually standouts above the rest? Here at Softball Galaxy we can help you decide which softball you should be playing this year.

First off let us point out that we aren’t recommending these for slow pitch. Only fast pitch optic yellow softballs will be discussed.

So what size do you need?
Most often in youth fastpitch you will be seeing the 11″ or 12″ ball being used. However, sizing can range from 10″-12″ depending on the league (so double check with your coaches or league before you buy).

Which stamps should you look for?
Typically each league will have set rules that tell you what stamps to look for on softballs. USSSA, ASA, and NFHS all have different standards set for compression, ball size and COR (coefficient of restitution). Once again, make sure that you check with your coaches or league officials for the information you need to pick the right stamped ball.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get into the softballs!

For this article we will be separating the ASA, NFHS, and USSSA balls.


ASA BALLS


Our first ball you must look into is the MacGregor X100.  Balls can be expensive, especially if you want quality ones.  The MacGregor X100’s are a nice, wallet friendly choice.  With raised seams (not quite on par with some of the more expensive options, but still very good) and a leather covering, you can expect to get some great results from these balls.  At this time you can easily find the MacGregor  X100’s in ASA certified and NFHS certified, just make sure you’re getting the right ball for the right league.  If you don’t want to break the bank on softballs then these are a definite choice for you! (.47 COR, 375 Compression)


On deck we have the Rawlings 12″ C12RYLAH Official ASA Dream Seam Fast Pitch Softballs.  Claimed by some to be the “best fastpitch ball” on the market, the Dream Seam may have a bit bigger price tag than the MacGregor X100, but may be worth it to you for what you’re getting.  You may not wish to use these as an all around practice ball, but for game time and pitching, this is a contender for filling that spot.  The “Dream Seam” name is not misleading on these balls.  Pitchers love them and much prefer the feel of these seams in their hands, so if you’re little one spends time on the mound, make sure you give the Rawlings 12″ Dream Seams a try and she may never want another brand ball in her hands. (.47 COR, 375 Compression)


USSSA BALLS

The Champro Synthetic USSSA Fast Pitch 11″ Ball is a solid choice for girls under USSSA standards.  This fair priced ball has a solid polyurethane core and it’s covering is a durahide cover giving this ball good durability.  The blue seams are raised for good grip when handling the Champro Synthetic ball. (.47 COR, 350 Compression)

Dudley balls are known for their quality, and the Dudley USSSA Thunder Heat Fast Pitch 12″ Softball is no letdown for their brand.  Sporting a leather cover for long lasting durability, blue raised seams for a good grip and a polyurethane center makes the Dudley ball a great game or practice ball for those in the USSSA leagues.  (.47 COR, 350 Compression)


NFHS BALLS

The Mark 1 NFHS 12″ Softball has quite a following of fans.  Due to it’s normally affordable price, this ball is a great one to be bringing to the field.  This is a leather covered raised stitch ball and should last a good long time with your players.  The Mark 1 has a poly-core for quality performance.  If you don’t want to spend a ton for a good NFHS stamped softball, the Mark 1 is one of your best bets. (.47 COR, 375 Compression)

You may end up paying up for the Wilson High School and Adult Fast Pitch Softball 12″ (A9011), however the phrase “you get what you pay for” can be applied to this ball.  One of the most well touted balls in NFHS leagues, this ball will serve any purpose included as your sole game ball.  There is a reason that as of this time the A9011 is the official game ball of the NFHS league.  The A9011 has a nice durable leather covering with SST raised seams that are 20% higher than other fast-pitch balls.  The A9011 sports a compression controlled polycore.  (.47 COR, 375 Compression)
 

Warm-Up Music for Softball

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Softball Batting & Hitting Training Aids For Your Girls

Photo for Softball Training Aid Blog

All players want to get better at softball….well, at least hopefully they do!  Nothing will get you in pristine playing condition as well as practice and good solid coaching from a knowledgeable coach or trainer.  However, do not discount the use of training aids to sharpen your batting and fielding performance.  Here at Softball Galaxy we’ve compiled a list of some of the most tried and true training aids to continually get better in your softball game.

Nothing gets you ready for batting like a good batting practice off the tee.  Players can get in a lot of swings in a short amount of time with a tee.  Now understand this, there are some JUNK tees out there, so make sure that if you don’t take our recommendations that you at least look up some reviews of what you are getting before you buy it.  While some of them could be quality, many of the lower priced options will end up falling apart within a few sessions.  Here are two tees that are on both end of the price spectrum so you can make a good choice.



First up is the tee that, if you’re dead serious about dedicated tee practice and you plan to hit many many balls off of a tee – well this is the tee for you.  The Tanner Tee is probably the most well accepted tee on the market at this time.  Coaches and players alike love the ease and durability of this well made batting tee.  With 25+ years of custom tee building experience, Tanner Tees hit the nail on the head with this product.  Featuring a patented, hand-rolled flexible rubber ball rest, the Tanner Tee gives the batter more feel of the ball being hit and less of the the tee which is a great thing.  Long lasting and solidly built with a reputation of backing the quality of their products, you would not regret purchasing the Tanner Tee.

Tanner Tee

Next we have the MacGregor Batting Tee.  This is a nice, quality tee that is more budget friendly than the Tanner Tee.  Made of heavy duty rubber components and a heavy base, the MacGregor Batting Tee should give you plenty of reps at the tee.  With a height adjustment from 20″-36″ this tee can easily (and quickly) simulate high and low pitches.   If you don’t want to spend too much on a batting tee and still get quality, you can’t do much better at this price point than with the MacGregor Batting Tee.


SKLZ Impact Balls – Heavy-Duty Training Ball

If you are going to be doing your training on the tee, then of course you’re gonna need something to swing at.  Many prefer the ease of hitting plastic balls off the tee and saving the wear on their more expensive softballs.  The SKLZ Impact Heavy Duty Plastic Softballs (Pack of 8) work perfectly for this type of use.  Virtually indestructible, these plastic balls can take tons of hits.  They are a little heavier than your typical plastic practice ball, so they provide a better feel at time of impact with the bat.  This also provides truer flight and more ease of pitching if you do soft toss or practice pitches to other hitters.  Make sure you don’t regret buying the cheap, thinner plastic practice balls this year.  Grab up these SKLZ Impact Heavy Duty Plastic Softballs and enjoy the advantage you get with them.


FORTRESS Baseball Sock Net Screen – Pro Quality

If you’re going to do tee practice then you really will want a hitting net to catch your balls, ESPECIALLY if you’re hitting real softballs.  The mother of all nets is the Fortress Baseball Sock Net Screen (and yes, it will work for softballs despite the name).Measuring in at 7’x7′ and  built solidly out of a galvanized steel frame with rubberized feet, the Fortress Baseball Sock Net Screen is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.  With it’s #42 sized heavy duty netting you can expect years of use catching all your line drives into this amazing net.  Pitchers can also benefit from this net as well.  Easy set up and takedown, make this net a great addition to your training items.

Easton XLP Catch Net, 5-Feet

If you want a bit lighter weight, smaller net than the fortress the Easton XLP Catch Net would be what you’re looking for.  If you look at the market there are many rebranded similar batting nets out there.  However most of them don’t catch the ball like the Easton XLP Catch Net does.  Available in 5’x5′ (pictured) and 7’x7′, you can pick the size that fits your practice needs the most.  With Easton you know you can expect a good quality product and this hitting net does not disappoint.  Lightweight, durable, double stitched netting and a large target area make the Easton XLP Catch Net a definite contender for our favorite hitting nets.


 

 

Top Fastpitch Softballs

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Softball Fielders Masks: Valuable Protection

Photo for Valuable Face Mask Protection Softball

Fielders masks have become much more popular in recent years and we are glad to see this trend.  There is no need in risking any injury to your face from a line drive.  It is just not worth it.   All infielders are at a high risk, with your pitchers especially being in the crosshairs when it comes to being hit by a ball.  Standing closer to the batter than even in baseball, they stand at risk of being rocked by a hit more than most any other player on the field.  If that happens it could be the end of their career, or worse.  Here is a video of a pitcher WITH A MASK on being hit in the face.  Had she not been wearing her fielders mask there is no telling how bad off her injuries would have been.  Please watch and you will definitely make wearing a mask a priority on the field for you or your players.

There is not an over-abundance of fielders masks on the market, so we’ve done the research and have come up with our top 3 suggestions for best fielders masks that we can find and we URGE you to purchase one of these for the safety of your softball player especially when playing the infield.

PLAN - PRICE

Description

Schutt Varsity Softball Titanium Fielder’s Guard

Durable Titanium

Good Visibility

Very Lightweight

RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask – Youth

Steel Mask

Great Visibilty

Best Looking

TOP PICK

SKLZ Youth Fastpitch Field Shield (Small/Medium)

Polycarbonate Material

Budget Option

IMPORTANT:  These are SOFTBALL masks.  They are NOT meant to protect you from a BASEBALL!


RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask – Youth

Near the top of our lists for Fielder’s Masks is the RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask.  Available in most colors and pony-tail friendly, this mask is one of the most common seen on the field and for good reason.  It is a quality well built mask, that still provides some of the best vision from the player compared to many other masks.  This lightweight mask fits comfortably and is adjustable to fit most any face/head size.  The adjustable chin cup lets you remove and replace the chin piece wherever fits your style best.  You can find many testimonies of players using this mask and having it taking a hit and saved that player from injury or worse.  The reason for this is that the RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask is designed in a way that (to put in simple terms) if a player is hit by the ball while wearing this mask, the mask helps to deflect the impact of the hit and spread it across a wider area, thus bringing the severity of the hit down and in turn causing much less injury.   All-in-all you can’t go wrong with picking up this quality mask.


Schutt Varsity Softball Titanium Fielder’s Guard

In our opinion, the closest contender to the RIP-IT mask is the Schutt Varsity Softball Titanium Fielder’s Guard.  Here we have another nice quality, well-built mask for your girls.  You will still get great protection from this mask.  The main difference here is that this mask is made with titanium to bring the weight of the mask down and the comfort levels up.  While covering up just a tiny bit more of the visibility than the RIP-IT, you will still have a great view out of this mask.  If you really want the lightest most comfortable mask you can get, and you don’t mind paying a bit more for it, then the Schutt Varsity Softball Titanium Fielder’s Guard is most definitely the mask for you.


SKLZ Youth Fastpitch Field Shield (Small/Medium)

Coming in as a bit more affordable option than the Rip-It and the Schutt is the SKLZ Youth Fastpitch Field Shield.  Unlike the steel and titanium masks, the SKLZ fielders mask is made of ultra-lightweight polycarbonate material that is non-bendable and shatterproof.  With decent vision you won’t complain despite the SKLZ having more and wider bars running across the front of the mask.  The mask also sports 3/4″ foam and an adjustable chin pad for comfort through the entire game.  While this mask would not be our first option, it will definitely do the job for those on a budget yet still wanting to protect their little ones during game time.


In closing we cannot stress enough how important it is to keep our kids and ourselves safe out on the field.  Softball is a sport that many love, but it can still be dangerous and life altering.  Please wear a Fielder’s Mask if you are in a position where you are at risk to get hit.

Softball Batting & Hitting Training Aids For Your Girls

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Best Softball Bats For Your Child (6U or 8U)

Softball Batter With Mask, Helmet, Bat

Is it time to be looking for a new softball bat for your 6U or 8U youth?  Are you wanting to skip the hours of research that it takes to figure out the best bats that you should consider?  If your answer is “yes” then you’re in the right spot!  Bat buying is not the most enjoyable task to tackle, but it’s something that we all must do since new softball players are always joining teams, and the current players are outgrowing their last season’s model.  So relax, take a look through the models we thoroughly researched and find your little softball players’ next bat.

Just to make it clear, we firmly believe that the best way to find the right bat is by swinging it.  If your interested in a bat you see on here, try and find somewhere local to demo the bat before purchasing it. 

When buying your 6U or 8U player a bat, you first need to decide what size and type of bat she should be hitting.

There are a few things you need to consider when looking for the right softball bat.

  1.  Length
  2. Weight
  3.  League Association
  4. Bat Type

Length

When buying a bat, if you get a bat that is too long it can sometimes be very difficult for your child to swing.  On the opposite end, you don’t want a bat that is too short for your child either.  A good rule of thumb to remember is that a child under 60 pounds will usually do best with a bat between 26″-29″ and a child over 60 pounds will do best with a bat between 28″-32″.   For a child just starting out, if they are in the 3′-3’4″ height range then 26″ is a good starting length for their first bat.  For every 4-5″ that they grow, you should add 1″ to their bat length.

Weight

After you have figured out the proper length bat for you child, the next thing you should consider is weight of the bat.  A bat that is too heavy will cause a much slower “draggy” swing  with poor control that results in bad contact or all out strikes.  When looking at bats, you will notice that many bats won’t show the actual weight but instead will show the drop weight.  The drop weight is the difference between the length of the bat and the weight of the bat.  In other words LENGTH – WEIGHT = DROP WEIGHT.  For example, a bat that is 27″ and a weight of 17oz would have a drop weight of -10.  For 6U and 8U players you will most likely be looking at bats with a (-13.5)-(-10) drop with the consideration that their bat is between 24″-29″.

League Association

Every league has their own rules regarding what is and isn’t allowed pertaining to equipment.  When it comes to bats, the manufacturer stamps the bats with the logo of whatever certification that bat has.  If you’re not sure if the bat you’re looking at is approved for your league then you should check with the coaches or read the league’s rule book to make sure the bat you are considering is allowed before purchasing it.

Bat Type

There are 3 main types of softball bats, when it comes to the material they are made out of.  Alloy bats, Composite bats and Hybrids bats which are basically a mix of the two with the handle being composite and the barrels being alloy.  Here we will show a few pros and cons of each material to help you decide which bat will work best for your child.

      -Alloy Pros

  • Usually much less expensive than composite bats
  • Ready to use at purchase, no break in required
  • Often outlasts a composite bat since they usually don’t crack (instead they dent).  A composite bat is unusable once cracked.

     -Alloy Cons

  • Alloy usually has a smaller sweet spot and less pop than a composite bat

     -Composite Pros

  • Less sting on your hands from mis-hit balls due to the reduced vibration in these bats
  • Larger sweet spot and more pop than an alloy bat

     -Composite Cons

  • Bats require a break-in period
  • More expensive than alloy bats

– Hybrid Pros

  • Usually cost less than a full composite bat
  • No break in period
  • Less sting and vibration due to the composite handle
  • Longer barrel life than a composite (due to the barrel end being alloy)

 -Hybrid Cons

  • Costs more than a full alloy bat
  • Handle can be susceptible to cracking
  • Not always legal in every league

 

Now, let’s get to the bats!


Best Bat For Beginners

Easton 2018 PINK SAPPHIRE Fast Pitch Softball Bat

The Easton Pink Sapphire is a -10 drop alloy bat which is great for beginners entering into softball.  We recommend this softball bat due to it’s extremely affordable price, great durability and many happy players (and parents) that have gotten this exact bat for their little ones.


Best Budget Hybrid (Composite/Alloy) Bat

DeMarini Bustos Fastpitch Softball Bat

The DeMarini Bustos is a -13 drop hybrid bat that utilizes a DX1 Alloy barrel paired with a fiber reinforced composite handle.  With low hand sting, less vibrations, low price and a very satisfied following, the Bustos is a diamond in the rough when it comes to finding a quality hybrid softball bat at a price that is a bit lower than many other bats of similar quality.


Best Budget Alloy Bat

Mizuno Finch Jennie Fastpitch Softball Bat

The Mizuno Jennie Finch is a -13 drop alloy bat that uses a one piece MZ 2200+ alloy design.  If you’re wanting to stick with an alloy bat that works great for the 6U and 8U players, then look no further.  Light, solidly made, pleasing to the eye, and easy on your wallet, you can’t go wrong with the Jennie Finch softball bat.

 


BEST OF THE BEST

DeMarini 2018 CFX -11 Fast Pitch Bat

If money isn’t an option and you feel that other bats hold your child back from her full potential, then the DeMarini CFX -11 is the bat you want in her hands.  The CFX -11 uses a very strong Paraflex composite material for their barrel design that allows for more precise weight distribution, better flex, and great pop.  The CFX -11 also has a 3Fusion System which basically gives the bat a better feel while reducing vibration by redirecting the energy back into the barrel instead of the grip.  Although the CFX-11 is recommended for 12 and over, they do make a 28″/17oz and a 29″/18oz that some of the 8U girls could probably swing depending on their strength, height, and weight.

 


Softball Fielders Masks: Valuable Protection

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Budget Equipment Guide For Beginner Softball Players

Girl Batting in softball game

So it has arrived.  You’re little one has gone from being a T-ball player to their first year of coach pitch softball, chances are this is considered 6U (6 Under).  It’s a big deal for many of them.  Some have never in their life hit a ball thrown to them, while others have had quite a bit of practice getting used to a hand thrown pitch.  At this point you need to start realizing that the players will now have league rules to abide by and you must make sure that the bats and balls you use are stamped for the league that your child will be playing in.  Most of what we will be recommending will work for any league, however with the bats, make sure to check with your coach or league officials that it is the proper bat for your child.

What if you’re not sure that softball is the right fit for your child?  What if money is tight at the moment and you want to get out of this without breaking the bank.  We’ve done the hard work for you and found some of the best budget friendly options for your child’s first year in softball.  So lets get started!

First of we know of 4 items that your child definitely needs (unless furnished by the team).

1. Bat (and no…a tee ball bat is not made for softball and does not meet the league standards most likely)

2. Glove

3. Helmet

4. Uniform (we don’t cover socks and shirts and most often they are furnished by team)

Some of these items may be furnished by the team, however most kids enjoy having their own bat, glove and helmet.  And it’s more sanitary as well, especially with the issue of head lice and helmets.


BAT

Easton 2018 Women’s PINK SAPPHIRE Fast Pitch Softball Bat -11, 25″/15 oz

The Easton Pink Sapphire is a great bat for a first year softball player.  It’s not going to put too much of an impact on your wallet, and yet it will still be a solid bat for your child.  There is no real reason to spend a lot on a bat at this point as not only will they outgrow it quickly, but most kids this age can’t hit hard enough to need a top of the line bat.

Now it is to be noted that bats come in different lengths, weights, and drop (the difference between the length and weight of a bat).  You can go get your child fitted for a bat which is highly recommended, or you can use the guidelines on Easton’s Website to help you decide.


GLOVE


Louisville Slugger 9.5-Inch Youth TPS Fastpitch Diva Ball Glove (Right Hand Throw)

First off, make sure that you are getting the correct glove for your child.  A right handed thrower will wear her glove on the left hand and vice-versa.  This is actually a common mistake that is made, but usually is figured out in T-ball years and not first year softball.  Still we needed to mention it.  The Louisville Slugger 9.5″ Youth TSP glove is a good choice for their first year in softball.  At only 9.5 inches hey won’t have to struggle with having too big of a glove and since it needs no break in, it is ready to go as is.  There is nothing fancy about this glove, but it will certainly get the job done and stay well within budget compared to many other similar gloves on the market.


HELMET

Schutt Sports AiR 5.6 Softball Batter’s Helmet

The helmet is probably one of the most important parts of this article.  It is only used to keep your child safe.  You wouldn’t normally want to skimp on a safety item, however this helmet is a solid choice at a really good price with many different colors and sizes (we linked to pink because we know the girls love it!).  Not only will a helmet protect from an errant throw (more likely while running the bases than batting if it is a coach pitch league, BUT you must also realize that at this age some of the girls may walk right into a swinging batter and a helmet can protect from a nasty injury if  that happens.  The Schutt Sports AiR 5.6 is a great choice for a wallet friendly helmet for your kids.


UNIFORM

Intensity Girl’s Low Rise Double Knit Pant, Youth, Small, Black

Here at Softball Galaxy we like the Intensity Girls Low Rise pants.  They have a better fit on the kids and don’t seem to sag as bad as some of the other “softball” pants.  Make sure to check into these and get the right size and colors for your child (we link to youth small, black).  For a durable pair of softball pants that actually look good on your child, you can’t really do much better than these pants.


Now that we’ve covered the basics for what your child will most likely HAVE to have, we can now suggest a few more  things (still within budget) to add to your softball items.


BATTING TEE

MacGregor Batting Tee

Here is a fantastic batting tee for help with training your child.  We firmly believe that repetitions on a tee can teach a child almost better than anything when it comes to hitting the ball and working on their swing.  Sure, you could go to any big-box store and get your child a tee, but there is a good chance that you will pick up one of the junk brands that won’t last many practice sessions. You just won’t find a quality tee anywhere else for the price of what you will pay for this batting tee.  Trust us on this one when we say that this is a great deal for a great tee.


SUNGLASSES

VATTER TR90 Unbreakable Polarized Sport Sunglasses For Kids Boys Girls Youth

If you’ve ever played ball yourself, you know that the sun can be a major issue out on the field.  If it is directly in your sight path aligned with a solid hit, you could even injure yourself.  The VATTER TR90 are a great pair of polarized sports sunglasses at a very fair price for your kids.  Available in many colors, your child can pick whichever one works best for her.  Lightweight, yet super tough (due to the bendable nature of the frames), your kid shouldn’t have any complaints about wearing these sport glasses on the field.  They even come with a number of accessories including cleaning cloth, pouch, screwdriver and neck strap.


FIELDER’S MASK

RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask Youth Black

Some may not consider the RIP-IT mask a budget item and some also may not consider it a must have item.  However, at Softball Galaxy we firmly believe in the safety of all kids out on the field.  There are a handful of 6U girls that can really hit the ball…and I mean REALLY hit the ball hard.  If you are like us and feel that it is better to be safe than sorry, then you should heavily consider sending your kid out on the field with a Fielder’s Mask.  We feel like the RIP-IT Defense, while not the cheapest, is still a very affordable option and a lot cheaper than sending your kid to the hospital with face injuries.  Please take our advice and keep your little ones safe out there on the field.


EQUIPMENT BAG

Athletico Youth Baseball Bat Bag – Backpack for Baseball, T-Ball & Softball Equipment

So after you have gotten the basics for your child’s first year in softball, you may realize it’s a hassle to carry everything around.  If you reach that point (which most will), then you will surely start looking into equipment bags.  Save yourself the hassle and leave the searching to us.  You can certainly buy a cheaper bag than the Athletico bag, however it will more than likely not be a backpack type bag and will still be a bit of a hassle to lug around.  Most girls actually enjoy sporting around a nice looking equipment backpack on their back, it lets them feel the thrill of looking the part (and there is nothing wrong with that!).  Many similar style backpacks can run a pretty penny, however this bag is very well priced for such a bag.  Not only is it affordable, but it is a great, durable bag at that!  A little tip, the pink bag is more expensive at the time of this article than the other colors so to keep costs down you may want to stay away from pink.


HYDRATION


Contigo AUTOSEAL Trekker Kids Water Bottles, 14 oz., Sprinkles & Wink, 2-Pack

Some teams may furnish water.  If not your kid will surely need to stay hydrated during some of the hot days they may end up playing in.  Water bottles have actually become stupid priced in some instances, but for cheaper than the price of  many of the single water bottles on the market you can pick up this Contigo 2-pack.  Contigo is a well known brand for kids water bottles and well liked for a good reason.  They have quality bottles and they stand behind them.  This 2-pack is perfect for your little one to keep hydrated while sweating up a storm out on the diamond.


 


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