The Louisville Slugger vs Demarini Bat Battle in College Softball

Published on November 11, 2017 by Hannah Trombley  
girl in purple swinging bat

We all know that baseball in America may be a little more popular than softball, but I haven’t forgotten about my sport! The 2017 College World Series went underway about a few months ago with new gear and fresh new bats. How do we figure out which bat was the most dominant according to the seven teams who were left?  How are they compared to the 2016 College World Series?

Demarini and Louisville Slugger combined have represented more than half of the teams who competed in the tournament. Amazingly, these bat brands are used all over the U.S. Each team is from somewhere different using a different bat brand. As you can see in the chart below, each college team is listed underneath the bat brand their team uses during the World Series. This is the field of the 64 teams broken down by bat brand usage going into regionals, super regionals and then the College World Series.

Bat Brands and Teams that Used Them

In order to make it to the final round of the College World Series you must make it past the regionals. You have Regionals and Super Regionals. Once you win past these two, you will advance to the College World Series. This chart below also shows the 64 teams broken down by bat usage and their total play off field. Louisville Slugger and Demarini combined showed that 33 of the teams in Regionals used their bats, leaving them with a 53% rate of the playoff field. I believe Louisville Slugger and Demarini are the hottest bats out yet.

2017 Women's NCAA Softball Bat Brand Usage Breakdown

Teams who use the Demarini bat were in the top seven teams left in the College World Series.  Auburn and Oregon were in the top five. Demarini and Louisville Slugger clearly has the reputation of being the hottest bat around and having the highest performance rate. 33% percent of the teams in the College World Series used the Louisville Slugger bat proudly. Every college has different brands but Louisville Slugger seemed to be the most popular between the seven teams who advanced. Surprisingly, Oklahoma took home the National Title using the brand Rawlings.

Brands in 2016 College World Series

 2016 Fastpitch CWS Bat Presence

Softball bats are all about the “pop”. It is needed in order to get a good hit. This graph above is the success of the bat in the College World Series (2016). Demarini had the most teams in the tournament at 11 teams. Easton and Worth were tied for second with 8 teams. Louisville Slugger was fourth with only 6 teams. Demarini teams not only made the tournament, but they hit the most RBIs (runs batted in) and advanced more often than others. 

In 2016, Demarini was at the top. It had the most teams using their brand and Louisville Slugger was at the bottom. Demarinis’ teams also ended up winning the most games on an average. Breaking the bat brand statistics down happens in two different ways.  The first (below) is the frequency of the players hitting results per bat. Demarini has the most RBIs and extra base hits per at bat. Although, Louisville Slugger had the most home runs per at bat. Homeruns are always exciting, but RBI’s seem to be more important in the aspect of scoring your teammates.

2016 Fastpitch CWS Offensive Statistics per At Bat by Bat Brand

The second way to measure the success of the bats is by traditional batting statistics.  The chart (below) shows the four major fast pitch businesses and their success in the 2016 College World Series. Louisville Slugger had more on base percentages than Demarini by .41%. On base percentage is important in the World Series because the more people on base, the most likely you will score.  On base percentages, slugging percentages and batting averages were by far swept away by the Louisville Slugger bat. 

2016 Fastpitch CWS Offensive Statistics by Bat Brand

Understanding the difference between RBIs and batting percentages can be tough.  It is all about the individual and the team. RBI stands for runs batted in, which means you hit the ball and scored a run for your team. Batting averages are just for the individual. This is your average with each at bat you have, depending on what you performed. Louisville Slugger may have dominated in home runs for each individual, but Demarini had the most RBIs. Either way, Demarini and Louisville Slugger were not far from behind each other. In the statistics I have listed, these two bats together are deadly in the world of softball.

This blog post was written by Samford University student Hannah Trombley. https://www.linkedin.com/feed/

References

Bat and Ball Game. (2017, April). Best Softball Bats for 2017
Retrieved October 7, 2017, from https://batandballgame.com/best-fastpitch-softball-bats/

(Aaron, WhatProsWear). (2016, May). NCAA Softball College World Series 2017 Bat Usage by Brand
Retrieved October 8, 2017, from http://www.whatproswear.com/2017-ncaa-softball-college-world-series-bat-usage-by-brand/

(JustBatReviews), (2016). Top 2016 Fast pitch Bats, NCAA Statistical Analysis
Retrieved October 9, 2017, from http://www.justbatreviews.com/top-2016-fastpitch-bats/