Tag Archives: Softball Buying Guide

Most Popular Fastpitch Softball Gloves & Mitts

Popular Fastpitch Softball Gloves and Mitts

Fastpitch Softball Gloves
When it comes to the game of fastpitch softball, gloves and mitts are one of the most important choices an athlete can make. Each year, vendors roll out their new line for the upcoming season. Typically, each line includes gloves/mitts produced for specific positions with a variety of leathers and pocket web designs. Some gloves are made for the both right- and left-handed players; but the majority of gloves / mitts are designed for the right-handed thrower.

As a female athlete, it’s important to find a glove that has been made specifically for the female player. These gloves feature narrow fingers, smaller wrist openings, and a wider pocket.

This season, three fastpitch softball gloves have become popular choices.

Nokona Walnut Fastpitch Gloves
The Nokona brand is synonymous with high-quality, top-of-the line offerings. Their Nokona Walnut line is a classic best-selling glove that provides great stability, durability, and a game-ready feel. The Walnut Fastpitch gloves are constructed of flexible, lightweight Walnut Steerhide Leather. They are handcrafted and made specifically for the female athlete’s hand. The single finger closed back with adjustable Velcro wrist strap offers a personalized fit for each individual player. The fielder’s and catcher’s gloves come in a variety of sizes with a closed web, while the first base is available with an H-web design. They’re all available for the right-handed thrower.

Wilson A2000
Wilson’s A2000 is designed for the serious fastpitch athlete. This 12.5-inch fastpitch glove has been created with the new Custom Fit System, a hook and loop wrist closure that offers every player a customized secure fit – no matter how tight she wears it. It is built from Premium Pro Stock leather that gives the glove superior feel and durability; and allows the glove to break in perfectly and last from season to season. The A2000 features D-Fusion padding just below the pocket to absorb the shock of hard line drives; a Victory Web that makes it the perfect outfielder glove; and is available for right-handed throwers.

Rawlings Liberty Advanced
Rawlings has developed a perfectly-balanced pattern technology for the Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Softball Glove series. This 12.5-inch glove is designed for the smaller hand of the female athlete, therefore providing improved control and comfort. The nonslip pull strap makes the hand opening adjustable for a custom fit. The Liberty Advanced Glove is constructed from full-grain oil-treated shell leather making it feel game-ready. It features a double-laced basket web which forms a closed, deep pocket making it an excellent choice for infielders, outfielders, and pitchers. It’s available for right-handed throwers.

While these three gloves rise to the top of this year’s offerings, there are many other options available for all levels of players. Longstreth Sporting Goods has a huge variety of gloves and mitts specifically designed for the female athlete. Visit Longstreth to see the fastpitch equipment selection or ask the Softball Expert how to select the perfect glove for you.


Guide to Buying Essential Softball Equipment for your Daughter


Are you planning to buy softball equipment for your daughter?  Having the best equipment that your daughter is comfortable in will allow her perform to the maximum and be the best. Here is a guide that will help you buy the right softball gear.

 Softball bat

There is no better bat than the other. You need to purchase a bat that suits your daughter’s skill level, weight, height, and age. If your daughter is small and is just building up her strength choose a lighter bat that she will be able to control and swing easily. If she is stronger, a heavier bat will do for her as she will be able to control her speed.

8-9 year old girls should use a softball bat of 26-28 inches. As your daughter grows each year, you can just add an inch.  Aluminum bat is good for beginners, so you can start with the aluminum bat. It is easy for her to improve her swing and doesn’t put much weight and pressure on her shoulder. Softball bats at Longstreth are available in a wide variety for your daughter to choose from.


The helmet is one of the most essential softball gear. Softball helmets are made of durable plastic and foam. It helps distribute the forces in case the ball hits the batter’s head. The design of the helmet is based on the team or individual preference, but ensure to buy a helmet that fits your daughter’s head a little tight.


With the modern technology the softball gloves have improved a lot resulting in excellent performance.  Consider the size, comfort, and design to suit your daughter’s taste and built, however, note that there are different types of gloves for a different player position. If your daughter is an outfielder, the glove size would be a little larger. Their hand configuration would have deeper pockets that help catch the ball. Infielders require small glove; it allows them to release the ball faster.


Buy the shoes that fit your daughter and that she is comfortable in. Consider the material of the cleats, the weight and how stable is your daughter in the shoes.  Consider the inner sole and the outer sole. Equally, check the stud length. All these considerations would help you in selecting the best cleats for your daughter.

Protective equipment

The kind of protective equipment your daughter would need would be based on the position she is playing in. Catchers especially need to have the right catcher’s equipment to stay safe. Sliders protect your daughter when sliding to the base and also protect her calf. The sliding shorts are padded upper thigh with a synthetic compression legging. Other equipment that helps protect your daughter and reduce chances of injuries include,

Knee savers- for catchers they help minimize strain at the knee joint.

Leg Guards/Shin guards- There is a difference between the two. Leg guards are for catchers and they should cover a little bit above the top of the knee all the way down to the ankles and top of feet. Shin guards are usually for batters. They cover from the top of the foot and ankle to half way up the shin. These protect the shin from fouled off balls.

Elbow pads- they help protect elbows and are usually used by batters.

Battling gloves- they help reduces chances of hand blisters.

Chest protector- they help cover the chest and avoid compelling injuries.

When buying the softball equipment note that different leagues have different rules and regulations. Find out about the colors and other specifications from your daughter’s coach. While its easy to get carried away and spend a fortune on the equipment, you don’t really need the real high end stuff if she is just starting out. What really matters is the fit- the equipment needs to be comfortable for your daughter in order for her to play well. Longstreth Sporting Goods Store has all the right equipment for your young player and our sports counselors are always at hand to answer your questions and to help you guide in making your buying decisions.

5 Ways Parents can help their Young Softball Player

One of the best things that you can do for a young player first lacing up the softball cleats is to build their love of the game. You will help to teach them core values like teamwork and dedication, while giving them the gift of a positive environment and healthy habits that last a lifetime. The benefits of playing a team sport like softball are nearly too many to list. Here are five ways that you can help your beginning softball player to improve in the sport.
Young Softball Player
1. Keep it Fun

Remember that team sports, especially for young girls, should be positively motivated. Even if you or your spouse was a star player, that doesn’t mean your daughter automatically shares the same love of the game. She will have to build this over time. The best way to do this is by encouraging her to enjoy the game. You may encounter coaches or other parents that put a lot of pressure on young players. Try to counteract this by always encouraging your daughter, and modeling good behavior in front of her teammates.

2. Get the Right GearTo help your daughter develop as a player, you don’t necessarily need to buy all the softball equipment that you saw at the College World Series last year, or have a softball pitching machine (buy them here if you decide to) in your backyard. However, make sure that she has a glove that fits and that she likes. Be sure to offer her softball bats that will help her to develop a correct swing. The last thing you want is for her to suffer an injury, so make sure she has softball cleats, or even some great beginner’s catcher’s gear, if that is her position. Then, encourage her to properly care for the investment in equipment that you have made.

3. Reward Hard Work Once your daughter starts to really enjoy the game, continue to reward her dedication. If she takes the initiative to join a summer league or train in the off-season, sacrifice a bit of your time and resources to make sure that she can make practices. If she shows dedication, you should too. Reward hers with upgraded bats from Demarini or other brands and other equipment, your praise, and support.

4. Keep Calm During Setbacks

For every young athlete, there are setbacks, losses, injuries, and struggles. Lead by example by correcting problems when they can be fixed, and encouraging her to learn from the difficult times of the game. Let her take a break from the sport if she needs to. If she really loves it, she’ll return to it, but in the meantime encourage other healthy habits that build an overall winning attitude.

5. Find Positive Influences

You could be the best softball player in your city, but your daughter would still need other coaches and parents to give her a balanced approach to the game. Find other role models for her to follow besides yourself, and encourage her to learn from them. Often your local Softball Store will be able to connect her with such local support system. Whether that’s a local high school pitching star that is willing to share her experience, or a coach that really knows how to motivate young players, she will need many people to help her develop the skills and habits that make a great young player.

Alloy vs. Composite Softball Bats – What Should You Be Using?

Softball batsYou want every hit coming off the softball bats that you choose to be accurate and hit at the distance that you want. Sometimes that’s right out of the park.  Sometimes it means the perfectly placed sacrifice bunt. So which bat should you be using to make sure that you make the most of every opportunity, every time you’re at the plate? There are so many choices available to you now, but you have too main choices in materials. Whether you choose an alloy or a composite softball bat depends on a lot of different factors.


If you need to watch your budget, and many younger players and their families do, alloy bats have a big advantage over composite bats. You can easily pick up two or three great alloy bats from big name brands like Easton or Louisville for the same price as one of the top composite bats. If you’re still learning the game, it can be a big advantage to have a few different bats available to you with different weight balances. Choosing to go with alloy as your bat’s material offers you this possibility. 


When it comes down to performance on game day, almost all top level players now choose a composite bat. Companies like DeMarini, Worth, and all of the other big names bats constantly innovate and improve their designs, offering you some truly incredible bat options in fastpitch softball bats. When the first composite bats appeared in the 1980s, they performed very poorly, but with advances in materials, composite bats now easily outhit alloy bats, featuring a much larger sweet spot. You may also notice more “pop” coming off the bat with every hit. 

Composite bats do have one disadvantage in performance. When you first purchase a composite bat, you need to break it in before you will see the best performance from it. With an alloy bat, the first time you use it to hit you will be able to see its full potential. It will take a couple hundred solid hits with your new composite bat before it is properly warmed up and ready for its game day debut.


Composite bats do have one more negative when compared to alloy bats. The same carbon fiber that makes these bats lighter and easier to swing, also makes them vulnerable to damage. Especially during your early springtime games, you may want to choose an alloy bat, because cold temperature make the composite material more likely to crack. 

If you do some minor damage to an alloy bat, it is very likely that you will be able to keep using it without danger or reduced performance. An alloy bat can suffer a dent or two and keep its reliability. Composite bats, once damaged, are not useful anymore and can be dangerous for you and your teammates if you continue to use them. 

The Final Score

The type of bat that you choose depends upon your needs and preferences, along with restrictions that some leagues place on bats allowed for use. In short, if you want a less expensive, more durable bat that delivers reliable performance one season after another, alloy bats may be for you.

If you want a top of the line bat with the most advanced materials available and have the budget to pay for it, go with a composite bat. You will be able to hit more accurately, and will feel more comfortable because of the lighter weight and reduced sting from these bats. No matter your choice, Longstreth offers you a wide variety of alloy and composite softball bats.  For the best in Softball Equipment click here.