Batter Up!

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— While many softball players spend big bucks on bats to improve their hitting, Triple Crown player Adam Burr doesn't buy into the so-called advantage.

"I think a bat's a bat," Burr said. "Give me a wooden bat and I'll hit anything."

Burr, who plays for the Kings slow-pitch team out of Denver, is one of the few individuals in this weekend's Triple Crown tourney in Steamboat who doesn't believe in spending a lot of dough on a bat.

Jacob Pierce, assistant director for the Triple Crown softball tourney, said players pay anywhere from $150 to $300 for softball bats.

In Steamboat, top-of-the-line softball bats are hard to find, which causes some local players to drive as far as Denver to purchase the equipment.

Kim Carlson, an employee at Christy Sports at Central Park Plaza in Steamboat, said softball bats are not sold at the local sporting-goods store.

At Wal-Mart, the most expensive softball bat is an Easton that runs for $19.96, said Marti Leonard, assistant store manager.

Pierce said a number of Triple Crown players order bats from a Triple Crown softball catalog.

Some of the more popular brands, he said, are DeMarini, Easton and Worth.

The DeMarini double-wall softball bat is the hottest bat on the market, said LeAnne Rizo, assistant director at the Triple Crown Steamboat tourney.

But many players purchase expensive multi-wall bats because multi-walls provide more of an advantage, she said.

"They are pretty much used everywhere," Rizo said. "Because the ball comes off (the bat) so fast, infield reaction time is not there. A lot of people are getting hurt as a result."

Multi-wall bats are considered higher performance than other bats because they have a larger sweet spot, which means a player will hit the ball further on a more consistent basis, Rizo said.

"It just gets a real nice pop on the sweet spot," she said. "You don't even know you hit the ball it's so smooth."

Pete Cordero, who plays for a team from Denver called the Hitmen, said multi-walls are the best bats on the market.

"The ball comes off the bat harder," Cordero said. "If you go spend 20 bucks on a bat, and then you try (a multi-wall), you will know the difference."

Christy Brunton, a member of the Lost Girls softball team from Denver, believes multi-walls are bad for softball.

"They're dangerous," Brunton said. "Somebody is going to get hurt with them. The ball just comes off the bat a lot faster."

And while many players believe expensive bats make them better hitters, some say a long ball can be smacked just as easily with a single wall.

"It all comes down to the batter," Brunton said.

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