A bunt for a softball is a short game technique that gets things happening your way. Despite its high rate of success, this valuable offensive strategy is slowly disappearing. Many coaches agree that if ingrained in every hitter’s options, successful bunting could be a great tool for speedy runners.
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Every hitter should be a bunter!
Softball bunting is widely viewed as a technique for batters with weaker hits. In fact, some people are of the mindset that batters bunt since they are not perfect hitters. Well, we cannot all be superb hitters. But we can all bunt. Splendid bunting gives all batters a competitive edge against the offense.
Not simple, but can be Learned
Bunting is an elementary strategy that you shouldn’t ignore. However, as easy as it appears, this is a technique that you’ll need to master how to execute successfully.
It is more of trying to catch the ball with the bat. The idea is to absorb the velocity from the pitcher in a bid to deaden even the hardest throw. As you can imagine, this will not always be a walk in the park.
This article will explain the different types of bunts and when to successfully execute them. I also have some valuable tips on how you can actually pull out a successful bunt and help your teammates dominate the softball competition.
Types of bunt
You employ a squeeze bunt when you need to move a player from third to home. The purpose here is to score the runner from third and not getting a base hit. Unlike any other play, this bunt manufactures a lot of pressure for the hitter. There are two types of squeeze bunt;
Safety squeeze– with a safety squeeze bunt, the runner does not break for home unless there’s certainty that the bunt will be successful. That being said, there is a need for the bunter to pull out a sneaky move that won’t allow the pitcher to change the direction of his throw in time.
How do you make a successful safety squeeze blunt?
Take a small jab step that will allow you to adjust into bunting position quickly without revealing your intentions to the pitcher.
A suicidal squeeze puts more pressure on the bunter than the safety squeeze. This is because the runner breaks from third without waiting to see whether the bunt will be successful or not. As such, it’s in the bunter’s best interest to make it successful at no matter what cost.
A suicidal squeeze bunt differs from a safety squeeze in that the location of the bunt is paramount. You should ensure that the bunt is fair.
The drag bunt
The drag bunt a.k.a the sneaky bunt is a very reliable weapon if the bunter has an excellent eye and hand coordination. It’s known as a sneaky bunt because the bunter uses it as an element of surprise. You pull out the bunt at the last second possible to surprise the corner infielders and the pitcher.
Remember that the intent of the drag bunt is to help you get on base safely and it’s scored as a single. As such, it does not involve squaring around and giving yourself up as an out. It means waiting till the last second then dropping the bat head intelligently on the ball.
When do you play a drag bunt?
You play a drag bunt when the third and first baseman is playing in the infield, and there is a speedy runner at the plate.
How do you play a drag bunt?
To drag bunt, you need to have a precise and timely footwork. First, you’ll need to stand at the plate in a way that suggests that you intend to hit. Importantly, avoiding stepping at the front of the box as it’s the case with a sacrifice bunt.
Second, you want to hold handle when it’s right in front of your body. As such, wait till the pitch gets in deep. Once the ball is deep in the pitch, the next move is to transition from the swing-away position to a blunting position. This requires super fast coordination of your eyes, hands, and legs.
First, move your top hand up the handle. The lower arm may retain its position. Of most importance, you need to adjust your arms and foot framework simultaneously. To do this, drop your leg backward to mimic how you set yourself ready for a race. The essence here is to save you an extra second for a quick start out.
The Sacrifice Bunt is the most common type of bunt. True to its name, a sacrifice bunt involves the bunter giving himself up to advance a base-runner. In most instances, this type of bunt is performed by weaker hitters. It is often used to move a runner from first base to the second base.
An important aspect about this bunt is that it reveals your intentions from the word go. The pitcher and everyone else know that you are sacrificing your move and there’s a greater chance of being thrown out. So you pretty much want to make it a successful one.
How do you perform a sacrifice bunt?
When sacrifice bunting, you need to be up in the box. Reason? You’ll be kicked out immediately the ball lands inside the box. For a better position, you should stand as though you intend to sprint towards the pitcher.
Second, hold the bat pretty much horizontal. On this note, your lower hand should have a firm (not death grip) on the bat. The upper hand should be behind the bat with the fingers curved and the bat on top of them.
You should then bring your eyes to the level of the bat to be able to read the pitch. Worth mentioning, you’ll be using your knees to adjust your position downwards without dropping the bat head. Moving the bat may be like stabbing at the pitch. This may result into a pop-up.
For a successful bunt, you need to have a positive attitude. The aim is to put the ball down and advance your teammates. So, relax, trust your abilities, and give that pitch a soft surefire bunt. Happy Bunting.