Sacrifice bunting is something that every team practices and every hitter needs to master. Getting the bunt down to advance your runner to the next base regardless of your current at-bat is very big part of softball. Having the skill of putting a sacrifice bunt down is important if you’re fast, slow, a home run hitter, or a base-hit hitter. No matter what type of hitter you are, you are responsible for that sacrifice bunt. Here are some tips that might help with teaching or learning how to successfully put down a sacrifice bunt.
There are two different ways to set up your stance for a sacrifice bunt. First option is to completely square up to the pitcher, opening up your hips and body to completely face the field with both of your feet facing the mound. A second option could be to turn your back leg so your foot and waste up is facing the pitcher. You’re turned at the hips as if they are “closed”, but also be sure to stay balanced so you’re not falling over before you even get to make contact. Either of these two stances can be effective if done properly, choose whichever is more comfortable to you.
Your hand placement is very crucial to the control of the bat while bunting. First start by breaking your bat into three parts from bottom to top: grip, handle, and barrel. Keeping your hands hidden behind the bat for safety, slide your top hand toward the barrel of the bat until it reaches about half way up. The bottom hand should be at the handle, surpassing the bottom part where the hands are placed for a normal swing. Having the hands separated such as this, can give you more control over the barrel of the bat and helps put bunt your bunt where you intended it to go.
With your barrel slightly higher than your hands, start your bunt at the top of the strike zone and work your way using your whole body by bending at the knees and NOT only the barrel of your bat. This tactic helps you determine if the pitch is going to be something you can realistically bunt or not. If the ball is traveling upward after you’ve already squared to bunt, which is early for a sacrifice, then it might seem obvious the ball is going to be too high for you to get down successfully. The barrel of the bat is placed higher than the hands so you’re giving yourself a better chance to dead the ball and lay it down in fair play.