How to Do a Fake-bunt Slap in Softball
Softball batters will occasionally need to advance a runner without the option of laying down the bunt. In these situations, it’s best to go with a fake-bunt slap. If done successfully, a fake-bunt slap combines the benefit of a bunt — making the corners crash — with the effect of a ground ball, allowing the runner on base to advance.
Fake It, Then Slap It!
The actual hit is quite simple, just follow the steps below!
- Move up in the box: When you step into the box, you want to give the impression that you are going to bunt. Go directly to the front of the box, as you would for a sacrifice bunt.
- Square around: You want the corners to crash, so make them think you are going to sacrifice bunt. Immediately after stepping into the batter’s box, square around to bunt.
- Slide your bottom hand up: As you’re squared around, watch the pitch. Once it nears the plate, slide your bottom hand up the bat’s handle to meet your top hand.
- Chop down: After your bottom hand meets your top hand, you’ll have more control of the bat. Now swing down on the ball. Using a tight swing, keep your hands along an inside path to the ball and chop it down into the ground. No follow-through is necessary. Chopping down on the ball will ensure that the ball is not popped up. You want a grounder ball in these situations and swinging downward will guarantee this.
Hot Tip: Get on Top of the Ball!
Your swing doesn’t have to be pretty for a fake-bunt slap. Your goal is to hit the ball into the ground, so you’ll almost always find yourself hitting on top of the ball, not squarely through it — and that’s just fine! So long as you can get the ball to go down, you’ve succeeded!
Some Pointers for the Fake-bunt
Now that you know what to do, there are few things you should know not to do:
- Don’t wind up: A big windup is not necessary for a fake-bunt slap. Once your bottom hand meets your top hand, you’re ready to swing. Shifting your weight back slightly for negative momentum is fine, but don’t wind up and get back into your ready position.
- Don’t drop your back shoulder: Fake-bunts are called because your team needs to advance a runner with a grounder, so you have to get the ball down. If you drop your back shoulder, you’re almost surely going to pop the ball up.
- Don’t show the bunt too late: The reason you square around immediately after stepping into the box is because you want to entice the corners to crash the plate. If you square around too late, you won’t sell it and they won’t crash in.
Keep the Swing Tight!
The key to executing a fake-bunt slap is to keep your swing small. Keep your eyes on the ball and don’t drop your back shoulder. If you can keep your swing tight and chop down on the ball, you’ll be successful every time!