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Thread: 3B & fake bunts

  1. #1
    I can talk softball all day Gags's Avatar
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    Default 3B & fake bunts

    9U scrimmage - opposing coach was having batters square to bunt, than pull back and prepare to swing. I don't think the batters that did this ever got a good pitch to actually swing at, but I'm assuming it wasn't the coach just testing our bunt defense.

    Of course, it was my daughter that was playing 3B at the time.

    Regardless of my reservations about that particular strategy, what's the proper way to play 3B in that situation?

    Charge when showing bunt, slam on the brakes, and backpedal when she pulls back?

    Charge until she pulls back, but stay in place?

    I'm guessing my preferred option - charge right at her, if she pulls back to swing, veer off into foul territory and pray she's not a dead pull hitter - isn't really viable.

  2. #2
    I eat, sleep and breathe softball quincy's Avatar
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    DD is a little older and might take 1 step closer if they show bunt, she does not charge until pitcher releases ball.

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    I can talk softball all day Hawk_'s Avatar
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    Couple things here:
    1. There is a lot of league that don't allow this at that age.
    2. Doing it in a scrimmage is irritating to me.
    3. My daughter is the same age and plays 3rd also... She plays in more pretty much whenever there isn't a force on 3, cause otherwise the throw is really long. Right handed batter showing bunt she will stay in place, as 1st, catcher and P are all coming. Left handed batter she charges and 1st doesn't.
    4. I the coach has to know the situation and signal 3rd. We have a couple signs for her. X across my chest is don't throw (Runner on 2nd and 3rd with less than two outs) top of the head = play up. Hand on chest = back up. Just easy stuff to make plays when needed, or not cost runs, or honestly for her safety if a girl and really stroke.

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    Gags (05-02-2018)

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    Certified softball maniac canyonjoe's Avatar
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    There are several threads on this already about the ethics of slashing versus the coaches who want the 3B to be 5 feet from the batter when they bunt it.

    What DD needs to learn is to read the batter. One the pitch is on the way it's pretty hard to pull back so most will pull back prior to release. Assuming she has a little speed it should give her time to charge once she is reasonably sure it's just a bunt.

    Keep in mind that the best power hitters aren't going to bunt that often and at lower levels I would rather see them bunt than hit a triple.

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    Certified softball maniac canyonjoe's Avatar
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    One other piece of advice assuming your DD wants to play 3rd. Work on the mechanics of fielding the bunt and throwing to first. Being about to quickly field and make a strong accurate throw is the key to this play. You can work on seeing the hands and other factors to increase the charge speed, but it's all useless if you can't make the play.

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    I can talk softball all day Gags's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies - I forgot it was called slashing - I'll search on that. I'll also suggest not charging until the pitch is released - makes sense to me, but initial indications (the team just formed last month) is that the coach wants players charging at the first sign of a bunt. Time for some research...

  10. #7
    Allergic to BS Strike2's Avatar
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    A step in when the batter presents, but don't charge unless the batter is actually showing bunt at pitch release. The slower looking the kid, the more skeptical everyone should be.

    With anything approaching decent pitching, there are very few, and at 9U probably none, who can square to bunt at pitch release, pull back, get into a hitting stance, stabilize their bat, and then PULL a ball down the 3B line.

    I've seen players poke the bat out while in a hitting stance, pull back, and then swing, but that really does nothing but screw them up. It used to be more common where I live, but the practice seems to have died out.

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    Certified softball maniac obbay's Avatar
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    FWIW- in my book a correctly executed slash involves choking way up on the bat and popping it past the oncoming IF.
    Pay attention to the hands, does it really look like they are going to bunt?
    Could they be doing the stick your bat out before the pitch thing, as someone previouly suggested?

  12. #9
    I can talk softball all day Gags's Avatar
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    Good points all. Quincy and Strike2 echoed what I found in other threads, and seems to be the accepted (and effective) mechanic - step in when showing bunt, don't charge until pitch release. This may not even be a big change from current tactics.

    The Dad side of me is also comforted by what I should have already realized - it's 9U - it's highly, highly unlikely a player will be able to square, pull back, and still get around on it enough to put a charging 3B in any danger. Maybe if we played in SoCal or FL, but not here. :-)

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    Checking out the clubhouse Battle's Avatar
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    Corners are creeping until they recognize the bunt/slap.
    We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way!

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