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Sac Bunt Bat Angle Question

Jul 10, 2008
Central PA
We've always coached our girls to keep the barrel of the bat at a 45 degree angle (better angle for placing the ball on the ground) for a sacrifice bunt. However, I just saw a video of Suzy Willemsen showing that the barrel should be parallel to the ground (plane of pitch is "flat" so the barrel should be, too - be sure to bunt the top of the ball). Which do you coaches use?
May 22, 2008
NW Pennsylvania
I like barrell head up (at least slightly). If she hits the bottom half of the ball inadvertantly, it wont nessecarily pop straight up for an easy out, it will likely glance sideways.
Dec 28, 2008
Not a knock on Suzy, but unless you are playing rec ball, the pitch isn't coming in on a straight flat plane, it is moving up or down and many combinations thereof with sideways movement.

I teach a raised bat head. I see no reason it can't connect with any pitch and it protects against the easy popups when the bunter does misjudge the ball movement.

Regardless how they hold the bat head there is 1 big key ... keeping the eyes on the ball. I practice with the girls holding both hands about 8 inches from the end of the bat head. That forces them to really use their eyes and not take anything for granted, and keeps them from letting their hands go wandering to chase the ball.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
Parallel bat for me, but it doesn't really matter.

A coach needs a consistent method of teaching. For sacrifice bunting, the stance or bat angle doesn't matter. What does matter is that you, as the coach, can correct mistakes. It is easier to teach one method to 15 girls than to attempt to correct 15 different methods.

You need to explain over and over and over again the difference between a sacrifice bunt and bunting for a hit. The girls have to know that if you call for a sacrifice bunt, their *only* job is to get the bunt down. If you don't, you'll have the slowest girl on your team strike out when attempting a drag bunt when all you want is to get a runner from 2nd to 3rd. We have a signal when all we want is a sacrifice bunt.
Jan 14, 2009
Atlanta, Georgia
I like a parallel bat for bunting. If the hitter gets in a good athletic position they can "sink" by bending their knees to get on plane.

Most of the coaches in my area teach the barrel of the bat at a 45 degree angle so I'm in the minority.


Aug 21, 2008
Boston, MA
I think it was during the 2007 WCWS, they broke away and had a little thing with Jessica Mendoza explaining how to bunt. She stressed that keeping the bat head higher than the knob was critical in preventing easy pop-ups to the catcher.

The very next batter did exactly what she said not to do and got exactly the result she warned against. You couldn't ask for better timing.
May 13, 2008
I agree with others, the barrel of the bat should be above the level of the knob so that the bat is angled. This provides greater bat control and reduces the chance of popping the ball up to the catcher.
Oct 16, 2008
SE Michigan
Bunt bat angle

The best bunters...Autumn Champion, Caitlin Lowe, Natasha Watley...keep the bat very level. Some players bunt decent with the 45 degree angle but I've also seen players dropping the barrel and still pop it up. One thing for sure, it's easier to control the direction with the bat more level.

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
I was taught to use a level bat, but I see the raised bat head a lot. If you can get the bunt down and advance the runner - I don't care what you do with the bat.

Just don't wrap your top hand around it - which I see MLB do all of the time.

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