Utah uses several types of bunts for different game situations.
April 21, 2003
By Jana Allred, Specialty Reporting Class
The art of bunting may not seem to be an exciting aspect of softball, but strategy is the goal, not excitement. Basically, bunting helps win games by advancing runners, getting batters on base, and confusing the defense. For bunting to be effective, all players must be familiar with the fundamentals. Additionally, for the fans to understand the complicated strategy, they also need to know the fundamentals There are nine types of bunts. There are five types used most commonly.
Perhaps the most common is the sacrifice bunt which fans often see when a runner is already on base. The batter has the expectation of getting out when using this type of bunt. This type of bunt most commonly happens when the runner is on first, there are no outs, and the offensive team only needs one run.
Unlike the sacrifice bunt, the push bunt helps the batter arrive safely on base. In a push bunt, Head Coach Mona Stevens would have her batters hit the ball either between the third baseman and the pitcher, or between the first baseman and the pitcher. That is the perfect placement of an effective push bunt. But it must be hit hard enough so outfielders have to chase after the ball. The batter may also use the slash or slug bunt in order to arrive safely at base. The batter fakes a bunt, then swings away in order to execute this bunt. The batter pretends to be going for a sacrifice bunt, but then hits the ball down at the feet at the gap between the corner and the pitcher.
With the exception of the sacrifice bunt, softball bunts are supposed to be sneaky and trick the defense. The Utes will take normal hitting positions in order to hide intentions. Both the right-handed sneaky bunt and the left-handed drag bunt should surprise the defense. Obviously, the third baseman, especially, has an easy play if she knows a drag bunt is coming to her as she charges towards the plate. Although both are sneaky, the suicide squeeze causes the most excitement in a crowd. The entire offense anticipates the bunt, but the defense doesn't. Coach Stevens isn't going to reveal how she signals the offense, but each runner and the batter knows exactly what is going on. If effective, the runner on third will usually score in the surprise attack.
Especially in College level softball, bunting is a strategic move that will help win games and provide variety in hitting. Each type consists of different goals and objectives and used accordingly. It takes one hitter to make an effective bunt, but the entire team needs to know how and when to use them.