A drag bunt is a useful way of hitting a softball to the batter’s advantage. This move essentially allows the batter to give the impression that she is about to slap the softball, but then drag bunt it slowly.
At the same time, the batter runs to the first base. This kind of hit is called a drag bunt because the ball essentially drags a little along the direction in which the player runs right after bunting the ball.
A drag bunt has several advantages which is why it is often utilized by players. For a start, it creates a bit of a confusion among the opposing team.
This is particularly so because the opening move of a drag bunt gives the illusion that you are about to swing but then you quickly move shift your footwork and do the drag bunt while you run for the first base.
This causes uncertainly among the infielders and they are forced to move closer to the plates in order to intercept any possible drag bunts.
This, in turn, opens up infield gaps through which you can successfully slap the ball. So drag bunt improves your odds and gives you more options when you are hitting on the plate.
Using drag bunt softball in cases?
Drag bunting softball can be done in a variety of cases. When the infield gaps are tight and the infielders are making it hard for you to slap the softball through, it is time for you to use the drag bunt.
Similarly if your team is having a hard time and you want to bring up the morale by causing some uncertainly among the opponent team, drag bunt will achieve exactly that.
But make sure that you perfectly master the technique before trying it on the plate. Drag bunt is also particularly useful when you want a single, especially if you are fast runner.
How to drag bunt softball?
A good drag bunt is one that lets you take a single and surprise the infielders. In order to achieve that, you have to considerably practice the stance, the footwork and the actual movement of a drag bunt before you can execute it perfectly.
Here are the important factors that will help you drag bunt softball successfully.
- Master Your Footwork
Footwork is one of the important aspects of drag bunting in softball. This is particularly so because you begin the move in the normal stance in order to give the illusion that you are going to hit or slap the softball.
Then as the pitch is tossed by the pitcher, you quickly shift your footwork so that you can perform the drag bunt and sprint to first base.
Your default stance should be with your front and back foot in regular position and your hands high up, creating the illusion that you are going to hit the ball hard.
Then when the pitcher tosses the ball, you should immediately switch your footwork. This switch should be timed as the speed and pitch of the pitcher.
If the pitcher is fast, your should quickly switch the footwork. To make the switch, take your front foot slightly back and then step forward with your back leg. This places you in the perfect position to drag bunt the softball.
- The Body Position
The right body position in drag bunting is important for two reasons. First, it helps create the perfect impression that you are going to slap the ball.
Then when you switch the footwork, the right body position gives you space and momentum to bunt the ball and drag it along your sprint.
Your default body position should be such that your shoulders are squared to the plate. Position your front shoulder so that it is directly facing the pitcher without opening both your shoulder to her.
Your body should be sideways at the start and your hands should be at the up behind you. Then when the pitch opens, you switch your footwork and quickly drop your hands in front of your body.
- The Hand Position
Like your footwork, your hand position has two stances during a drag bunt. The first position is when your hands are high up as if you are about to hit the softball.
Then when you switch the footwork, you quickly drop your hands in front of your body so that the back arm creates a sort of ‘L’ position.
At the same time, your front arm is directly positioned in front of your stomach and is bent at the elbow. Another important thing to consider is that you keep the bat close to your body.
This is what actually helps you perform the bunt by absorbing the energy of the softball and let it drop onto the ground with a slight momentum so that it drags along your sprint.
- Surprise the Infielders
At the end of the day, a drag bunt is only as successful as it is able to surprise the infielders. After all, that is what you are trying to achieve with a drag bunt.
If the infielders are too close, your drag bunt should be aimed at dragging the softball right past them as you run to the first base.
If they are at some distance, you should aim for trying to diminish the momentum of your drag bunt so that they have to run to the softball, giving you enough time to complete the single.
You can keep an eye on the infielders and see which infielders are fast and which are slow. If a fast infielder is positioned near you, try to drag bunt as little as possible so that the softball takes time to reach the infielder.
Similarly, if the baseman is slow, you can choose to bunt the softball towards her as she is going to take some time to catch the ball and throw it to the first base.
Ultimately, you must keep the infielders apprehensive by never giving up whether you are going to drag bunt or slap through the gaps.