Because a bunted foul after two strikes is an out, it is not recommended to bunt with two strikes. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t bunt with two strikes. Just remember that if it goes foul, you will strike out.
Bunting in softball can be a smart decision, but not always. The rules of the game change for bunts when you have two strikes. After a player gets two strikes, a bunt hit foul counts as a third strike. That is the reason most softball players do not bunt when they already have two strikes.
What counts as a bunt?
A bunt is defined as a hit ball that was not swung at but instead tapped with the bat. The bat does not cross the plate in a bunt attempt. It is up to the umpires to determine what is considered a bunt. This can result in arguments from the parents and coaches, but the umpire has the final say.
A bunt attempt is obviously an attempt to bunt. It is defined as holding the bat in the strike zone.
A player’s hand placement on the bat has nothing to do with whether or not it is considered a bunt. Different bunting styles require different hand placements, but they are all considered bunt attempts if the bat is held in the strike zone in an attempt to tap the ball rather than swing at it.
The bunting strikeout rule
There is a rule in softball that states a bunted foul after two strikes results in a strikeout. In other words, the batter will receive a third strike when they bunt the ball if it goes foul and they will be called out.
Bunting vs. Slapping
Bunting and slapping are two similar hitting techniques in softball and baseball. Slapping refers to hitting the ball in a way that causes the ball to go in the infield in a difficult spot to get to. It involves a quick chopping motion, which is different than a full swing or a bunt.
When a player slaps the ball, they will use their swing to go forward and get themselves closer to first base. Slapping is a good technique for fast runners.
Softball players will slap to advance runners as well as get themselves to first quickly. Slaps can be considered bunts depending on how the player used the bat to hit the ball.
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Bunting vs. slapping in the strikeout rule
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While a foul bunt after two strikes is considered an out, a slap that goes foul after two strikes is not. A slap is like a short swing. The bat crosses the plate in a chopping motion. With a bunt attempt, the bat does not cross the plate.
Umpires must distinguish between a bunt and a slap after the hitter has received two strikes.
Should you bunt with two strikes?
Some players and coaches believe it is fine to bunt when you have two strikes while others think it is not a good strategy. Most coaches don’t recommend that their players attempt to bunt after the first two strikes.
There is no reason you can’t bunt when you have two strikes. However, most people believe it is better to go out swinging.
One reason to attempt another bunt after two strikes is because with an 0-2 count, you will most likely strike out anyways. Also, most infielders will assume that you won’t attempt another bunt after two strikes so they will move back. So if you can bunt fair, you may just get on base or advance a runner.
A good bunter can pull off the two-strike bunt and surprise the other team, but it is not always successful. Getting called out on a foul bunt can appear as a stupid move to the other team and the audience, so it is best to use your judgment when deciding to bunt after two strikes.
Hitting a fair bunt can advance runners and possibly get you to first, but after three failed bunt attempts, meaning they go foul, you will be called out. That’s why it’s not recommended to attempt a bunt after two strikes.
A slap is similar to a bunt in that you don’t fully swing at the ball and you try to make the ball go a short distance into the infield. The difference is that with a slap, the bat crosses the plate slightly, while with a bunt the bat stays still over the plate.
A foul slap attempt after two strikes is not considered an out. Slapping the ball can be a loophole to the bunting strikeout rule.
Visit www.referee.com for more information on bunting.