The Value of the Sacrifice Bunt in Softball



Lori Manning is an experienced educational administrator and accomplished athlete. When she is not studying for her MBA courses at Western Governors University, Lori Manning enjoys coaching and watching softball. She is especially skilled as a hitting coach.

Softball players must learn a variety of hitting techniques, though one of the most strategically important styles of hitting is the bunt. In many cases, teams will have one of their faster players lay down a bunt in hopes of advancing to first base. However, an alternative strategy is the sacrifice bunt, a hit that is made with the knowledge that the batter will likely be thrown out at first. The sacrifice is made for the purpose of advancing another runner into scoring position.

The approach a batter takes to a sacrifice bunt is dictated by the team’s field position. When attempting to advance a runner from second to third, for example, batters should bunt the ball along the first base line, making the catcher’s throw to third more difficult and the play at first a relatively easy out.

The sacrifice bunt is not only a tactical play, but also a valuable life lesson for coaches leading younger teams. As the name implies, an individual must be willing to sacrifice his or her own at bat for the greater good of the team. The sacrifice bunt is similar to the sacrifice fly, which involves driving the ball high and deep into the outfield. A sacrifice fly usually makes for an easy catch, but the depth provides a runner at third with the time needed to score.