A softball pitcher’s job is far from over once the ball clinks off the hitter’s bat or lands in the catcher’s glove. You need to be alert and willing to make a defensive play at a moment’s notice.
One situation where this is especially true is when the hitter bunts. While other infielders may be responsible for a bunt, it’s often the pitcher’s job to field the play.
Professional and international softball player Aleshia Ocasio emphasizes the importance of defensive awareness.
“As a pitcher, you always want to anticipate a bunt or a ball hit right back to you, especially since you are so close to the batter,” she says.
With her experience as both a pitcher and a utility player, Ocasio breaks down the technique she uses to properly field bunts from the mound.
HOW TO FIELD A BUNT FROM THE MOUND
The first step to fielding a bunt is anticipation. You have to be ready at all times. Once it becomes clear that it’s your responsibility to play the ball, it’s time to charge.
When charging the ball, there are a few things Ocasio says to keep in mind:
- First, you want to line the bunt up with the right side of your body.
- Once your right side is lined up with the ball, get the ball into your throwing slot.
- Next, take your lead leg and aim it toward first base.
- Finally, throw to first.
In order to get the runner out, this process has to be done quickly. There also might be occasions in which you need to throw to home or third. It’s always important to determine your throw based on in-game scenarios.
Looking for more tips on how to improve your pitching skills? Ocasio breaks down how to throw a turnover drop with these Pro Tips.