The fake bunt and steal is one of those softball plays that is a very difficult to defend when it’s executed properly. Once again, here are the important elements of this play:
- The runner on second base is going on the pitch and stealing no matter what! She has to depend on the hitter to execute her part correctly.
- The hitter is going to show a fake bunt when the pitch is about half way to the plate (no later than this or it probably won’t work).
- The hitter CAN pull back at the last second to avoid taking a strike on a bad pitch. But she must wait until the LAST possible second to do this or again the play will likely fail.
- As a coach, you need to look at the shortstops positioning and her alertness. Is she hyper-aware of the runner on second or is she not paying much attention to her? Also, is she playing more towards second or third? You want to be reasonably confident that the runner can beat her in a footrace to third.
- A couple other things to factor in: Is the catcher aware of the runner? Does the shortstop seem like she will be able to make the catch on the run if she is covering third base?
The defense has to do a lot of things RIGHT in order to defend this play. It puts a lot of pressure on the catcher and the shortstop to make a play very quickly. Add this to your playbook today! You won’t regret it!