Fastpitch Slapping Skills
What is Slapping?
Fastpitch slapping skills are performed from the left side of the batter’s box. The batter gets a running start toward the pitcher while the pitch is being delivered. Then, she strategically places the ball in the infield. Or, she drives the ball hard through the infield. All the while, the slapper continues accelerating to first base.
Slapping is not an offensive skill of finesse only. Rather, a great slapper is a powerful athlete who can hit the ball hard, while on the run, when the defense is protecting in.
Slappers not only slap but to obtain their highest potential batting average, must also be skilled at executing a running bunt. This is called a drag bunt.
And, to keep the outfield and infield defense from playing too close, a slapper must be capable of standing and hitting. In fact, a great slapper can hit as powerfully as a pure left-handed hitter.
The slapper has to practice for many years to develop these five fastpitch slapping skills. But having five offensive weapons can lead to an unbelievable batting average, from .500 to .600 in high school, rarely attained by a straight hitter. Click this link for a detailed page about batting average and how to accurately calculate that backs up what we are saying about the potential of slappers.
The Five Fastpitch Slapping Skills
- Skill 1: Drag Bunt
While accelerating out of the box, lay the ball down soft and slow down either baseline.
- Skill 2: Soft Slap
A half swing from a choked grip where the object is to hit the ball in a targeted area.
There are two types of soft slap:
- Taps aimed at the shortstop gap, between third and pitcher.
- Punches down either baseline or over second base.
- Skill 3: Hard Slap
A full swing executed with the same grip used for hitting. The object is to hit a hard line drive or ground ball through the infield and into the outfield.
- Skill 4: Bouncers and Choppers
A full swing with intent to hit the top of the ball to get the ball to bounce in the air. The air time from the bounce creates time for the speedy slapper to beat out the hit.
- Skill 5: Stand and Hit
The intent is to hit with high average and maximum potential power as would a right-side hitter or left-side non-slapper. The strategies, fundamentals, and mechanics for fastpitch softball hitting are comprehensively covered in Building the High-Level Swing (click the link to learn more about our new hitting two-book series, one covering fundamentals and the other drills).
Video Demonstration of the Five Fastpitch Slapping Skills
Click the link for our YouTube Video demonstrating all five slapping skills. Katie hit for a .656 batting average her senior year in high school.