We all know softball is a game that requires a lot of tactics and techniques, one trick that made its place in the game is “slap hit” which is also called slapping. When a ball is hit in an unorthodox manner then we can say that a slap hit is being implied. A slapper in softball makes contact with the ball while sliding towards the first base and also uses their speed and momentum when doing so. This act is unlike the regular hitter who usually stays still in position and swings the bat to hit the ball.
Slapper’s intent is to hit the ball onto the ground and then to the left side of the infield, this makes it more critical for the other team to grab the ball and throw out the runner at first base.
The speed allows them to finely tackle the infield hits and also in reaching the base on strokes, they may be better at getting on base because of this. Moreover, Their trick requires the infielders to check their positioning and be prepared to expect the ball from any direction. Such a type of hitting could be difficult for the other team to defend against. It necessitates a certain amount of speed, agility, and hand-eye coordination. This article will provide you with a detailed review of the slapper, slapping techniques, and type of slapping, it will also assist in understanding how it impacts the game and affects the opposing team. So without further delay let us add to your knowledge.
Slap hitter and opposition pitching approach.
A slapper in softball is capable of interfering with the opposition team’s pitching approach, this is a plus point for a team to have this player. They go beyond the norms and hit the pitch that is usually not expected to be hit. Many pitchers usually rely on off-speed pitches to deal with batters, but slappers beat them out for hits and by making contact with them. This benefits the rest of the lineup and causes the opposing team to remake their strategy. Despite these pros, slap hits are not for everyone because there is a certain amount of speed, hand-eye coordination, and focus required.
The Slapping Technique
The stance, stride, and swing are the three main elements of a slapper technique.
The initial component of the slapper’s tactic is posture. The stance of a slapper is distinct from other batters as it requires the player to stand close to the plate, directing the front foot towards the pitch. Using this stance may result in getting closer to the ball and hitting early in the pitch.
The next important component is stride, with the front foot slapper taking a minimal stride and swinging his rear foot forward to catch up with the front foot then going forward towards the first base.
The final component of the slapper’s trick is swing. This technique makes it difficult for fielders to tackle as the slapper employs a quick, compact swing hitting the ball with hand and wrist pressure rather than using the whole body. The batter makes contact with the ball while rushing toward first base just before it crosses the plate.
Benefits of Slapping in Softball
There we have some benefits of the slapping technique, let’s read them.
Increases Defense Pressure
Slapping put a multiplied pressure on the defense. The opponent team has to be ready all the time for any expected hit from the slapper. This causes tension in the competing team allowing the slapper in softball to progress further on the base.
Expands Base Running Options
A slapper stance is not easy to be tackled, it broadens the slapper’s base running options. Such a player is already rushing towards first base, they can easily turn towards the second base as per the requirements of time or if the ball hits the outfield. This leads the defense to confusion, they have to determine in a bit whether to throw to first base or second.
Difficult to defend
Slapping is not for everyone and not everyone can easily defend this technique since the ball is hit where the defense cannot extend a play. This results in more strikes for the slap hitter while keeping the defense in tension since they must be ready to face the most unexpected hit of the game.
How is a Slapper Carried Out?
A slapper is executed by the hitter taking a few steps forward, toward the pitcher’s mound before the pitch is launched. The hitter then sprints to the ball, which is often pitched outside and low in the strike zone. As the batter runs towards first base, he makes contact with the ball. The motive is to strike the ball on the ground as quickly as possible. Slaps are generally of three kinds: “soft slap,” “hard slap,” and “chop slap.”
The gentle one is used to position the ball in the field between infielders or over the pitcher’s head. However, the strong slap smashes the ball with greater power allowing the batter to quickly head toward first base. There is another type that is hybrid which requires a batter to hit the ball with the chopping motion, increasing speed and force. This slap is an amalgam of soft and hard slap.
Kinds of Slaps you need to know
With a gentle stroke, contact is made with the ball, positioning it in a location where the opposition can not exhibit a play. This kind is typically practiced when there are runners on the base and the purpose is to advance toward the next base.
A sort of slap where a hard-swinging motion is implied by the batter to strike the ball more aggressively. The purpose of the strong hit is to move the ball out of the infield into the outfield. This strike is generally employed when there are no runners on the base and the intent is to make the score.
The hybrid tactic of slapper is chop slap in which the batter hit the ball sharply downward and high making it difficult to defend against. This approach is efficient, allowing runners to advance without yielding an out. The players who wish to catch the defense off guard and advance runners into scoring positions use this tactic in their game.
The distinction between slapping and regular hitting
Apparently slapping and hitting both deal with hitting the ball but there are also some points of distinction between the two.
Mechanics of Swing
The swing mechanics employed in slapping differ significantly from those used in conventional hitting. When slapping, a player takes a running start and hits the ball while still moving. This necessitates a shorter, more compact swing that is focused on making contact with the ball and landing it. Regular hitting, on the other hand, entails having a more traditional stance in the batter’s box and driving the ball with a longer, more forceful swing. Regular batters want to hit for power and drive the ball deep into the outfield.
Another significant distinction between slapping and traditional hitting is the sort of pitches that each approach is better suited for. Slappers are often searching for low, inside pitches that they can hit toward the infield and utilize their speed to beat the throw. Regular batters, on the other hand, want pitches that can be driven well into the outfield. This means they are frequently seeking pitches higher in the strike zone and easier to get beneath.
Position on the field
A slapper’s best fielding position is generally at the top of the order, where they may use their speed to get on base fast. They are often positioned on the left side of the plate, where they may use their ability to hit the other side of the field.
A slap hitter is one who smashes the ball while reaching first base, making use of their speed and momentum while exhibiting contact with the ball. This technique is different from the normal practice of hitting the ball which requires the batter to stand stationary and swing the bat. This tactic is not easily handled by everyone and the opponent also finds it way more difficult to defend it. Slappers hit the ball onto the ground or towards the left side of the infield, they intend to reach the base as their speed allows them to beat out the infield. Moreover, it requires the infielders to be conscious throughout the game and check their position as per the requirement of the game. They have to be vigilant as it’s not easy to get an idea about the slapper’s next strike. The slap-hitter leads the other team to change their whole pitching strategy and this benefits the entire lineup. However this technique is not for everyone as there involves a certain degree of speed,hand-eye coordination, and focus on the game.