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Lute steals spotlight at Oahu PEC with record-setting 1.50 ‘pop’ time

12/07/2016, 8:00am PST
By Tom Mauldin

As a freshman in 2015, Cheyenne Lute was named Most Valuable Player as she led Nanakuli to the Hawaii D2 State championship.

As a sophomore in 2016, she was the varsity baseball team’s leading hitter and starting catcher. She did not play high school softball.

It isn’t clear which sport she will play in 2017, perhaps both. But one thing is certain, on Nov. 20 at the Fastpitch Northwest Prospect Evaluation Camp (PEC) at Nanakuli High School, Lute was everything she was billed. And then some.

For starters, Lute set a new Fastpitch NW Pop-to-Pop time for catchers at 1.50 seconds. That’s the time the ball hits the catcher’s mitt until the middle infielder makes the catch at second base. The old record was 1.51.

Lute’s 1.50 was no fluke as she recorded two others under 1.58 and two others under 1.69, her transfer was off the charts and was the real key to her success.

Lute, who catches in baseball and plays shortstop, pitcher and catcher in softball, also had the top pitching time with a high 58 mph on her drop. She also had a 57 mph fastball and her change up was 36. 

There’s more.

Lute’s infield throw of 67 mph was fastest and her Outfield Throw was second best. She also had the fastest 20-yard Sprint time at 2.64 seconds and was tops in the 10-yard Shuttle at 4.60. She had the third fastest Home-to-Home time at 11.97, and was fourth with 21.7 inches in the Vertical Jump. She also had a 2.72 Home-to-First time (third fastest). She also had a 70 mph Bat Exit Speed.

According to Nanakuli baseball coach Ahmoo Kaululaau, she is the team’s top player. “She’s our best hitter. I wish I had a team full of players like her. She’s not afraid and works hard.”

Batting in the No. 2 spot, Lute hit .429 for the Golden Knights’ baseball squad.

But Lute showed her future is in softball at the Fastpitch NW Nov. 20 PEC at Nanakuli High School. 

The Nanakuli PEC was one of two held in the Islands during the Nov. 19-20 weekend.

At the PECs, the players were tested using the SPARQ and the NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) comparatives and evaluated by the Fastpitch Northwest staff.

The SPARQ rating system and the NFCA Comp guide are merely measuring guides. The system is designed to measure sport-specific athleticism. The results from these tests are combined and weighted using a formula specific to softball. Nike Sports developed the rating system for several sports, including softball.

SPARQ represents Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness. It’s an acronym that excites coaches ... especially when they see attention-grabbing performances. 

The NFCA comparatives include Bat Exit Speed (the speed of the ball coming off the bat), base running and throwing.

Lute wasn’t the only player grabbing attention in Hawaii. Aleisha Ranches (2019) recorded 11.65 seconds in home-to-home, had a 69 mph outfield throw and a 76 mph exit speed. Another top speedster was Kaylee Roberts (2018) with a 12.62 Home to Home time. 

Fastpitch Northwest director Ken Olson said it was “another” impressive group of Hawaiian prospects.

“I was really impressed with the skill level of these kids in Hawaii,” said Olson. “Their coaches have done a great job of preparing them to be playing at the next level.”

The Nanakuli PEC was attended by 34 want-to-be college prospects.  The other PEC, held on Maui, was attended by 26 prospects.

At the November 19 PEC at Maui High School, Jessasha Tanoue-Kekona (2018) clocked a quick 4.43 in the 10-Yard Shuttle, Daisha Dagdag (2019) was timed in 2.68 in the 20-Yard Sprint and Avei Silifaiva (2020) had a 24.9-inch Vertical Jump.

Additionally, Felicity Pastrana (2020) recorded a 11.65 seconds for the top Home-to-Home effort and Ocean Makekau (2019) had a 74 mph Bat Exit Speed. Nicole Nakanishi recorded a 1.82 for Maui’s top Pop-to-Pop time.

Tanisha Valdez (2019), Makekau and Lauren Almedia (2021) clocked 66 mph with their throws to lead nine Maui players with 60 mph or better. 

Two dozen players in Maui recorded Bat Exit speeds of 60 mph or better, including 17 reaching 65 mph or higher.

All but two players recorded 60 mph or better for Bat Exit Speed on Oahu, including 19 who were 70 mph or higher and 29 were 65 mph or higher.

“Probably, because I am a hitting coach, I was most impressed with the player’s swings. Very polished, at the plate,” added Olson. 

“Player fundamentals, defensively, was another area that stood out as well,” said Olson.

The next Fastpitch Northwest PEC will be held in on December 30th at the Centralia Sports Hub.  This PEC is the first time we have hosted a PEC in the winter.  The exciting aspect of this camp is that once a player attends this camp she is entitled to another ‘FREE’ camp in June to see if she can better her stats in her profile.  Of course, we will host our annual June PEC’s in Washington, Oregon and Idaho with this year’s College Exposure Tournament being played July 18-19-20 in Centralia, Wash.

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