By Tom Mauldin
With only six Prospect Evaluation Camps remaining for Fastpitch Northwest’s evaluators only one record has been set, but it was an off-the-chart 80-mile-per-hour, ball-off-the-bat exit speed.
Taylor Barker, a 2019 power-hitting outfielder from WF West High School in Chehalis (Wash.), clocked 80 mph at the recent Centralia PEC.
Barker’s 80-mph mark broke the Fastpitch Northwest record of 79 mph set a year ago by Natasha Vincett of Kittitas (Wash.).
Fastpitch Northwest director Ken Olson was on the radar and immediately knew it was something special when Barker barreled up on the ball.
Olson grabbed a quick cell phone photo and got big smiles all around. He immediately sent it to other evaluators.
The second top exit speed time this summer PEC season has been recorded by Bailey Lebreton, a 2019 from The Dalles (Ore.) at 77. She recorded that at the Walla Walla PEC.
The Bat Exit Speed is one of the testing criteria for Prospect Evaluation camps. It is part of the National Fastpitch Softball Coaches Comparatives. The other criteria include home-to-home and home-to-first sprints, infield and outfield arm speeds and pitching comparatives. In addition, PECs include the national SPARQ testing, which includes 10-yard shuttle (on grass), vertical jump, 20-yard sprint (on grass) and Powerball efforts.
The NFCA and SPARQ comparatives are part of each player’s Player Profile that is uploaded to the Fastpitch Northwest website making it available for any coach either side of the Mississippi River to explore.
There have been some impressive marks during the nine years of Fastpitch Northwest camps: 70 mph overhand throw, 1.50 pop-to-pop catcher time, 2.44 home to first, 28.6 vertical jump, 51-foot Powerball toss and 10.61 home to home. Add Barker’s impressive 80 mph to that list.
One record not expected to fall is the 10-yard shuttle set by Idahoan Brooklyn Daylong – 3.84. That is not a typo. Daylong, who went on to run track in college, hd a 3.99 clocking for other time that day five years ago.
But while no one has come close to Daylong’s shuttle time, there have been some impressive recordings during the first half ot the PEC season. Consider the following.
The top shuttle time this PEC season is 4.41 by Carli Pena (2020) which was set during the College of Idaho PEC in mid-June. Pena also has the best vertical jump at 26.3 and clocked a 2.70 in the 20-yard sprint of the season. Wait there is more – Pena also owns the top home-to-home time in 11 flat and 2.62 home-to-first this season.
Jayce Seavert (2020) has the top Powerball mark at 41 feet. The catcher from Lagrande (OR) recorded that mark at the Walla Walla PEC. She also had a pair of 1.62 pop-to-pop times, the best for a catcher with a half-dozen PECs remaining.
In leading LaGrande to Oregon’s 4A state championship, Seavert was named the state 4A Player of the Year.
Seavert’s battery mate for LaGrande, 2020 Allie Brock was named state 4A Pitcher of the Year. She clocked a 60 mph pitch in Walla Walla, to go along with a 41 mph changeup.
The top pitching mark to date is a pair of 61 mph pitches from Makayla Mauger, a 2020 from Highland (Pocatello, Ida.) and Gracie Walters (Ridgevue High School in Nampa, Ida.) had a single 61 mph clocking.
Sydney Groves (2022) has the top outfield throw at 66 mph. And pushed the Powerball 40. She recorded those in Caldwell.
Mauger’s younger sister, Marissa (2023) recorded a 57 mph fastball to go with her 71 mph exit bat speed. Her change was clocked at 37 mph.
Due to a stiff quad, Amber Thornton (2022) from Idaho threw only two pitches at the COI PEC, but hit 60 mph.
The Fastpitch Northwest College Exposure Tournament will be played July 24-25-26 at Borst Park in Centralia (Wash.).