By Tom Mauldin - May 29, 2021
The pandemic isn’t behind us just yet, but Fastpitch Northwest is moving forward like a runner on third tagging up to score the winning run.
Fastpitch NW general manager Mike Brooks is excited about seeing the talent the northwest has to offer following a slimmed down pandemic-driven 2020 softball year.
Whether Brooks sees an 80 mile per hour exit speed, a 65 mph drop ball or a sub-11 second home to home remains to be seen. One thing is certain, there will be big time effort from those wanting to play at the next level.
“We’re excited and we’re ready for 2021,” said Brooks. “I am looking forward to traveling around the Northwest and seeing all the high level softball talent eager to get in front of college coaches. Softball in 2021 is rebounding. August’s Exposure Tournament will be outstanding.”
Sixteen Prospect Evaluation Camps (PEC) will take place in Idaho, Oregon and Washington for players in the high school graduating classes of 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026.
Players who “show well” will be invited to the Fastpitch NW College Exposure Tournament to take place August 2-3-4 at the newly-completed softball complex in Chehallis (WA).
The Exposure event features two divisions, one for upperclassmen and the other for underclassmen.
“It’s not unusual, however, to have an underclassmen chosen to play up,” said senior advisor Tom Mauldin. “It’s an exciting tournament. But prospects need to show well at a PEC and get their invitation.”
Mauldin, who has done more than 200 evaluation clinics said he “enjoys” the PEC’s as much as he does the tournament.
“It’s great to see the returnees and to hear their successes since the last time we saw them,” said Mauldin, who will head up Hawaii’s return to Fastpitch NW in November. “And I love seeing their faces when we share with them what the Fastpitch NW records are or when we have a daily best. It’s challenging and fun.”
The tournament, however, is the goal. That’s where the college coaches will be.
The tournament will feature at least five games per team played over three days in Chehallis. Included at the tournament will be game MVP honors, recruiting seminar and awards ceremony.
Each game will be broadcast via “Live Streaming” video and also posted to the FPNW website for replay.
Players who standout at the tournament will be selected to represent Team Northwest at the City of Lights National Showcase in las Vegas in October. It is an all-expense opportunity for those seeking to play at the next level. And another all-important opportunity to grab a college coaches’ attention.
The first Prospect Evaluation Camp (PEC) of 2021 kicks off in Pocatello on June 15. Other Idaho camps follow June 16 (Twin Falls) and June 17 (Caldwell).
The first Oregon PECs will be held June 21 (Medford), June 22 (Springfield) and June 23 (Bend). Other Oregon PECs will be held June 30 (La Grande), July 19 (Keiser) and July 20 (Gresham).
And in Washington, PECs will begin June 28 in Centrailia with six others taking place between July 6 and July 15. Locations include Spokane, Tri-Cities, Ellensburg, Auburn and Chehallis.
The evaluations include the National Fastpitch Coaches Associations assessments of hitting (including ball of bat exit speed), fielding (including throwing velocity), running (home to first and home to home times), catching skills (including pop-to-pop home to second times), and pitching (including velocity, movement and location).
The evaluations also include SPARQ testing (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness).
Conducting the PECs and evaluation prospective tournament players will be state directors and Fastpitch NW administrators, including general manager Mike Brooks, Senior Advisor Tom Mauldin, Oregon Director Nicole Christian (Eastern Oregon University head coach) and Idaho Director Al Mendiola (College of Idaho head coach).
Camps are slated to start at 9 a.m. and last four to six hours, depending on the number of campers at each location.
One of the unique things about Fastpitch NW is that each player receives a personal profile on the Fastpitch NW website, enabling any coach of the country to review their performances at any given time.
Player profiles should be used for recruiting purposes when contacting or responding to college coaches. Profile Pages are also posted on this site and FREE to all college coaches.
In addition to their PEC statistics, personal athletic and academic accomplishments are included as well as key family and coach contact information.
“Start with a PEC, get a player profile, get invited to the tournament and play ball. It’s a win all the way,” said Mauldin.
Signups are underway for PECs. Register now at: https://www.fastpitchnw.com/eval-camps