By Tom Mauldin - 7-29-2019
Taylor Barker’s 80 mile-per-hour Bat Exit Speed record didn’t last long as Marissa Mauger, a soon-to-be high school freshman from Pocatello, ID, recorded an 82 MPH ball-off-the-tee Exit Speed to set a new Fastpitch Northwest record.
Barker, a 2019 graduate from WF West High School in Chehalis (WA.), clocked 80 mph at the 2019 Centralia Prospect Evaluation Camp (PEC). Her record lasted just 11 months.
Mauger, 13, will join her sister Makayla as a freshman at Highland this fall. That will be quite the one-two punch for Highland as Marissa also recorded the top pitching speed in the 2023 (high school) graduating class at 57 mph.
Makayla Mauger was named the 5A District 5-6 Softball Player of the Year by the league’s coaches after she led Highland to a 5A District 5-6 championship this season. The senior-to-be hit .508 with 30 base hits. In the circle, Mauger won 13 times. She compiled a 3.15 ERA and struck out 109 batters in 95 innings.
Makayla’s 60 mph fastball was also the top pitching speed during the 2019 PEC season.
“But it wasn’t her speed that was impressive, it was her movement,” said Fastpitch Northwest director Mike Brooks, who noted that both Maugers would be playing in the Aug. 5-6-7 College Exposure Tournament to be held at Borst Park in Centralia, WA.
Another player who grabbed Brooks’ attention was Cassandra Wright, a 2020 from Federal Way, WA. She recorded the top pop-to-pop (from home to second base) throw at 1.69. Wright also had a 77 mph Exit Speed.
Brooks noted she “did a lot of things very well.” Wright will also be playing at the tournament.
Sydney Wells (2021) of Selah, WA., is another player who grabbed Brooks’ attention. She had the top power ball throw of 42, was third in pop-to-pop time at 1.84 and showed arm strength with a 68 mph overhand throw. Wells also had a 78 MPH Exit Speed.
Carly Pena, a senior to be at Ridgevue High in Caldwell (ID), narrowly missed the Fastpitch NW’s record in the vertical jump when she recorded a 28-3 at the Caldwell PEC in June.
Pena’s 28-3 is second only to recently-graduated South Salem’s Brooke Leger’s mark of 28-4. Pena, who leaped 26-2 in 2018, far out-jumped other 2019 PEC athletes with Hollie Cunningham’s 24-9 the next highest mark.
The Player Evaluation Camps are the first step in “auditioning” in front of dozens of coaches who will attend Fastpitch Northwest’s College Exposure Tournament to be held in Centrailia, WA, Aug. 5-6-7.
PECs are focused on incoming high school freshmen to incoming seniors, thus the 2019 PEC season was a great opportunity for players who will graduate from high school in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.
At the evaluation clinics, testing skills will include National Fastpitch Coaches Association and SPARQ comparatives.
SPARQ includes Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness. The tests include an electronic vertical jump, a Powerball throw, and a 20-yard on grass sprint.
The NFCA comparatives include throwing speed (from infield and outfield), home to first and home to time times and bat to ball exit speed. Catchers are also clocked for their “pop to pop” throws from home to second. Pitchers will have each pitch speed recorded.
In addition to the two testing protocols, players are also evaluated on fielding, hitting and hustle.
Players who show well are invited to the early August tournament where they will be assigned to a team and over three days play up to five games.
Fastpitch Northwest players also receive a Player Profile on the Fastpitch NW website which can be viewed by any coach in the U.S. The Player Profiles not only include their PEC testing marks, but also their contact information, grade point average, high school and club team contacts.