If you notice the Nanakuli catcher looks like a girl, it’s because she is a girl.
Cheyenne Lute is her name and she’s batting .429 and fulfilling a role as a team leader for the Golden Hawks (2-9).
If you recall her name, it might be from her starring role in Nanakuli’s push to the Division II softball state championship last year. She earned tournament most outstanding player honors as a pitcher.
Lute decided to play junior varsity baseball in the winter, and when the spring rolled around, decided to stick with baseball at the varsity level rather than go back to softball.
Baseball is where she’ll stay, Lute told Hawaii Prep World on Saturday, unless the Golden Hawks move up to Division I in softball between now and her senior year. Then, she said, she would want to switch back.
“She’s only a sophomore and she decided to stick it out with the varsity,” Nanakuli head coach Ahmoo Kaululaau said Saturday. “She’s our best hitter. I wish I had a team full of players like her. She’s not afraid and works hard.”
Lute is 5-foot-3 and 111 pounds and bats second for the Golden Hawks.
Kaululaau said he initially “took heat” from coaches and others around school that maybe Lute shouldn’t be on the varsity.
“I told them, ‘You have to see her play before you judge,’ ” the coach said. “She’s proved herself and they know now that she belongs.”
Lute, 16, told Hawaii Prep World on Saturday that her first experience playing baseball was when she was 10 and 11.
And now, she’s fitting right in with the Golden Hawks.
“I like everything about this team, the players, the coaches,” Lute said. “I love how we get along and compete. The coaches help me with a lot of things and they even help me with my softball swing.”
On the JV team, Lute played second base until one day at practice when the catchers were busy doing other things.
“I asked if I could catch, and they let me try it,” she said.
Nanakuli (2-9) is tied with McKinley for the last OIA Division II playoff spot and a coin flip will decide which team moves on.
“We’re supposed to be in there,” said Lute, referring to missed opportunities throughout the season. “We made some errors and that led to the coin toss.”
One of Kaululaau’s good friends who attends the games occasionally recently told the coach that, “Your best player is a girl.”