- June 29, 2022
Two outstanding area softball players, Tyler Albert and Owen Lukens have reached the elite level of the sport by playing as members of the Team UJSA Fast Pitch Softball Team. Both men competed this year as members of the team participating in the Pan American Championships earlier this spring in Argentina. Lukens comes from quite
Two outstanding area softball players, Tyler Albert and Owen Lukens have reached the elite level of the sport by playing as members of the Team UJSA Fast Pitch Softball Team.
Both men competed this year as members of the team participating in the Pan American Championships earlier this spring in Argentina.
Lukens comes from quite an athletic family, which he described for Webb Weekly. “My father, Randy Lukens, is the number one reason I fell in love with the game of fastpitch. He played at the highest level in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, winning multiple state and regional championships and even earning an All-American. He remains active in the Williamsport City League and, until last season, was the League Treasurer for multiple decades. I have fond memories of traveling with his fastpitch teams when I was young, serving as the team batboy. My dad taught me how to respect and play the game the right way, never take the game for granted, and always play like someone is watching.”
He continued, “My mother, Jeanette Lukens (Team Mom), has truly been amazing during my journey. She attends every game she can, keeps the book, and is very good at it, while her whistle and cheer can be heard miles away. She is definitely a favorite among the team.”
Lukens said his grandfather, “Duke” Lukens, is 95 years old and, until this past year, has never missed one of Owen’s home games from his adolescent to college years. According to Owen, though “Duke” can no longer travel, his mind is still as sharp as it ever was. He said he calls him after every travel weekend, and he can still analyze the game with the best of them. He said that Duke, his “Pap,” is one of the main reasons Owen loves the game as much as he does.
“My wife, Christina Lukens (Mansfield University), and my sister Janelle Lukens (Delaware State University) both played fastpitch at a high level in college and remain huge influences for me as I continue to develop. I look up to both very much,” said Lukens.
Tyler Albert of Montoursville sees action as a catcher on Team USA as well, and a highlight of his softball experience was walking and scoring a run during the Pan American Championships this spring.
Lukens said his journey in softball began while playing in the Williamsport City League at 15 years old. He started traveling locally and around the border of PA soon after, winning several tournaments.
He joined the Elkland Softball Association travel team at 21 years old. He played in multiple tournaments in Canada while making “fill in” appearances on top-level teams around the “fastpitch circuit.”
Later, Lukens joined Fishers Softball Association from Lancaster. He played in the top Championship Tournaments on the “circuit” in places such as New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Oklahoma City (home of the fastpitch Hall of Fame).
He helped lead Fishers to the International Softball Congress (ISC) II Championship game, hitting and playing defensively at a high level.
He played for the USA Futures team in a tournament in New York City and made the USA 22-man roster before being selected to the final travel 16-man roster.
If things continue to go well for Lukens and Albert, the two could be competing with the team at the World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, in November.