Rachel Garcia pitching

AU to bring first-ever pro softball games to Little League Softball® World Series

Games to be held on Aug. 9

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Athletes Unlimited
Jun 02, 2023
  • Mid-Season Road Trip from Chicago to Greenville, North Carolina to Make History During the Little League Softball® World Series
  • Both Games to Air Live on ESPN2

As was just revealed by ESPN during its coverage of the NCAA Women’s College World Series, Athletes Unlimited is partnering with Little League® to create a historic moment this summer, hosting the first-ever “Athletes Unlimited Pro Games during the Little League Softball® World Series” event. In the middle of its championship season, Athletes Unlimited will relocate its entire roster and staff from the Chicago area to the home of the Little League Softball World Series in Greenville, North Carolina, and stage a doubleheader at East Carolina University’s softball stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 9 beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET, with both games televised live on ESPN2. 

As part of the inaugural event, on August 8 Athletes Unlimited players will also take time to visit Stallings Stadium at Elm Street Park, the home of the Little League Softball World Series and interact with all 12 participating teams from around the world, providing each of them with a unique and memorable experience exclusive to this event. All players and coaches competing in the Little League Softball World Series, as well as their families, will receive complimentary tickets to the AU Pro Games event on August 9, and have additional opportunities to interact with the world’s best softball players before and after the games. 

At least nine players on the Athletes Unlimited Softball roster played Little League Softball as kids, including 2021 Athletes Unlimited Softball champion Aleshia Ocasio (who played for Conway Little League in Florida), Aliyah Andrews (Oldsmar Little League in Florida), Mia Davidson (Orange County Little League in North Carolina), Hannah Flippen (Sweetwater Valley Little League in California), Rachel Garcia (California District 51 Little League), Shannon Saile (Land O’ Lakes Little League in Florida), Peyton St. George (Atlee Little League in Virginia), Jessica Warren (Citrus Park Little League in Florida) and Morgan Zerkle (Ona/Milton Little League in West Virginia). In addition, inaugural Athletes Unlimited Softball champion and Advisory Board member, Cat Osterman is enshrined in the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

“When we talk about ‘growing the game’ and expanding opportunities for women and girls in sports, an event like this is a prime example of how we can bring those concepts to life,” said Jon Patricof, CEO and Co-Founder of Athletes Unlimited. “We are thrilled to partner with Little League and humbled at the opportunity to create such an historic event. Getting a chance to see the best players in the world up close will hopefully be an inspirational experience for the next generation of softball stars and leaders in our community.” 

“Providing our players with a unique and memorable experience at the Little League Softball World Series is one of the most important goals we have when organizing our event each year, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Athletes Unlimited on this one-of-a-kind event to showcase the game’s top talent and provide our Little Leaguers with the chance to interact with and watch their role models in action,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “As we continue to strengthen our inclusive efforts and increase our commitment to female participation at all levels of our program, Athletes Unlimited continues to step up with new ways to support our program and we look forward to continuing to work with them to enhance the game of softball and provide our players with memories that will last them a lifetime.” 

“I am excited Athletes Unlimited is teaming up with Little League to play the first professional games during the Softball World Series this summer,” said Rachel Garcia. “As a former Little Leaguer, it will be an honor to meet and play in front of the future stars of our game on a national stage.”

The fourth championship season of Athletes Unlimited Softball takes place July 28-August 27. The five-week season will feature 60 of the world’s best players competing for $1 million in compensation, with all games available live exclusively on ESPN platforms. 

More details about the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Pro Games at the Little League Softball World Series, including information for fans and media, will be made closer to the event this summer. 

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