Gwen Svekis

Recap: Garcia earns 272 points with complete game shutout

Denham takes No. 1 spot behind team's victory

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2022 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Bruce Miles
Aug 27, 2022

ROSEMONT, Ill. — There figures to be high drama on the final Sunday of Athletes Unlimited softball for 2022.

After Saturday’s doubleheader, which featured strong pitching in both games, the individual leaderboard is tightly packed.

Five players – Alyssa DenhamHaylie McCleneyDejah MulipolaShannon Rhodes and Sam Fischer – are separated by only 50 points from 1-5.

Every play of every inning in Sunday’s season-ending doubleheader could prove pivotal in determining a champion.

Rachel Garcia’s complete-game shutout in Saturday’s second game gave Team Denham a 4-0 victory over Team Mulipola. That was preceded by 2-1 victory for Team McCleney over Team Chidester.

Garcia (3-2) gave up three hits while walking three and striking out eight. She did it without working a 1-2-3 inning, as she stranded 10 Team Mulipola runners on base. She earned MVP 1 honors and a total of 272 points, moving up from 23rd place on the leaderboard to 11th.

For her efforts Saturday, Garcia earned MVP 1 honors and 60 points. Teammates Gwen Svekis (40 MVP points) and Amanda Lorenz (20) were MVP 2 and MVP 3, respectively. Svekis hit a leadoff homer off relief pitcher Carrie Eberle (3-5) leading off the top of the fifth inning which gave Team Denham a 1-0 lead, while Lorenz hit a triple to drive in Megan Wiggins, who doubled.

Team Mulipola starting pitcher Odicci Alexander worked two hitless innings. The defensive play of the game was turned in by Team Mulipola right fielder Mia Davidson, who made a diving catch off the bat of Wiggins to end the top of the sixth inning.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Svekis broke a scoreless tie when she led off the top of the fifth inning for Team Denham with a home run over the Players Suite beyond the left-field wall. Team Denham added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh. Lorenz and Aubrey Leach singled, and pitcher Taylor McQuillin hit Sahvanna Jaquish with a pitch. Leach was credited with a steal of home as DJ Sanders reached first base safely on a fielder’s choice.

LEADERBOARD IMPACT

Denham moved up one spot, from second to first on the leaderboard after her team won the second game and all of the innings points. She sits at 1,582. McCleney (1,562 points) moved from fourth to second. Mulipola, who entered the day atop the leaderboard, dropped to third with 1,536 points. Rhodes moved up one spot, to fourth. She has 1,536 points. Fischer (1,532) advanced one spot to fifth.

GAME NOTES

  • When McQuillin entered the game in relief for Team Mulipola during the top of the fifth inning, it marked her 13th game of the season. She has appeared in each of the past six game days. She equaled the Athletes Unlimited record of 13 games pitched, first established by Danielle’ O’Toole in 2020 and equaled by a trio of pitchers last year.
  • Garcia hit four Team Mulipola batters, plunking Alexander in the fourth and sixth innings, Mulipola in the fifth and Mia Davidson in the sixth. Team Denham suffered two hit batters: Caleigh Clifton by Eberle in the fourth and Jaquish by McQuillin in the seventh.
  • First baseman Tori Vidales of Team Mulipola had her hitting streak snapped after 11 games. Vidales did reach base twice, walking both times.
  • Garcia lowered her ERA from 2.83 to 2.43 with her complete-game shutout. She now has three complete games, one behind league leader O’Toole.

GAME MVPS

  • #1 – Rachel Garcia (Team Denham, +60)
  • #2 – Gwen Svekis (Team Denham, +40)
  • #3 – Amanda Lorenz (Team Denham, +20)

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