Recap: McCleney secures win and holds on to captain spot
ROSEMONT, Ill. — The “Rule of Three” principle suggests things that come in threes tend to produce more positive outcomes.
For Team McCleney, having three innings with three runs each provided a 9-6 victory over Team Mulipola to close Week Three of the 2022 Athletes Unlimited Softball Championship Season on Sunday night at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.
The win allowed Team McCleney to complete its weekly schedule with a 2-1 record, while Team Mulipola finishes its set with a 1-2 mark.
Corner infielder Danielle Gibson was the catalyst for Team McCleney’s victory by going 2-for-4 with her first home run of the season in the second inning. Gibson, who secured a game-high 210 leaderboard points in the victory, claimed MVP 1 honors for her efforts.
Meanwhile, captain Haylie McCleney piloted her team to its second straight win by going 3-for-4 with two singles and a double while scoring during the pivotal seventh inning. McCleney finished the night with 188 leaderboard points, including 40 points as the MVP 2 pick.
Pitcher Taylor McQuillin earned her first win of the season in the circle after allowing just two walks with a strikeout in the sixth inning. Mariah Mazon nailed down her first save of the year after striking out two hitters in the final frame.
Outfielder Shannon Rhodes secured MVP 3 recognition after blasting a pair of home runs in the loss for Team Mulipola. She belted a solo shot to right field in the first inning before adding another solo home run in the fifth inning to center field.
Carrie Eberle was tagged with the loss after giving up three earned runs on seven hits over 5.0 innings with three strikeouts and four walks.
HOW IT HAPPENED
With the score tied at 6-all heading into the seventh inning, Team McCleney scored three times in the final frame to claim the victory. McCleney drove in the eventual game-winning run with a single through the right side before outfielder Victoria Hayward brought her around to score on a single and two-base error, which also plated shortstop Sis Bates.
Despite the loss, catcher Dejah Mulipola will serve as the Gold captain for the second week in a row in Week Four, while McCleney, Jaquish and Chidester will join her at the draft tables for another week. Pitcher Rachel Garcia rose 10 spots up the leaderboard after the victory by Team McCleney.
Rhodes became the third player this season to hit two home runs in the same game … Corner infielder Sam Fischer did it on Friday night against Team Mulipola after catcher Sahvanna Jaquish homered twice against Team Eberle on July 31.
Hayward extended her hitting streak to 16 consecutive games with her single in the seventh inning.
Eberle has factored into the decision in six of her nine appearances this season.
The top four hitters in Team McCleney’s lineup accounted for seven of the team’s 12 hits.
Hayward and outfielder Amanda Lorenz matched the Athletes Unlimited Softball single-game record with five at-bats in Sunday’s finale.
Team McCleney was 13-for-22 in advancement opportunities and saw its leadoff hitter reach base four times.
With 35 runs in Sunday’s doubleheader, there have now been 199 runs scored through the first 18 games of the season … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every run scored this season as part of its “Aspiration Round the Bases” initiative.
- #1 – Danielle Gibson (Team McCleney, +60)
- #2 – Haylie McCleney (Team McCleney, +40)
- #3 – Shannon Rhodes (Team Mulipola, +20)
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© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2022 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
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