Bubba Nickles

Recap: Nickles plates 4, earns 220 leaderboard points in 6-5 win

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2022 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Eric Rhew
Jul 30, 2022

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Outfielder Bubba Nickles was going to do whatever she needed to do to guide Team Chidester to its first victory of the 2022 Athletes Unlimited Softball season.

And she certainly did, racking up 220 leaderboard points on the strength of two hits, including a double and a home run, along with being named the game’s top MVP as Team Chidester rallied for a 6-5 victory over Team Zerkle to begin Saturday’s doubleheader at the Parkway Bank Sports Complex.

The win allowed Team Chidester to even its Week One record at 1-1, while Team Zerkle also stands at 1-1.

Nickles, who registered a two-hit effort in the season opener on Friday night, fashioned another multi-hit game to lead Team Chidester’s comeback effort. Shortstop Anissa Urtez also chipped in a two-hit outing, including her second home run of the year, to close play with 198 points after securing MVP 2 distinction.

Rookie pitcher Danielle Watson had an impressive Athletes Unlimited debut, scattering one hit over 2.0 innings with a strikeout to nail down her first professional save. The former Florida State hurler garnered 144 leaderboard points after being named MVP 3.

Outfielder Morgan Zerkle paced her squad in the setback with a 2-for-3 performance, including three runs batted in and a run scored. Pitcher Taylor McQuillin suffered the loss for Team Zerkle, conceding four runs on four hits over 3.0 innings with four strikeouts and a walk.

KEY MOMENT

Trailing by a 3-1 margin in the middle of the fourth inning, Team Chidester went to work by scoring five consecutive runs to take a 6-3 lead in the fifth inning. Team captain Amanda Chidester got the run started with a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning. Nickles followed with a 2-run double to right center field in the fourth inning before blasting a two-run home run the following frame for a three-run cushion.

LEADERBOARD IMPACT

Nickles and Urtez hold the top two spots on the leaderboard and are separated by just two points going into the second game of Saturday’s twinbill. Team Zerkle’s Dejah Mulipola and Rachel Garcia are not far behind in third and fourth places, respectively.

GAME NOTES

  • Watson’s save was the seventh save registered in Athletes Unlimited Softball Championship Season history … It is also the second save in the first three games of the year.

  • All three games played so far this season have been decided by a total of four runs, including two one-run verdicts.

  • A total of 11 runs were scored in Saturday’s first game, upping the season runs total to 24 in three games … Aspiration will commit to planting 10 trees for each run scored as part of the “Aspiration Round the Bases” initiative.

  • Team Chidester’s No. 3-6 hitters accounted for six of the squad’s seven hits … The four players also scored all six runs for the team.

  • Team Zerkle’s top four hitters in the lineup went a combined 5-for-14 with four runs batted in and two runs scored.

  • The teams combined to go 14-for-31 in advancement opportunities along with a 9-for-28 success rate with runners on base.

GAME MVPS

  • #1 – Bubba Nickles (Team Chidester, +60)
  • #2 – Anissa Urtez (Team Chidester, +40)
  • #3 – Danielle Watson (Team Chidester, +20)

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