Recap: Nickles' walk-off hit secures her first win as captain

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Eric Rhew
Aug 18, 2023

ROSEMONT, Ill. — With the game on the line, it’s always important to have a team captain ready to lead her squad to victory and that is exactly what outfielder Bubba Nickles did in Friday’s Athletes Unlimited Softball game against Team Urtez.

Nickles, making her debut as a team captain, drove in the game-winning run with a single in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel Team Nickles to a 3-2 victory at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.

The walk-off hit allowed Nickles to finish with 150 leaderboard points after securing MVP 1 recognition.

Middle infielder Kelsey Harshman followed with MVP 2 honors after belting the game-tying home run in the fifth inning, a two-run shot to left field. Harshman, who also drew a walk, paced all players with 168 leaderboard points in the victory.

Rookie infielder Rachel Becker capped the MVP trio for Team Nickles after making a diving stop to lead off the top of the seventh inning, giving her 100 leaderboard points.

Rookie pitcher Kathryn Sandercock upped her record to 2-1 after scattering two hits over the final 2.1 innings.

Rookie infielder Josie Muffley recorded the lone multi-hit effort in the loss for Team Urtez after going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, marking her second multi-hit outing of the campaign.

Pitcher Rachel Garcia took the loss after giving up one run on one hit in 2.0 innings with two strikeouts.


With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Team Nickles drew back-to-back walks by outfielder Morgan Zerkle and Harshman to load the bases. Nickels drove the next pitch up the middle to bring home catcher Jordan Roberts for the game-winning run.


Sandercock moved up five spots on the leaderboard into fifth place as a result of her 108 leaderboard points. Nickles, meanwhile, remains in second place and stands just 98 points behind pitcher Odicci Alexander pending the outcome of the nightcap between Team Alexander and Team Davidson.


  • Team Urtez and Team Nickles combined to score five runs in Friday’s Week Four opener, moving the league’s season total to 124 runs through 19 games … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every run scored this season as part of its ‘Aspiration Round the Bases’ initiative.

  • Ten of the 19 games this season have been decided by two runs or less following the 2-1 verdict in Friday’s opener.

  • Five of Team Urtez’s six hits came in two-out situations.

  • Sandercock has not allowed a run in her last four outings and has conceded just five hits in that time while posting a 2-0 record with two saves.

  • Nickles, who upped her hitting streak to a league-best eight games, fashioned her second game-winning hit of the season … She also drove in two runs with a double in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Team Romero a 2-1 victory over Team Zerkle on August 4.

  • Middle infielder Anissa Urtez extended her hitting streak to six games with a RBI single in the top of the third inning.

  • Corner infielder Tori Vidales moved into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time Championship Season home run list with her 13th career homer in the fourth inning … It also marked the 15th career blast of her Athletes Unlimited career between AUX and Championship Season, which is good for fifth place.

  • Harshman belted her fifth career Championship Season home run in the fifth inning to even the score at 2-2 in the fifth inning.

  • Zerkle earned her 49th career Athletes Unlimited victory (AUX and Championship Season) with Team Nickles’ win on Friday .. She is now 49-28 in her Athletes Unlimited softball career.


  • #1 – Bubba Nickles (Team Nickles, +60)
  • #2 – Kelsey Harshman (Team Nickles, +40)
  • #3 – Rachel Becker (Team Nickles, +20)

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