Recap: Sierra Romero’s walk-off squeeze bunt gives Team McCleney the win, 4-3

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Sarah Smith
Eric Rhew
Jul 30, 2023

ROSEMONT, Ill. — There has certainly been plenty of excitement in the first weekend of the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Softball Championship Season and Sunday’s tilt between Team McCleney and Team Rhodes provided the latest example.

Middle infielder Sierra Romero put down a bunt single with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to score the winning run as Team McCleney came away with a 4-3 victory over Team Rhodes at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.

The win allowed Team McCleney to even its record at 1-1, while Team Rhodes dropped to 0-2 after losing its second straight game by a 4-3 count.

Pitcher Megan Faraimo earned the win in the circle along with MVP 1 honors after throwing 6.0 innings of relief for Team McCleney. The former UCLA star allowed two runs on four hits while striking out five hitters en route to a 212-point performance.

Romero, meanwhile, garnered MVP 2 distinction following her game-winning single, giving her 150 leaderboard points in the victory.

Pitcher Rachel Garcia paced Team Rhodes with a solo home run in the seventh inning, which tied the game at 3-3. She was one of six Team Rhodes players to collect a hit in the setback.

Pitcher Sydney Littlejohn Watkins (0-2) took the loss in relief for Team Rhodes, conceding the game-winning run on two hits over 2.1 innings with a strikeout.


With one out in the seventh inning, outfielder Victoria Hayward reached on an infield single before moving to third base on a single off third base by catcher Mia Davidson. Romero followed with a bunt that dropped in front of the plate and Garcia’s throw was not in time to beat Hayward for the game-winning run.


Faraimo’s 212 points vaulted her into the top spot on the leaderboard ahead of Sunday’s second game between Team Denham and Team Mulipola. Romero’s position rose 17 spots after her 150-point performance.


  • Team Rhodes and Team McCleney combined to score seven runs during Sunday’s first game … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every run scored this season as part of its ‘Aspiration Assists’ initiative.

  • Hayward was the lone player to record a multi-hit game on Sunday afternoon, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.

  • The teams combined to have its leadoff hitter reach base in 7-of-14 opportunities, but were just 5-of-18 with runners in scoring position.

  • Eighteen of the 40 outs recorded in the game were groundouts.

  • There were four stolen bases in the contest with each team swiping two bases.


  • #1 – Megan Faraimo (Team McCleney, +60)
  • #2 – Sierra Romero (Team McCleney, +40)
  • #3 – Rachel Garcia (Team Rhodes, +20)

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