Recap: Team Gibson sweeps win points in 8-0 victory to kick off Champions Week

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Eric Rhew
Aug 25, 2023

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Pitcher Rachel Garcia is going to make it very difficult for the league leaders to remain at the top of the leaderboard if she continues to accumulate points like she did in Friday night’s Athletes Unlimited Softball opener between Team Gibson and Team Flippen.

Garcia combined with Aleshia Ocasio to spin a three-hit shutout and also blasted a three-run home run to propel Team Gibson to an 8-0 shutout victory over Team Flippen to open the final week of the season.

Garcia, who authored her fourth career Championship Season game with 250 or more points, finished the night with 280 leaderboard points after taking home MVP 1 distinction. The former UCLA standout was 1-for-3 at the plate with her three-run blast and also scattered three hits over five innings with seven strikeouts.

Team captain Danielle Gibson followed with the MVP 2 award after posting a pair of hits, including a two-run double, with a run scored. Gibson remains in second place on the leaderboard after securing 180 points in her first Championship Season game as a captain.

Middle infielder Abby Ramirez, who played in right field for the first time this season, finished the MVP sweep with her MVP 3 commendation. Ramirez was 1-for-3 at the plate and scored a run, giving her 150 leaderboard points.

Outfielder Bubba Nickles also added a 2-for-4 effort with a double and two runs scored for Team Gibson, which saw eight of its nine starters record at least one hit.

Three different players tallied a hit in the loss for Team Flippen. Rookie Megan Faraimo suffered the loss in the circle and dropped to 3-3 after giving up five runs on six hits in 4.1 innings with three strikeouts.


After the teams battled through four scoreless innings, Team Gibson erupted for six runs in the fifth inning for a 6-0 lead. Outfielder Megan Wiggins started the outburst when she drew a bases loaded walk before Gibson added a two-run single to left field. Garcia followed with a three-run blast to center field, upping the advantage to six runs.


Garcia’s 280-point performance vaulted her into third place on the leaderboard with 1,556 points, while Nickles moved into fourth place with 1,508 points. Ramirez, meanwhile, improved her position by 10 spots with the shutout victory on Friday night and stands 22nd in the league standings pending the outcome of the nightcap between Team Alexander and Team Denham.


  • Team Flippen and Team Gibson combined to score eight runs in Friday’s Week Five opener, pushing the league’s season total to 175 runs through 25 games … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every run scored this season as part of its ‘Round the Bases’ initiative.

  • Team Gibson fashioned the 17th all-time shutout in Athletes Unlimited Softball Championship Season play, including the sixth this season … The six shutouts are the most in a season in the league’s four-year history.

  • In addition, Team Gibson secured the league’s sixth win points sweep of the season … In four seasons of Championship Season play, there have been 29 win point sweeps.

  • Garcia struck out corner infielder Tori Vidales in the first inning, marking her 50th strikeout of the season … It is the fifth time a pitcher has reached 50 strikeouts in a season in Championship Season history, including the second time by Garcia … Cat Osterman reached 50 strikeouts in the 2020 and 2021 campaigns while Aleshia Ocasio tallied 55 strikeouts during the 2021 season.

  • Garcia, who now has 56 strikeouts this season, also registered seven or more strikeouts in a game for the sixth time in her Championship Season career, which stands second in league history behind Osterman’s nine career games with seven or more strikeouts.

  • Nickles extended her hitting streak to a league-best 11 games with an infield single in the fifth inning … She also accrued her second multi-hit game of the season after hitting a double off the center field fence with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

  • Outfielder Victoria Hayward has reached base safely in all 13 games after drawing a walk to lead off the game … She also moved her hitting streak to 10 straight games with an infield single in the top of the fifth inning.

  • Middle infielder Kelsey Harshman also owns a streak of reaching base safely in 10 consecutive games after earning a walk in the third inning.

  • Gibson extended her hitting streak to seven straight games with a single in the top of the second inning … She also recorded her fourth multi-hit game of the season with a two-run single in the fifth frame.

  • Corner infielder Nadia Taylor has registered a hit in six of her last seven outings, including the last three in a row, after posting a single in the bottom of the fourth inning.

  • Ramirez has a hit in five of her last six appearances, including the last three in a row, following a single to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning.

  • Middle infielder Sis Bates has hit safely in five of her last seven games after opening the season without a hit in her first six contests … Bates singled down the left field line in the fifth inning.


  • #1 – Rachel Garcia (Team Gibson, +60)
  • #2 – Danielle Gibson (Team Gibson, +40)
  • #3 – Abby Ramirez (Team Gibson, +20)

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