Fall is right around the corner, and that means softball is too.
On Aug. 29, Athletes Unlimited debuts its professional softball league. Fifty-six of the world’s best athletes are coming together to bring professional softball to the diamond like it’s never been done before.
Let’s take a position-by-position look at each of the 56 women that will be competing this season.
Kelly Barnhill, P
Barnhill graduated from the University of Florida in 2019. She finished her college career with a 104-22 record with a 1.17 ERA in 802.1 innings pitched. During her Gators softball career, she set school records in opponent batting average (.134) and strikeouts (1,208). She was drafted first overall in the NPF after graduation and recorded a 3-0 record with a 2.22 ERA in 47.1 innings pitched her rookie year. Her 52 punch outs were good for sixth in the league in 2019.
Jessica Burroughs, P
A 2017 graduate from Florida State University, Burroughs posted a 27-5 record, along with a 1.22 ERA her senior year. Her nine career saves are tied for the FSU program record.
Burroughs has a 14-1 record through three years in the NPF, including a 9-0 2018 season where she had a 0.35 ERA in 60.2 innings pitched. Last year, she went 4-1 with a 2.26 ERA.
Savannah Collins, who worked as a team reporter for the USSSA Pride and now works as a host for Athletes Unlimited, said Burroughs is known for her nasty curveball, but has as much of an impact outside of the circle.
“She creates a lot of camaraderie within the pitching staff and the bullpen,” Collins said.
Kamalani Dung, P
Dung graduated from UC Berkeley in 2019. In her junior season, she ranked top-10 in all major pitching categories in the PAC 12: ERA (1.96), wins (19), strikeouts (186), innings pitched (160.2) and opposing batting average (.181).
She is also a member of the Puerto Rican National Team, where she most recently competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifier. She led the team in wins (earning three of the team’s five) and strikeouts (18). She had a 0.81 ERA in 8.2 innings pitched.
Morgan Foley, P
Foley graduated from the University of Indianapolis in 2016. She finished her collegiate career as UIndy’s all-time leader in wins (140), strikeouts (1,659) and innings pitched (1027.0). She set an NCAA record with 30 strikeouts in a 13-inning complete game her sophomore year. She also set the record for most strikeouts in a 7-inning game her senior year with 21.
Foley’s earned two NPF championships, her first in 2016 with the Chicago Bandits and her second in 2017 with the Scrap Yard Dawgs. In 2017, she went 1-1 with a 2.02 ERA in 34.2 innings pitched.
Randi Hennigan, P
Hennigan graduated from Texas State in 2018. She set school records in career wins (110), strikeouts (1,270), appearances (187), innings pitched (1,057.1). She also ranks second in shutouts (42) and complete games (106), and third in career ERA (1.69).
In 2019, she recorded a 1.81 ERA as a member of the Cleveland Comets.
Karissa Hovinga, P
A 2015 graduate from the University of Oregon, Hovinga finished her career with a 45-6 record and a 2.36 ERA with 280 strikeouts, including a career-high 94 strikeouts her junior year.
Hovinga competed with the NPF’s Canadian Wild in 2019, going 3-2 with one save and a 3.02 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched. With Team Canada, she won a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games, and bronze medals at the 2016 and 2018 WBSC World Championships.
Taylor McQuillin, P
McQuillin graduated from the University of Arizona in 2019. She compiled a career 80-32 record with a 1.95 ERA as a Wildcat. McQuillin leaves Arizona in the top-10 in wins (ninth – 80), strikeouts (seventh – 815), and innings pitched (10th – 697.1).
In 2019 with the Cleveland Comets, she had a 5-3 record with a 2.87 ERA.
Aleshia Ocasio, P
Ocasio graduated from the University of Florida in 2018. She finished her college career with a 1.41 cumulative ERA, good for seventh in program history. She also finished top-10 in wins (70), appearances (119), saves (10), shutouts (19) and strikeouts (549).
One of the most dominant pitchers in the NPF last year, she earned a 0.89 ERA in 39.1 innings with 29 strikeouts. That sparking ERA was good for second in the league.
Cat Osterman, P
Osterman graduated from the University of Texas in 2006. She holds UT career records in victories (136), ERA (0.51), shutouts (85) and no-hitters (20). She holds the NCAA record for career strikeout ratio per seven innings (14.35). She is a 2004 Olympic gold medalist, 2005-06 Honda Softball Player of the Year, 2006 ESPY Award winner for Best Female Collegiate Athlete and the 2005-06 Sportswomen of the Year Award for a Team Sport.
Osterman posted the lowest ERA in the NCAA (2003, 2006, 2007) and remains the only player in NCAA history to lead the nation in ERA three times. In her final NPF season in 2015, she led the USSSA Pride in innings pitched (121.2) and wins (15). She recorded a 1.15 ERA.
At the 2019 Pan American Games, she helped Team USA to a gold medal, recording a 1-1 record with a 2.25 ERA in 9.1 innings pitched.
Kempf, who had to catch for Osterman in warmups as part of Team USA, said you can hear her ball spin. “That’s her thing,” Kempf said.
Danielle O’Toole, P
O’Toole graduated from the University of Arizona in 2017. She spent her first two years playing collegiate softball at San Diego State before transferring to Arizona. In her two years as a Wildcat, she compiled a 56-17 record and a 1.69 ERA, including a Pac-12-best 1.21 ERA her senior year. As a matter of fact, she finished top-three in every major pitching category in the Pac-12 her senior season: first in shutouts with nine (17th in NCAA); second in strikeouts with 210 strikeouts (28th in NCAA), opponent batting average with .184, victories with 30 (fifth in NCAA), and games started with 35; and third with 219.0 innings pitched.
She spent 2017 and 2018 with Team USA, earning a 2018 WBSC Women’s World Championship gold medal in 2018 while recording six strikeouts in 4.2 innings and an unblemished ERA. She also earned a Pan American Championship gold medal in 2017 with a 2-0 record and a 2.80 ERA in 15 innings pitched. She became a member of the Mexican National Team in 2019 and helped the team earn its first Olympic berth.
Coley Ries, P
A 2017 graduate from Minnesota State, Ries finished her career as MSU’s all-time leader in wins (119), appearances (146), innings pitched (999.1), strikeouts (1,481) and saves (9). Her senior year, she led the NCAA in wins (41), strikeouts (476) and shutouts (17). Her wins and strikeouts also set an MSU single-season record.
Ries has a career 3.29 ERA in three years in the NPF. Her best season came in 2018 with the Chicago Bandits where she recorded a 6-0 record with a career-low 1.83 ERA.
Samantha Show, P
Show graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2019. She recorded a 22-10 record with a 2.34 ERA and 118 strikeouts her senior year. Show also hit .333 with 20 home runs and 56 RBI that season.
“She’s listed as a pitcher but you can put her in your lineup offensively, too,” said Athletes Unlimited Softball senior director and NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf. Show is a triple threat. She can pitch, field and hit.
And she’s known for her bat flip, of course.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 31, 2019
Haylie Wagner, P
Wagner graduated from Michigan University in 2015. She registered a 25-3 record with a 1.75 ERA, 135 strikeouts and four complete-game shutouts her senior year. She finished her college campaign with a 100-18 career record and 1.82 career ERA with 518 strikeouts.
In her first four seasons in the NPF, she has earned 24 wins and 11 saves. In 2017, she led the Chicago Bandits with 90.1 innings pitched, 11 wins and three saves. In 2019, she was across the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league leaderboard. She ranked third in ERA (1.02), strike percentage (70.82%) and wins (8).
“She changes her speed well,” Kempf said. “She was a big deal at Michigan because she controls batters.”
Amanda Chidester, C
Chidester graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012. She finished her career ranked second in school history in RBI (200) and grand slams (5), fourth in slugging percentage (.596), fifth in home runs (40), ninth in hits (248) and 10th in runs scored (157).
During the 2019 NPF season, Chidester was dominant, leading the league in home runs (15), RBI (35), hits (49) and slugging percentage (.814). She ranked third in runs scored (26), second in batting average (.374), and fourth in on-base percentage (.431).
Chidester has also seen incredible success with Team USA: She earned gold medals at the 2012 and 2015 World Cups of Softball, 2013 Mayor’s Cup, 2016 Women’s Softball World Championship and 2017 Pan American Championship. She also led Team USA with a .591 average and 1.727 slugging percentage at the 2016 WBSC Women’s World Championship and added seven home runs and 18 RBI throughout the event.
“She’s an extremely high-IQ softball player. She’s always evaluating her game,” Kempf said. “She’s a big-time player.”
Taylor Edwards, C
Taylor Edwards graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2014 and finished her college career with 17 Nebraska program records and two NCAA records. Ready? Here they are: She holds the NCAA record and Nebraska record in consecutive games with a home run (six in 2011) and grand slams in a game (two in 2013). She holds Nebraska records for career home runs (53), grand slams (4), walks (150), hit-by-pitches (39), grand slams in a season (2 in 2013 and 2014), walks in a season (41 in 2014), HBP in a season (16 in 2013), RBIs in a game (8), runs scored in a game (4) and HBP in a game (3).
Edwards also earned gold medals with Team USA at the 2018 WBSC World Championship and USA Softball International Cup.
Paige Halstead, C
A 2019 graduate from UCLA, Halstead finished her career as a Bruin with a .268 average, five home runs and 16 RBI. She also helped the team to its 2019 National Championship.
With Team USA, Halstead earned silver medals at the 2016 and 2017 World Cup of Softball. She hit .667 with three RBI in the 2016 tournament. Athletes Unlimited will be Halstead’s first taste of professional softball.
Sahvanna Jaquish, C
Jaquish graduated from LSU in 2017. In her senior year, she finished third on the team in batting average (.331) and hits (59). Her slugging percentage led the team (.556). She also led the team in RBI (61), which was third in the SEC and tied for 16th in the NCAA. She ranked second on the team in home runs (9). She is the only Tiger to finish her career with three seasons with 60 or more RBI.
As a member of Team USA, Jaquish earned a gold medal in the 2018 WBSC World Championship (.308, 2 HR, 6 RBI), the 2019 Japan Cup (.750, 1 HR, 4 RBI) and the 2019 Pan American Games (1 RBI).
Collins said Jaquish was “feeling really comfortable in the box” during the shortened season and hopes she can continue that with Athletes Unlimited.
Aubree Munro, C
Munro graduated from the University of Florida in 2016. A defensive gold mine behind the plate, Munro only committed four errors in her four years as a Gator, including an unblemished junior season. She is one of nine Gators in program history to have a perfect fielding percentage in a season. By her senior year, she had developed the reputation of being able to throw out anyone who tried to steal on her. That year, Florida’s opponents only attempted to steal 11 bases against Munro and Florida’s catchers, shattering Florida’s school record of 25 attempts that was set in 2015. Only five of those 11 runners made it safely to the next base.
Offensively, she helped Team USA to Women’s Softball World Championship gold medals in 2016 and 2018, hitting .400 in 2016 and .389 with three home runs and eight RBI in 2018.
Sashel Palacios, C
Palacios graduated from Arizona State in 2017 and finished third on the team in batting average her senior year (.322). She was tied for second in doubles (6). She was one of only four Devils to start all 53 games her senior year.
Palacios hit .217 with 13 RBI with the Cleveland Comets of the NPF in 2019 and helped Team Mexico earn its first Olympic bid.
Erika Piancastelli, C
Piancastelli graduated from McNeese State University in 2018. During her sophomore year, she broke the school’s career home run, which at the time was 40 home runs. She finished her time at McNeese with 75 career home runs. She also holds McNeese career records in RBI (212), walks (229), runs scored (228), doubles (62), and total bases (548). Unsurprisingly, she also holds the McNeese record for most home runs in a single season (22), which she reached in 2016 and 2018. She had a .401 career batting average, hitting a career-best .430 her freshman year.
Piancastelli is also a member of the Italian national team and helped the team to an Olympic spot for the Tokyo Olympics.
Jordan Roberts, C
Roberts unfortunately missed out on her senior season at the University of Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In her three years as a Gator, Roberts hit .265 with 23 home runs, including a career-high nine home runs in her junior season. She boasted a flawless fielding percentage during her time at Florida.
Athletes Unlimited will be her first taste of professional ball.
Gwen Svekis, C
A 2018 graduate of University of Oregon, Svekis finished with a .337 career batting average with the Ducks and 45 home runs, including a career-high 17 home runs her senior year.
Svekis was a top-tier bat in the NPF in 2019, ranking in the top-10 in home runs (fourth – 7), RBI (sixth – 24), hits (10th – 31), runs (seventh – 19), slugging percentage (third – .602), doubles (first – 12) and triples (third – 2).
Caleigh Clifton, Middle Infielder
A 2019 graduate of University of Oklahoma, Clifton put together a .348 career batting average, including a career-high .390 clip her senior year. She ranked second in program history in career runs scored (234), third in walks drawn (164), fifth in on-base percentage (.513), sixth in doubles (48) and eighth in games played (254) and stolen bases (55).
In her first year with the Chicago Bandits in 2019, she did not commit a single error.
Nicole DeWitt, Corner Infielder
A 2018 graduate of the University of Florida, DeWitt finished her career with a .328 career batting average. She hit 28 career home runs, half of them coming her senior year. She also recorded a career-high 57 RBI her senior year. She ranks third in Gator history in on-base percentage (.471), 10th in runs scored (139), second in HBP (52) and 10th in SAC flies (8). With the USSSA Pride, DeWitt hit .194 with two RBI in 2019 and .220 with 10 RBI in 2018.
Sami Fagan, SS
A 2016 graduate from the University of Missouri, Fagan is second in the Tiger softball history books with 264 hits, 186 RBI and 199 runs. Her .434 average in 2016 ranked second-highest in a single season in program history. She finished her career with the third-highest batting average in program history (.379).
She was drafted to the Akron Racers, earning the Rookie of the Year award for the 2016 season. That year, she hit .392 with 10 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 39 RBI.
Hannah Flippen, SS
A 2017 graduate of University of Utah, she has the highest career batting average of any Ute ever (.384) and is fifth all-time in runs scored (149). She led the league with a .424 average her senior year and had a career-high 50 RBI.
As a member of the Chicago Bandits in 2019, she ranked third in the league in home runs (8), fourth in RBI (27) and runs scored (23), fifth in stolen bases (7) and first in triples (4).
Sam Fischer, Middle Infielder
Fischer graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2012. She left LMU ranked No. 1 in the Lions career record book in home runs (65), RBI (172), total bases (495), batting average (.387), slugging percentage (.786), on-base percentage (.494), runs scored (184), doubles (52) and walks (127).
In 2012, she began competing for Team USA and also spent 2014-16 on the national team. She hit .308 with four home runs in World Cup competition, and .330 in all games. She’s earned two World Cup gold medals (2014 and 2015) and a Japan Cup gold medal in 2015, a tournament where she hit .600 (3-for-5).
In 2016 and 2017, Fischer played for the Akron Racers of the NPF, hitting a career .206 with 53 RBI. She also played in the Japanese Professional League in 2018 and 2019. She recently returned to the NPF, signing with the California Commotion earlier this year.
Kelsey Jenkins, Middle Infielder
A 2018 graduate of Wisconsin, Jenkins hit a career average of .369, including a .410 clip her senior year, the best batting average in the Big Ten that year. She started every game of her four-year college career. She got on base in 51 of the 52 games her senior year for a .578 on-base percentage to lead the Big Ten.
With Team Canada, she hit .357 with 2 home runs in 2018 and helped the team earn a spot at the Tokyo Olympics.
Aubrey Leach, Middle Infielder
Leach graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2019. She set the single season record for runs scored her junior year with 80 and finished her career with a .385 batting average, six home runs and 88 RBI. Her junior year, she set career highs in batting average (.441), hits (82), RBI (25), slugging percentage (.527) and on-base percentage (.565).
Joey Lye, Middle Infielder
The 2009 graduate from Williams College set five all-time school records in batting average (.457), runs scored (150), hits (211), total bases (267) and stolen bases (62).
Lye has competed with Team Canada since 2010, earning a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games, as well as silver in 2011. She also earned bronze medals in the 2010, 2016 and 2018 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championships. In 2013, Lye led all hitters with a .500 batting average at the World Cup of Softball VII and a .611 average at the ISF XIII Women’s World Championship. She went 12-for-24 with eight runs scored and two RBI at the World Cup.
Katiyana Mauga, Corner Infielder
The 2017 graduate from the University of Arizona holds the Arizona and Pac-12 career home run record (92) which is also good for second in NCAA history. Mauga also holds the Arizona record in career slugging percentage (.829) which is third in Pac-12 history and 13th in NCAA history. Mauga is the only player in NCAA history to hit 20 home runs in each of her four seasons. She hit 257 career RBI which is fifth in Arizona history, sixth in Pac-12 history and 13th in NCAA history.
Nerissa Myers, Middle Infielder
Myers graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2013. She holds the all-time record for career runs scored (243). She hit .400 with eight home runs her senior year.
In 2015, Myers led the NPF with 31 RBIs and was tied for second with nine home runs while ranking eighth with a .311 batting average. In 2018, Myers became a member of the Great Britain National Team. She also played internationally with Italy’s Specchiasol Bussolengo in 2019, where she hit .500 with a .894 slugging percentage and .660 on-base percentage. She was named MVP, and won the Women’s Italian Premier Cup and European Championship.
Shelby Pendley, Middle Infielder
A 2015 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Pendley ended her college career with a .384 career batting average (second best in program history), 84 home runs (second best in program history, sixth in NCAA history) and 269 RBI (seventh in NCAA history). She also pitched her junior and senior years, compiling a 14-2 record with a 2.24 ERA.
With the USSSA Pride, she was the 2018 Cowles Cup MVP and was an ALL-NPF selection at shortstop. With Team USA, Pendley won gold medals in the 2019 Japan Cup (hitting .273) and the 2019 USA Softball International Cup (hitting .300 with 2 RBI).
And she’s pretty good in the field, too:
Shelby Pendley went FULL EXTENSION for this diving grab. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/UKHoPjy1OT
— espnW (@espnW) August 18, 2018
“She can play both middle infield positions really well,” Collins said. “She’s very good in high-pressure moments.”
Lilli Piper, Middle Infielder
Piper graduated from from Ohio State University in 2019. Piper hit above .400 every year and finished with a .419 batting average, the second-highest in program history. She ranks third in program history in home runs (48), sixth in runs scored (153) and RBI (144), 10th in stolen bases (40) and 12th in hits (211).
Piper finished her rookie year in the NPF tied for 10th in the league in home runs (4) and a .278 batting average with 15 RBI.
Abby Ramirez, Middle Infielder
A 2017 graduate of Michigan, Ramirez finished her college career with a .349 career batting average. She hit .352 in 2019 with the Chicago Bandits, the fifth-best batting average in the NPF. She also recorded the fifth-best on-base percentage last year (.417). In her rookie year, she recorded five multi-hit games.
Amanda Sanchez, Corner Infielder
Sanchez finished her college career in 2019 as a grad transfer at LSU. She hit .354 in her final season with nine home runs and 54 RBI. She had a .358 batting average in three years at the University of Missouri, recording 21 home runs and 85 RBI in those three years. She led the Cleveland Comets with a .324 average in her rookie year in 2019.
Sanchez was also a member of the Mexican National Team that qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games.
DJ Sanders, SS
A 2018 graduate, Sanders transferred to the University of Oregon for her senior year from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she hit .333 in her three years there with 51 home runs. Her junior year, she set career highs in home runs (29) and RBI (82), both of which led the nation that season. In her senior season at Oregon, she hit .283 with 16 home runs and 51 RBI.
In her second year in the NPF in 2019, she hit .281 with seven RBI. In 2018, she hit .306 with seven dingers and 15 RBI.
Kelsey Stewart, Corner Infielder
A 2016 graduate of the University of Florida, Stewart holds Florida career records in batting average (.391), at bats (914), runs scored (259), hits (357), triples (29), total bases (509) and stolen bases (113). She led three single-season lists at Florida in hits (102), triple (11) and stolen bases (36). She was also top-ten in batting average (.438 – second), on base percentage (.494 – 10th), runs scored (71 – third) and doubles (19 – second).
As a member of Team USA, she earned WBSC Women’s World Championship gold medals in 2016, where she hit .440 with eight RBI, and 2018, where she hit .333. Stewart also earned two Pan American Games gold medals, in 2017 (hit .200) and 2019 (hit .231 with seven RBI). In 13 games with Team USA in 2020, she hit .414 with seven RBI.
Nadia Taylor, Corner Infielder
Taylor graduated from the University of Texas in 2012. Her senior year, she led the team in doubles (16) and ranked third with 11 home runs and fourth with a .355 batting average. She also tied for most doubles in the Big 12.
Taylor made her professional debut in 2015 with the Akron Racers. She had a career year in 2017 with the Texas Charge, hitting .321 and scoring 19 runs, both of which are career highs. In 2019, she had the second-best on-base percentage in the league (.443).
Anissa Urtez, Middle Infielder
Urtez graduated from the University of Utah in 2017. She hit .410 with 52 RBI her senior year.
Last year with the Cleveland Comets, she hit .289 with four home runs (good for ninth in the league) and 14 RBI. She also ranked top-10 in the league last summer in on-base percentage (.379) and slugging percentage (.507). She did not commit a single error at second base.
In her time with the Mexican National Team she was a 2017 Pan American silver medalist. In 2018, she was a Central American silver medalist. Urtez was a major contributor in helping the team qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Tori Vidales, Corner Infielder
Vidales graduated from Texas A&M in 2018 and finished her career as the school’s record holder in runs (198), RBI (219) and total bases (480). She also ranked second in home runs (65), third in walks (164) and slugging percentage (.694), and sixth in batting average (.355) and putouts (1200).
Vidales recorded 26 hits in 99 at-bats in 2019 with the Cleveland Comets of the NPF to give her an average of .263. She also smashed three home runs and 16 RBI.
Jessie Warren, Corner Infielder
Warren graduated from Florida State in 2018. She finished her college career with the FSU and ACC records for home runs (83), RBI (273), runs scored (229) and slugging percentage (.820). The 273 RBI ranks eighth in NCAA history, while the 83 home runs are tied for eighth all-time. Her .820 slugging percentage is the 13th-best in college softball history. She also set the school record for career batting average (.391) and tied for the most doubles in a career (51), while finishing second in FSU history with 289 hits and sixth all-time with 121 walks.
In 2019, she ranked seventh in the NPF in home runs (5), eighth in RBI (23), ninth in hits (34), fifth in runs (20), and sixth in doubles (7).
“She’s got really quick hands at third base,” Collins said. Collins also described Warren as a power hitter, which she’s showed in her time FSU and in the NPF.
AJ Andrews, OF
Andrews graduated from LSU in 2015. She finished her career playing in over 200 games and making 200-plus starts, finishing third in runs scored (179), tied for third in triples (19), third in career walks (116) and third in stolen bases (97). Her senior year, she finished third on the team in batting average (.354) and hits (67). She is also the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, which she earned in 2016 with the Akron Racers of the NPF. In her three seasons in the NPF, Andrews hit a career .274, including a career-high .348 average in 2017. That same year, she recorded a career-high 12 RBI.
“She’s crazy fast,” Collins said. “She’s known for her explosiveness.” Collins said Andrews is coming off a hand injury but should be at 100% for the start of the AU season.
Kylan Becker, OF
The 2019 Ole Miss graduate hit .426 her senior year (a career high). Becker finished with a .364 career batting average. She holds the Ole Miss record for most career triples with 16, nine of which came her senior year and set the Ole Miss record for most triples in a single season. She also set single-season records in runs (55) and stolen bases (34) her senior year. Her 84 hits during her senior season led the SEC.
Emily Crane, OF
Crane graduated from University of Missouri in 2016. She holds a career .383 average at Missouri (second-highest in program history) and set career highs in average (.404), runs scored (64), hits (69), home runs (17), RBI (61), total bases (137), slugging percentage (.801), walks (38) and on-base percentage (.516) her senior year. She has spent three seasons in the NPF, setting a career-high in 2018 with a .328 average with the Chicago Bandits.
Victoria Hayward, OF
Hayward graduated from University of Washington in 2014. She led the team with a .405 batting average her senior year.
In the NPF, she hit a team-leading .357 with two home runs playing outfield for the Canadian Wild in 2019. She also had more RBI (15) than strikeouts (11). She ranked third in the NPF in hits (46), fourth in batting average, sixth in on-base percentage (.407) and second in triples (3). She is also a member of Team Canada.
Jazmyn Jackson, OF
A 2018 graduate from UC Berkeley, Jackson has also been a member of Team USA since 2015. In 2016, she was a member of the WBSC Women’s World Championship gold medal team hitting .591 with eight RBI and six runs scored in the tournament. In 2017, she earned a Pan American Games gold medal while hitting .533, five RBI and two home runs. In the 2019 USA Softball International Cup, Jackson helped the team earn a gold medal with a .364 average and two RBI.
Morgan Howe, OF
Howe graduated from Arizona State in 2019. In her two years at Arizona, she hit .380 with 20 home runs and 103 RBI. Her junior year, she led the squad in RBI (42), ranked second in batting average (.361) and second in hits (69).
Athletes Unlimited will be her first taste of professional ball. She was drafted to the California Commotion in 2020 but did not get the chance to play as the NPF season was canceled due to COVID-19.
Haylie McCleney, OF
A 2016 graduate from the University of Alabama, McCleney finished her Alabama career as the program’s all-time leader in batting average (.447), on base percentage (.569), walks (199) and triples (16). She also finished in the top five in runs (second – 279), stolen base percentage (second – .944), slugging percentage (third – .690), hits (fourth – 313) and stolen bases (fifth – 118).
McCleney has earned multiple gold medals as a member of Team USA, including gold medals at the Women’s World Championship in 2016 and 2018 hitting .400 and .520 respectively. She also won gold medals at the Pan American Games in 2017 and 2019, hitting .613 and .565 respectively, and gold medals at the 2014 and 2015 World Cup of Softball hitting .353 in the 2014 tournament and .333 in the 2015 tournament.
Michelle Moultrie, OF
Moultrie graduated from University of Florida in 2012. She holds four Gator single-season records: on base percentage (.519), batting average (.443), triples (5), and stolen bases (31). She also holds two career records at UF: batting average (.385) and stolen bases (83).
Since 2011, she has seen success with Team USA. The team won the gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games and Moultrie hit .500 with 10 RBI and had a team-high 10 runs scored. She won the Pan American Games gold medal again in 2017 and 2019. In 2017, she hit .613 and scored 17 times. In 2019, she hit .300. She also won gold at the 2016 and 2018 WBSC Women’s World Championship, hitting .524 and .400 respectively.
Nicole Pendley, OF
A 2018 graduate from the University of Oklahoma, Pendley hit a career .329 with 47 home runs as a Sooner. She played with her sister in 2018 with the USSSA Pride before signing with the Cleveland Comets partway into the 2019 season. In 2019, she played 21 games for the Pride and hit .265 with three RBI. She played seven games for the Comets in 2019 and hit .188.
Mandie Perez, OF
Perez graduated in 2017 from the University of Arizona. She had a career year her senior season, finishing top-10 in the Pac-12 in batting average (.387 – seventh), hits (74 – fourth), walks (33 – fifth) and on-base percentage (.491 – fifth) in addition to leading the league in runs (66). She also had an unblemished fielding percentage in the outfield.
She spent 2017 with the USSSA Pride of the NPF, hitting .158 in 19 at-bats her rookie year. After two seasons away from professional softball, she signed with the California Commotion in 2020.
Janie Reed, OF
Reed graduated from the University of Oregon in 2015. Reed hit .392 as a Duck with 11 career home runs and 132 career RBI. She has played for Team USA since 2015, earning gold medals in the 2017 and 2019 Pan American Games. In 2017, she hit .522 and scored 11 runs and in 2019, she hit .350 with two RBI. She also earned gold medals at the WBSC Women’s World Championship in 2016 and 2018, hitting .364 and .360 respectively.
Megan Wiggins, OF
Wiggins has played in the NPF since 2011. She hit a career-high .463 with the Chicago Bandits in 2013. She is a two-time home run champion (2012, 2013) and was a co-champion in 2018. In 2019, she hit .250 with 15 RBI and was seventh in doubles (7) and sixth in stolen bases (5).
“She’s very relaxed and laid-back when she plays,” Collins said, adding that her veteran presence will be an advantage.
“She’s a veteran, a power hitter … She spends a lot of time thinking about her game.”
Ariana Williams, OF
Williams graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2019. She led the team with a .380 batting average her senior year and had a team-high 41 RBI her senior year. She hit .335 throughout her career with 10 career home runs and 89 career RBI. She signed with the California Commotion in March, but was unable to play due to a canceled season as a result of the pandemic.
Morgan Zerkle, OF
Zerkle graduated in 2017 from Marshall University. Her senior year, she led Marshall in batting average (.476), hits (79), doubles (13), triples (six), extra base hits (28), total bases (131) slugging percentage (.789), on base percentage (.508), OPS (1.297) and was second in RBI (43) and stolen bases (39). Her .476 batting average was the second highest in the NCAA that year. Her sophomore year was one of the best seasons in program history. Her .506 average set the new school and Conference USA record and ranked second in the NCAA. She also set the school record in hits (89) and led the NCAA in stolen bases with 47. She finished with 62 runs, which is the most in a single season in program history.
As a member of Team USA, she earned silver medals in the 2017 World Cup of Softball (hit .500 with two RBI) and the 2017 Japan Cup (hit .333). She spent a season with the Scrap Yard Dawgs in the NPF in 2017, hitting .269.
AU in Tokyo: Cat Osterman strikes out nine in return to Olympic stage
Cat Osterman © Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2021 / Credit: Jenny Jeffries
Taking the First Pitch Virtual: How Athletes Unlimited Adapted the Time-Honored Tradition
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2020 / Credit: Jade Hewitt
Brazilian Olympian Sheilla Castro joins Athletes Unlimited Volleyball
Image courtesy of FIVB
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