Shannon Rhodes

Recap: Rhodes hits two home runs, rises 6 spots on leaderboard

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2022 / Credit: Sara Teteak
Eric Rhew
Aug 26, 2022

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Like two fighters battling for a championship belt, outfielder Shannon Rhodes and catcher Dejah Mulipola have been going back and forth for the home run lead during the 2022 Athletes Unlimited Softball Championship Season.

The latest round during Friday’s tilt between Team Mulipola and Team McCleney featured home runs from both title contenders. But, it was Rhodes’ two blasts that lifted Team McCleney to a 5-4 victory over Team Mulipola at the Parkway Bank Sports Complex.

Rhodes, who finished with 250 leaderboard points and the MVP 1 selection, belted a solo shot to right field in the third inning before unleashing another solo home run to right center field two innings later.

Mulipola, meanwhile, holds a share of the home run lead with the rookie outfielder after hitting her eighth long ball of the season, a two-run shot to right field in the fourth inning.

Corner infielder Sam Fischer also got into the home run action with a two-run shot of her own in the first inning, which capped a three-run opening frame for the victors. Fischer garnered MVP 2 distinction for her performance and closed the night with 200 leaderboard points.

Rookie pitcher Peyton St. George completed the MVP trio after securing the win in relief. The former Duke product scattered just two hits over the final 2.1 frames to even her record at 2-2 on the year.

Middle infielder Sydney Romero anchored Team Mulipola in the loss with a three-hit outing while scoring a pair of runs. Pitcher Taylor McQuillin (3-3) suffered the setback in the circle after conceding two runs on five hits in 4.0 innings.

HOW IT HAPPENED

After Team Mulipola rallied to even the score at 4-all in the top of the fifth inning, Team McCleney answered in the bottom half with Rhodes’ solo home run in the bottom of the frame for a 5-4 advantage the squad did not relinquish.

LEADERBOARD IMPACT

Rhodes elevated her position on the leaderboard by six spots, moving just 32 points behind captain Haylie McCleney for fourth place. McCleney, meanwhile, dropped one spot on the league standings despite winning the game and collecting 126 leaderboard points.

GAME NOTES

  • Rhodes blasted two home runs in a game for the second time this season … She also had a pair of home runs against Team McCleney during Week Three.

  • There have now been four multi-home run games this season by three different players … In addition to Rhodes, Fischer had a pair of homers against Team Mulipola on Aug. 12, while catcher Sahvanna Jaquish hit two home runs against Team Eberle on July 31.

  • Rhodes remains the only player with at least one hit in all 13 games this season.

  • Mulipola now has six home runs in her last seven games, while Rhodes has fashioned six homers in her last five outings.

  • McQuillin made the 32nd pitching appearance of her Athletes Unlimited career on Friday night to remain the career leader in that category … Meanwhile, Danielle O’Toole registered her 31st career outing to move into sole possession of second place on the career list.

  • O’Toole also holds second place on the league’s career games started list with her 18th starting assignment on Friday night … She allowed four runs on five hits over 4.2 innings but did not factor into the decision.

  • The teams were a combined 3-for-25 with runners on base and just 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

  • Five of the nine runs scored in the game came with two outs.

  • With nine runs scored in Friday’s nightcap, there have now been 266 runs scored through 26 games this season … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every run scored as part of its “Aspiration Round the Bases” initiative.

GAME MVPS

  • #1 – Shannon Rhodes (Team McCleney, +60)
  • #2 – Sam Fischer (Team McCleney, +40)
  • #3 – Peyton St. George (Team McCleney, +20)

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