The third season of Athletes Unlimited Softball is underway!
The journey for the next champion has begun, and while the leaderboard is always in close margins after Week 1, there are athletes whose stellar performances shot them to the top. Plus, those to keep an eye on whose dominance hasn’t paid off in the rankings (yet).
The trifecta of success
Carrie Eberle is no stranger to the top of the leaderboard, but during Week 1 of the competition, she tapped into collecting points in all three point categories.
What’s most impressive in Eberle’s Week 1 performance is her selection of when to put herself in the game and her ability to be lights out in the circle.
She threw 9 1/3 and amassed 112 points for outs. What’s more impressive is she did not give up a run, eliminating any loss of points most pitchers experience. These great outings leveraged her to lead in MVP points: she earned the honors twice, +60 for MVP 1 and +40 for MVP 2.
— Athletes Unlimited (@AUProSports) August 1, 2022
Athletes from Team Eberle dominate the top half of the leaderboard because of how much they won. They went 2-1 but won more innings than any other team over the weekend. They also were the first group of the season to complete an inning sweep, taking all 70 available inning points in their 1-0 shutout of Team Ocasio.
Eberle’s perfect ERA, pushing her to be an MVP, combined with the success of her team is what secured her the No. 1 spot.
Hitting their way to the top
In Jaquish’s 10 at-bats, she’s collected points for every bagger possible, including back-to-back home runs. She’s yet to strike out and has a league-high slugging percentage of 1.500.
Two homers in two at-bats for Sahvanna Jaquish ‼️
— espnW (@espnW) August 1, 2022
Mulipola’s on-base percentage is off the charts at .727. When she’s not racking up hits, she’s drawing walks and was hit by a pitch twice.
Both of their bats are hot and unless they cool down, expect them to continue to remain at the top.
Athletes to Watch
Only seven athletes have cracked into 100 or more stat points and three of them are captains this week. The other four who racked up points individually were Aleshia Ocasio, Morgan Zerkle, Bubba Nickles and Anissa Urtez.
Pitcher Ocasio leads the league in stat points by a large margin but what she’s missing is win points. Her team struggled offensively throughout the week which led them to miss out on inning win points and go 1-2 despite holding opponents to low-scoring games.
Someone needed to give the highway a heads up for this ball… 302 feet! pic.twitter.com/HxzpyDMeVB
— Savanna Collins (@savannaecollins) July 30, 2022
Don’t count the reigning champ out – she not only has had solid outings in the circle but her offensive production has improved since AUX. She logged three hits over the weekend, one of which was a 302-foot home run.
Zerkle is one athlete, in particular, to keep an eye on. She’s been just shy of medaling all of her seasons competing with AU – 6th place on the leaderboard in 2020 and 2021 and just missed the top spots in AUX in 4th. She’s unbelievably consistent with the best average in the league (.714) and is tied with Jaquish in slugging. This could be the season she breaks through.
Unreal day offensively for Team Zerkle.
12 hits total: 4 home runs, a triple and a double https://t.co/ErUMm5K2Xe
— Savanna Collins (@savannaecollins) August 1, 2022
Week 2 Schedule
The competition for this week starts on Friday with a set of doubleheaders on ESPNU and 6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. CT and 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT.
Tune in to see who remains at the top and the athletes who climb their way up.
Savanna Collins is the Digital Media Reporter at Athletes Unlimited. You can follow her on Twitter @savannaecollins.
Volleyball: Where to Watch Week 1
Carli Lloyd returns to the court to fulfill her dream with plans for the future
Brie King and Aury Cruz move up on the leaderboard in sweep of Team Lowe
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