Sierra Romero Swinging

Softball Season 4: Movers of Week 1

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Sarah Smith
Savanna Collins
Aug 02, 2023

Two position players and two pitchers emerged as the biggest movers of Week One. Rachel Garcia, Sierra Romero, Morgan Zerkle and Megan Faraimo are the four stars who shot to the top of the leaderboard, earning the title of captain for the upcoming week of games.

With points beginning at zero and little separation between rankings, this week’s edition of Movers of the Week explores who is dominating each category.

Week 1 Win Points

Team Denham and Team McCleney battled for the most win points in the opening weekend of games with Denham’s orange squad earning 230, just 10 more than McCleney’s 220.

Both recorded a 2-1 record that propelled athletes on the orange and blue squads to the top of the leaderboard. In fact, only a single player from the Gold or Purple teams broke into the top 30 spots on the leaderboard.

That’s Garcia, who sits ranked No. 1 overall.

In a category of her own (and leading stat points)

Garcia’s lack of win points is just one of the things that makes her feat to be the Gold team captain for Week Two even more impressive.

She dominated in stat points. To put it into perspective, Garcia is the only athlete to collect more than 200 stat points in the first three games (she has 226). The next highest individual performer is Amanda Lorenz who posted 110 stat points.

She earned 108 from outs in the circle. Once you deduct 20 from runs allowed, Garcia only earned 88 points through pitching. It was her dominance at the plate that earned her 138 more points through two home runs, two doubles, a walk, and a sacrifice hit.

One of the league’s top pitchers currently leads in slugging percentage with 1.500. In AU history, there is no one to compare to Garcia’s ability to earn points.

Coming in clutch

Romero leads the league with 100 total MVP points after garnering votes for MVP 1 and MVP 2 honors in the first three games.

Rightfully so too – Romero crafted what might be considered one of the best plays in AU Softball history with a squeeze bunt to win her team the game and 30 inning win points on the line. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, she laid down a textbook bunt to score Victoria Hayward from third. 

It was one of four runs she brought in with her .500 average.

Players to Watch

Eyes are always on the captains so here are four players from the draft board to consider in your AU Fantasy Pick ‘Em for Week Two. 

Lorenz and Danielle Gibson are two positions players to watch for their performance at the plate. They both recorded four hits and Gibson had two doubles, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch. She didn’t have any MVP points so that kept her from breaking into the top 10.

As for Lorenz, not only did she hit the ball well on contact but she walked five times – no, that’s not a typo. She has yet to strike out and is sixth overall on the leaderboard, but second in stat points. 

Two picks in the pitching category are Alyssa Denham and Kathryn Sandercock.

Denham seemed frustrated with the strike zone for her start to the season but she’s coming off of honing her game for months in Japan. It could also serve to her advantage to be with catcher Gwen Svekis again this week for the trust in the battery they have built. Rookie Sandercock made a splash in her pro debut with a save that required her to get out of a jam. She closed out the game for her team on Saturday allowing just three hits in the final three innings with no runs scored.

Tune in

The four new teams will take the field for practice this week ahead of coming together to compete in the next bout of games. Tune in on Friday for the first doubleheader of Week Two with Team Zerkle taking on Team Romero at 6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU followed by Team Garcia vs. Team Faraimo at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT on ESPN+.

Savanna Collins is the Digital Media Reporter at Athletes Unlimited. You can follow her on Twitter @savannaecollins.

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