Athletes Unlimited softball got off to a hot start – literally – Monday afternoon at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.
With the temperature a searing 96 degrees, Samantha Show fired a first pitch to Hannah Flippen to begin the first of four scrimmage games as Athletes Unlimited prepares to kick off its inaugural season Saturday.
Captain Show’s Gold team scored single runs in each of the second, third and fourth innings to defeat the Orange team, captained by the legendary Cat Osterman, 3-0.
Overall, the game was well played and fast paced, and it should be a harbinger of things to come for this unique season.
The Gold team got a sacrifice fly from Shelby Pendley in the second for 20 points (10 from the rollover from the first inning and 10 for the second), a booming home run to center field by Haylie McCleney to lead off the third for 10 points, and a run-scoring single by Aubrey Leach in the fourth for 10 more.
For winning the game, Team Show earned 50 points, plus 70 points for capturing the points for all seven innings – a grand total of 120 points.
Gold team relief pitcher Haylie Wagner was impeccable. The lefty out of the University of Michigan came in with two runners on base and nobody out in the top of the third. She retired the next three batters to quell that threat and gave up only one hit in five innings. She finished with a flourish, striking out the side in the top of the seventh.
“It was the first game back, and I just wanted to get into a groove,” Wagner said. “I knew I had to have [Show]’s back there, and the fielders behind me made some great plays. I felt pretty good overall. My mechanics weren’t quite where they need to be, but I felt very good.”
Wagner earned four points for every out she recorded, giving her 60 individual points for the game, and 180 overall (60 individual + 120 win points). Wagner was selected as MVP 1, giving her 60 additional points for 240 total.
McCleney earned 40 points for her home run and 160 points overall. She was also named MVP 2 for 40 points, bringing her total to 200. Leach, who had an RBI single, was named MVP 3, giving her 150 points.
For a single and a pair of walks, Amanda Sanchez picked up 30 points on the Gold team (150 points overall), while Taylor Edwards scored 20 points for a single and a walk (140 points overall). Starting pitcher Show worked two innings, giving up three hits and no runs, earning 24 points (154 points overall).
For the Orange team, Osterman worked three innings, giving up three hits and two runs. She received 36 points for the outs recorded but had 20 points deducted for each earned run allowed, giving her 16 individual points.
On offense for Orange, Flippen earned 20 points for a walk and a single, as did Amanda Chidester.
The top four players from both scrimmages today will become captains for tomorrow’s matchups, while the top four point scorers from both days combined will take the captain spots for Week 1 of competition.
As it stands, Wagner (240) and McCleney (200) sit in the top two spots, followed by Show (154) and Sanchez (150).
The day marked the beginning of Athletes Unlimited with a medley of national anthems for the countries represented in Athletes Unlimited Softball followed by the Star Spangled Banner. For Wagner, the day was even more special because of her time spent with the Chicago Bandits, who call Parkway Banks Sports Complex home.
“It’s great,” she said. “I love being home here. This is another home for me. It’s amazing what Athletes Unlimited, the Chicago Bandits and Rosemont have done for us. I couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity, playing on this field. It’s really amazing.”
Although it may be difficult to get goose bumps in sweltering heat, Wagner said Monday was an exception.
“It was absolutely unbelievable,” Wagner said. “I did get the chills. It really fired us all up. It was the perfect opening ceremony for this historical event, and I’m so glad I get to be a part of it.”
- Sanders y Reed ayudan al Equipo Osterman en la victoria 2-1 y se ganan los puestos de capitana que quedan
- Team Jaquish capitalizes on late errors to defeat Team Osterman, 2-0
- Caleigh Clifton puts Team Piancastelli on top with a 3-run walk-off home run
- Recap: Fischer's two home runs propel Team Chidester past Team Mulipola
Sanders y Reed ayudan al Equipo Osterman en la victoria 2-1 y se ganan los puestos de capitana que quedan
Team Jaquish capitalizes on late errors to defeat Team Osterman, 2-0
Caleigh Clifton puts Team Piancastelli on top with a 3-run walk-off home run
Get in the Game
Join The Unlimited Club to unlock benefits for every Athletes Unlimited season by downloading the official Athletes Unlimited App.
- Exclusive Pre-Sale Window
- Access to the Athletes Unlimited App and Fan Leaderboard
- Receive Special Member Giveaways
- Newsletter -- the best way to stay up to date with the latest Athletes Unlimited news
- Unlimited Pick athlete news & access
Rookie benefits, plus:
- Founding Member Designation
- Contribute 10% to the Athlete Bonus Pool
- Club Vote: Vote on Game MVPs, GEICO Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year & more
- Early Access to Tickets
- Exclusive end of season auction with game-used items with 90% of funds going to the Athlete Causes program and 10% going to the Player Bonus Pool