Athletes Unlimited Newcomers To Watch This Summer
Dozens of the best softball players in the world will congregate two separate times this summer to compete on the professional stage for Athletes Unlimited.
Now entering its third summer of play, Athletes Unlimited will welcome several new faces to its ranks throughout its AUX and championship seasons in 2022. The new two-week AUX season runs June 13 to June 26 in San Diego, while the third five-week Athletes Unlimited season runs July 29 to August 28 in Rosemont, Ill.
Among Athletes Unlimited's newcomers this year, we identified four players who we expect to stand out on the field throughout the summer. See below to find out who we think will shine in their first AU season.
Former Team USA pitcher Rachel Garcia will enter her first Athletes Unlimited summer as quite an experienced rookie.
Garcia, who will begin her time with Athletes Unlimited during the AUX season, is an Olympic silver medalist from the Tokyo Games and a national champion from her days at UCLA as college softball's best player. She’s a double threat, excelling both in the circle and at the plate, so expect Garcia to be a force in the coming season and beyond like she's been her entire playing career.
While new to Athletes Unlimited this year, Sierra Romero was the second overall pick back in the 2016 National Pro Fastpitch college draft, signing with the USSSA Pride.
The Michigan alumna is a softball legend—she was a four-time All-American with a .441 career average and a two-time All-NPF pick. It will be exciting to see Romero bring her experience and talent to the Athletes Unlimited format, which she will debut on the AUX stage.
Born in Bollate, Italy, Greta Cecchetti started her college softball career at Polk State, where she held the single-season and career records for ERA, as well as winning the Suncoast Conference Pitcher of the Year award.
The right-handed pitcher went on to play for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the Italian Olympic team and in the Japan Diamond League.
Cecchetti, who will play during this year's championship season, will add a different and exciting element to Athletes Unlimited.
Another strong pitcher entering the league is Shannon Saile, who was a national champion while competing collegiately at Oklahoma. The former Sooner made it into the record books during her time at OU, finishing second in program history for strikeouts per seven innings played, and sixth for lowest opponent batting average.
Post graduation, Saile went on to coach the pitchers of the Siesta Key Phinz of the Florida Gulf Coast League. Saile, who will compete during the championship season, will be an asset to any Athletes Unlimited team she plays with this summer.