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Five Athletes Unlimited Players To Watch This Season

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(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

The only pro sports league with players running the show, Athletes Unlimited (AU) showcases some of the most elite softball players in the world and offers them the chance to earn points on both a team and individual basis. This year, during AU’s season two, each of the athletes will be looking to become the 2021 Athletes Unlimited champion.

Season two of Athletes Unlimited softball begins August 28. With some of the biggest names in the sport on the roster this year, here are five players to watch this season.

Cat Osterman

Osterman, the inaugural Athletes Unlimited softball champion, will return this season for her final run as a professional softball player. During the 2020 season, she won 13 of her 15 games and had a 1.53 ERA against some of the top players in the sport.

A legend in the circle who is fresh off her third Olympics experience, it’s no surprise that Osterman earned 2,408 points over the course of last season and served as a captain for four out of the five weeks of the season. Not only did she lead AU in points, but she also led in three other categories—MVP with 400 points, STAT with 628 points and was tied for first place with 1380 WIN points.

“I’m really excited to return for Athletes Unlimited’s second year,” Osterman said. “Year one was an incredible experience, on and off the field, which made playing one more time an easy decision. I look forward to another amazing time and ending my career once and for all here in the U.S.”

Jessie Warren

Warren will be another top player to watch this season. Warren ranked second overall in the standings last year with 2,020 points, just behind Osterman.

She finished the 2020 AU season with 1,270 WIN points, 628 STAT points and 220 MVP points. For three out of the five weeks, Warren served as the captain of her team and had an 8-1 record during those weeks.

She was the Rawlings Gold Glove winner for National Pro Fastpitch in 2019. Warren maintained a .510 batting average, while leading the league with a .569 on base percentage.

Victoria Hayward

Hayward, Team Canada's captain, will also return for season two of Athletes Unlimited. Hayward ranked third overall with 1860 total points in 2020.

She not only ranked third overall, but she also ranked fourth with 1,310 WIN points. Hayward tied for first in stolen bases last season, while maintaining a .396 batting average.

With her lefty speed and her leadership, the Olympic bronze medalist is likely to pull in tons of points this season.

Aleshia Ocasio

Ocasio finished 11th overall in the AU rankings last season, but we expect even more from her in 2021. She was a major threat in both the circle and at the plate last year.

Ocasio had a .423 batting average with two triples during the 2020 season. She started seven games and ended the season with a 3.57 ERA. She is also a member of the Puerto Rican national team.

Haylie McCleney

McCleney, an Olympic silver medalist, will be another player to watch this season. She finished last season with 1,710 total points and had several tremendous moments in the outfield.

McCleney tied for fifth overall last season with Morgan Zerkle and Gwen Svekis, who tied with Osterman for first place in WIN points. She was also named the Geico Defensive Player of the Year.

You can catch McCleney and the rest of these tremendous athletes starting August 28 at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, Ill. The action will air on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports, Fox Deportes, YouTube and Facebook.

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