Five Takeaways From Athletes Unlimited Season 3 Week 5
The third championship season of Athletes Unlimited softball came to an end on Sunday. After five weeks of competition, Dejah Mulipola emerged as the champion of season three after recording a league-best 1,782 points.
Below are five things that stood out during the final week of the championship season.
Mulipola Emerges Victorious
Mulipola emerged at the top of the leaderboard and became the third champion of Athletes Unlimited softball. After two pitchers won the title previously, Mulipola became the first position player to win the league. All season long, Mulipola was consistent, and her incredible performances kept her as a captain for the last four weeks.
The former Arizona standout also became the first player to win the triple crown in AU history after leading the league in batting average (.432) and RBIs (19), while also blasting a league-leading nine home runs, including one in the final game to earn herself the championship title.
Best Of The Best
While Mulipola was crowned the champion, several players emerged as standouts of season three. Alyssa Denham finished as the runner up after earning 1,720 points and going undefeated in the circle with a 6-0 record. Denham had a 1.94 ERA, which was the best mark in the league in 43 innings of work.
Haylie McCleney came in third with 1,650 points, after ranking second in hits and posting a .370 batting average. Sahvanna Jaquish finished in the fourth spot with 1,600 points, after having the third-best batting average at .409 and collecting 18 hits.
Shannon Rhodes was named Rookie of the Year after showing out in her first season of professional softball. Rhodes was second in the league with eight home runs on a .375 batting average, while driving in 14 runs. Meanwhile, Hannah Flippen was named the Defensive Player of the Year after making jaw-dropping plays all season. Flippen collected 30 assists, turned eight double plays and only committed one error all season.
Friday Home Run Derby
The home run party was in full swing on Friday, as nine home runs were hit by eight different players. In the opening game, Team Denham blasted three home runs in a seven-run third inning. Amanda Lorenz hit a two-run home run to left field that was followed by a three-run home run by Danielle Gibson, while Gwen Svekis added a solo shot to cap the rally.
Amanda Chidester tried to get her team back into it by hitting a three-run home run to make it a 7-4 game, but Tori Vidales got all three runs back by hitting a three-run home run herself.
In the nightcap, Sam Fischer hit a three-run home run in the first inning to take the initial lead for Team McCleney. Rhodes extended the lead when she added the first of her two home runs in the third inning.
Mulipola hit a home run in the fourth inning to start a rally. Team Mulipola was able to tie the score, but Rhodes hit her second home run of the night to make it a 5-4 game. By going yard twice, Rhodes tied Mulipola for the league lead in home runs with eight apiece.
Garcia Delivers In Week Five
Denham’s first pick as captain was Rachel Garcia, and she delivered all weekend long, as Team Denham was able to sweep the weekend and go undefeated. On Saturday, Garcia tossed her third complete game of the season, as she shut out Team Mulipola 4-0. Garcia went the distance and racked up eight strikeouts.
The complete game was sandwiched between two incredible relief appearances on Friday and Sunday. In the opener against Team Chidester, she only allowed one hit in 2.1 innings pitched to pick up the save. Garcia picked up a second save on Sunday after tossing three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with three strikeouts.
Chidester, O’Toole Say Goodbye
After competing with Athletes Unlimited for the last three seasons, both Chidester and Danielle O’Toole said goodbye to the game of softball on Sunday. Chidester and O’Toole made a difference from the college level all the way up to becoming Olympians. O’Toole led Team Mexico to its first-ever appearance in the Olympics last year, while Chidester became a silver medalist with Team USA.
During the third season of Athletes Unlimited softball, Chidester and O’Toole were the best at their respective positions. Chidester was a team captain four of the five weeks and was always consistent at the plate. Finishing fifth on the leaderboard, Chidester went yard seven times, including in the final at-bat of her career. During the third season, she also collected 16 RBIs and a .383 batting average.
Meanwhile, O’Toole, who won the AUX season earlier this summer in San Diego, was the most reliable pitcher this year, as she was selected in the first round of every draft. Leading the league in complete games, as well as being second in innings pitched, O’Toole finished just outside the top 10 with 1,490 points this season. The veteran left-hander issued 25 strikeouts in 45 innings of work and went the distance on four different occasions.