Five Takeaways From AUX Softball Finale
The first season of AUX Softball is officially in the books, and Danielle O’Toole has been crowned the champion, as she finished the abbreviated campaign on top of the leaderboard.
Below are five things that stood out to us after the third and final series of AUX Softball.
O’Toole, Garcia, Mulipola On Top
After battling through the best hitters and pitchers in the country, Danielle O’Toole, Rachel Garcia and Dejah Mulipola came out victorious as the top three players on the leaderboard. O’Toole was phenomenal during the AUX Season, as she picked up 1,436 points through the three series. In the circle, she amassed a 4-1 record, with the four victories tied for the most in the league. O’Toole also amassed the lowest ERA in the league at 1.69 over 28 innings of work.
Right behind O’Toole was Rachel Garcia, who collected 1,422 total points to finish second on the leaderboard. Garcia continued to get better as play went along, and an incredible final series propelled her to a runner-up finish. As a dual-threat player, Garcia was able to rack up points from both sides of the game by hitting 3 home runs all in the final week, while also tossing 27 innings in the circle. Dejah Mulipola concluded the AUX season in third place with 1,368 points. She was consistently at the top of the leaderboard, as she also hit three home runs with 11 RBI, which tied for the most in the league.
Last One, Best One
There was no quit in any team on the final day of AUX Softball, as seven innings was not enough to decide a winner in either contest. It took eight innings in the first game to go final, but Team O’Toole was able to outlast Team Fischer in the contest. Gwen Svekis gave Team Fischer the initial lead after sending a moonshot to left field. Team O’Toole got back into it when Garcia blasted a home run to tie the game. In the eighth inning, Team O’Toole plated two runs to take the lead for the first time, and while Team Fischer tried to rally, it was not enough to pick up the win.
The second game of the day for Team Fischer went even deeper against Team Zerkle, as both squads battled through 10 innings to determine a winner. Team Zerkle got on the board first, but Courtney Gano hit the first of two home runs to tie the game at two apiece. From there, the pitchers traded scoreless innings forcing the game into extra innings. Team Zerkle would score in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings, respectively, but Team Fischer would come right back to tie the contest. Svekis hit her second home run of the day to tie the score in the ninth, setting the stage for Gano. With the bases loaded and one out, Gano hit a walk-off grand slam to end the game.
Corrick The Record Setter
Records were broken in the circle during Series Three, and behind all of that was Georgina Corrick. Fresh off an All-American college career, Corrick was phenomenal, as she became the first pitcher in AUX Softball history to record double-digit strikeouts while picking up multiple victories in one day in the circle.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Corrick led Team Zerkle to victory by recording 10 strikeouts while out dueling Team Fischer’s pitching staff. In the second contest of the doubleheader, Corrick was called upon from the bullpen after Team O’Toole rallied to tie the contest at four runs apiece. While she did not record any strikeouts in her second stint, she did not allow a hit, propelling her to a second victory of the day. In her postgame interview, Corrick said she trusted her catcher Mulipola with the pitch calling and credited her success to mixing speeds and locations to keep the hitters off-balance. Corrick broke another record on Saturday evening by tossing 9.1 innings and a record 162 pitches in the outing in a loss to Team Fischer.
Resilient Rachel Garcia
After not competing in the sport for nearly a year, Garcia had a slow start in her AUX debut, but that was not enough to slow her down, as she finished as the runner-up in the first-ever edition of AUX Softball. On opening day, Garcia was the starter in the circle but had a rough outing, as she allowed eight earned runs on seven hits and four walks in 2.2 innings of work.
From there, she continued to improve with every appearance in the circle and at the plate. In Series Three, Garcia was a member of Team O’Toole and she had her best week yet. In the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader, she tossed 6.2 innings with six strikeouts, while only allowing three hits and two walks. In the second contest of the doubleheader, her bat was the story, as she went yard twice with three RBIs.
With an outstanding day, she was able to earn both MVP1 honors which launched her upwards 22 spots into the top three on the leaderboard. It did not stop there, as she hit another home run in Team O’Toole’s extra-inning victory over Team Fischer, further showing why she is the ultimate two-way player.
AUX Sets The Stage For Championship Season
Season 1 of AUX Softball showed softball fans around the country how far the sport has come. The opportunities to continue playing softball beyond the collegiate level continue to grow. The AUX Softball talent pool also provided a small glimpse into what is to come during the Championship Season, beginning July 29. There will be more games, more athletes to watch and so much more to look forward to on the field with Athletes Unlimited.