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Megan Faraimo Has Pro Dream Come True With Athletes Unlimited

megan faraimo photo by jade hewitt athletes unlimited.jpg
(Photo by Jade Hewitt/Athletes Unlimited)

The dream of becoming a professional athlete was often hard for a young Megan Faraimo to imagine. With few playing opportunities to pursue after college softball and hardly any media representation, all Faraimo ever wanted was to see herself, and other girls, reach the highest point of their athletic careers just like boys and men so often do.

“When my brother played football when he was younger, he was able to say my dream is to be in the NFL,” Faraimo said. “And when he says that, it is not a crazy dream. It’s something that people get behind and support 100 percent. When a little girl says her dream is to play professional softball, everyone is excited, but it almost feels like what else are you going to do? You can’t be a pro softball player.”

Then the start of Athletes Unlimited came during Faraimo’s sophomore year at UCLA. A sustainable opportunity for women to play professionally was finally becoming a reality, and Faraimo’s hopes of stretching her softball career were attainable.

“Athletes Unlimited allows those little girls to have that dream and for that dream to be a plausible reality,” Faraimo said. “To have a space like this creates a dream the same way that it is for men’s sports when little boys have their dreams.”

And it was seemingly inevitable that the pitcher would go on to achieve even more success in the game of softball after finishing her historic college career. UCLA's single-season saves leader (7) was drafted second overall in the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Softball Draft.

“When I got drafted to AU, I was in practice and had no idea what was going on,” Faraimo said. “I remember seeing it after and feeling so honored and blessed to be drafted at all. I had no idea what I was going to do after college if it wasn’t softball, so I felt really lucky and it felt like all of my hard work was paying off.”

Upon stepping into a new chapter of life, Faraimo found the professional game to be much more difficult than the college game. With just two months of professional softball now under her belt, Faraimo has had to adapt fast and learn quickly.

“I have been enjoying it a lot, but I’m not going to lie, it's so hard,” Faraimo said. “I haven’t had a transition like this since I was in high school going into college. It has been a tough road to navigate, but everyone has been so helpful and held my hand through the process. What I enjoy most is that it is a new level of competition. Not only are the hitters harder (to face), but I have to be a little bit (better) with my softball IQ. I am learning a lot really fast, but it feels like the amount of growth I've had has been exponential in the short amount of time.”

But, it didn’t take long for the standout who threw eight career no-hitters in college to adjust her pitching strategy and acclimate to professional pressures. The rookie entered the AU record books when she threw the second no-hitter in league history on Aug. 6, allowing just two runners to reach base.

“The number one thing I have learned is there is a little bit of a balancing act that you have to do because these hitters are so good,” Faraimo said. “Learning how to adjust on the fly really fast and trying to be dominant with multiple pitches throughout the season is advice I learned, and I have been trying my best to do that.”

As the 2023 AU season continues, being crowned the league's champion is on Faraimo's mind, but as long as she is growing as a player and person, she says she will be satisfied.

“I want to learn as much as I can, not just for the sake of learning, but to take that information and be better,” Faraimo said. “I will consider it a win if I come out of this season a better player, better athlete and better person than I was when I came in. If the consequence of me learning and becoming a better player is also being champion, that would be cool, but I am most concerned about my progress as a player.”

Sharlize Palacios Photo by Katharine Lotze_Getty Images.jpg

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