Taylor McQuillin Talks Athletes Unlimited, Team Mexico
Taylor McQuillin has been busy in the pro softball world the last couple years. The former University of Arizona star pitcher, who was drafted sixth overall by the Cleveland Comets in the 2019 NPF Draft, is a member of Team Mexico, which is set to make its first-ever appearance in softball at the Olympic Games next summer in Tokyo. McQuillin also now plays in the Athletes Unlimited softball league, which is in its inaugural season.
See below for Softball America's full conversation with McQuillin about her pro softball career.
Softball America: What are some of your immediate thoughts about Athletes Unlimited?
Taylor McQuillin: It has definitely been very fun. We have 19 Olympians playing in this league, and it has been very interesting not only just playing against them but also playing on the same team as them. The league itself is doing a great job making sure that we’re taken care of at our apartments and hotels, and it’s been fun getting to know all of these players because we had all seen and met each other before, but we never really actually got to know each other on a deeper level.
SA: Being able to play in NPF last summer, playing for Team Mexico and now playing for Athletes Unlimited, would you say that you have a favorite experience out of all of them? Why?
TM: I would not say that I have a favorite, but I do like the setup of Athletes Unlimited. It is new and has brought a lot of interest to the game, but I think it has to do with the international players. NPF has done a good job partnering up international teams with teams in the league, but if I had to choose one it would have to be Athletes Unlimited.
Team Mexico is a bit of a different story though because we are building that team chemistry and we are all chasing the ultimate goal, which is the 2021 Olympics. Athletes Unlimited being here now, to help us prepare for the 2021 Olympics, is huge for us.
SA: What has it been like to create and develop the relationships you have made with other Athletes Unlimited players?
TM: While it is kind of hard to manage every week having new teams, you really have to work hard to make sure you have that team chemistry every week. You have three practice days where you have to make sure you have that team camaraderie and that you mesh before games, and that’s important because some teams have struggled without it.
SA: What has it been like to compete against players that you play with on Team Mexico?
TM: Honestly, it is pretty weird. Most of the players I am on Team Mexico with are a little bit older than me, so some of them I played against my last couple years of college, and some of them I haven’t played against since my freshman or sophomore year of college. It’s cool to have a national team teammate on your team one week, but it’s been fun to play against them because we’re playing for the same Olympic dream, but with Athletes Unlimited we’re on different teams and points matter.