Welcome back to our inaugural Athletes Unlimited series, where we keep track of every Northwestern athlete taking part in the league’s barrage of professional teams. For a detailed explainer of how AU functions, our last edition lays it all out in the simplest terms we could muster.
AU’s lacrosse season finished since we last updated this series, and softball wrapped up weeks three and four en route to the final week of play. Here’s what you missed, and what to look forward to in the week ahead:
Weeks three and four have come and gone in AU softball’s third season. Week five’s teams have been decided: Rachel Lewis will suit up in blue under captain Alyssa Denham, and Andrea Filler will don purple under captain Haylie McCleney. But before you get too excited, let’s check in and see how both of them fared in the last couple weeks.
Lewis appeared in week three for Team Chidester, stepping up to the plate twice in the team’s August 13 matchup. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to connect and struck out both times. It wasn’t just Lewis who struggled, though, as Team Chidester recorded only five hits to Team McCleney’s 16 in what became a 10-2 loss. While she was drafted to Team Chidester once again for week four, Lewis did not see the diamond and thus recorded no individual points. Lewis currently sits at 54th out of 60 players on the leaderboard and is out of the running for the individual title.
Filler entered week three on Team Mulipola and fulfilled her infield role, starting all three games. She didn’t get on base in the team’s first game, but she most definitely made an impact in game two, driving in a run and then rounding the bases herself in a 12-7 victory — Team Mulipola’s only win that week. Filler walked in her one at-bat in game three and entered the week four draft in the top half of the leaderboard.
In week four, Filler appeared for Team Jaquish and recorded a key RBI triple to bring her team within one in the top of the seventh. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for her squad to pull out the win in the end, losing 3-2 to Team McCleney, but her contributions to a bit of late action were absolutely cause for excitement:
NOT DONE YET @AndreaFiller legs out an RBI triple to bring Team Jaquish within one #AUSB | ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/PY2YkN5bY8— Athletes Unlimited (@AUProSports) August 20, 2022
Filler recorded yet another RBI in game two and then quieted down in game three with no plays to show; Team Jaquish went on to lose the final two games and finish the week winless. Filler has dropped in the overall rankings to No. 42, and though she won’t be taking home the individual title, there’s hope that she can pick up some team wins in the week ahead.
Lewis and Team Denham kick off week five play against Team Chidester in Rosemont on Friday, August 26 at 4:30 PM CST, available to watch on ESPN+. Filler and Team McCleney play Team Mulipola shortly after at 7:00 PM CST, also on ESPN+. The rest of the week five schedule is available here.
The second season of Athletes Unlimited lacrosse concluded on August 14, with Taylor Moreno taking home the crown. All four former Wildcats finished in the top 30, a major accomplishment competing with and against the best women’s lacrosse players in the country.
Here are the final stats for the ‘Cats who played:
Lauren Gilbert: 12th overall, 25 goals (third-most), 15 draw controls and seven ground balls
Lindsey McKone: 15th overall, 36 draw controls (seventh-most), 26 ground balls and eight goals
Ally Palermo: 26th overall, 17 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers (one coast-to-coast goal):
First pro goal by Ally ️— Northwestern Lax (@NULax) August 12, 2022
: @AUProSports pic.twitter.com/8vCY9zxeyP
Jill Girardi: 30th overall, 14 draw controls and four goals
With a record number of games broadcast on ESPN, the future is certainly bright for women’s lacrosse, both collegiately and professionally.