No Place Like Home: AUX Moves to Rosemont for Second SeasonTop Stories
We knew AUX would have a new champion in 2023. Now we know it will also have a new home, after Athletes Unlimited announced the professional softball competition’s second season will begin June 9 in Rosemont, Illinois.
A condensed version of the existing AU model, in which there are no set rosters, team captains select new rosters each round of competition and players earn individual points to crown one champion, AUX debuted in San Diego in 2022. Former Arizona standout and Mexico Olympian Danielle O’Toole won the inaugural competition in dramatic fashion, beating out Dejah Mulipola on the competition’s final swing. O’Toole retired at the end of the summer.
The second edition of AUX will shift to Chicago-area Rosemont, where AU held each of its three full-format Championship Seasons. While the Championship Season consists of four teams and five weeks of games, AUX consists of three teams and condenses the competition in a little more than two weeks.
This year’s version will begin June 9, potentially the day the Women’s College World Series concludes, and end June 25.
The league didn’t announce specifics related to scheduling, but the second season is three days longer than the initial season. The debut effort, with little turnaround between three rounds of games and each team playing one doubleheader per round, drew some criticism for feeling overly condensed. AUX is again expected to feature 42 players spread across three teams for a total of 18 games.
The league named just 10 players in Thursday’s announcement, all of whom will play in both AUX and the AU championship season, which begins July 28 and runs through August 27.
All 10 players also participated in at least one of the AU competitions in 2022.
- Odicci Alexander
- Sis Bates
- Georgina Corrick
- Andrea Filler
- Sam Fischer
- Rachel Garcia
- Victoria Hayward
- Aubrey Leach
- Amanda Lorenz
- Tori Vidales
The timing of the competition will allow Corrick, who excelled in her AUX debut but didn’t participate in the Championship Season, to go from AUX to Team Great Britain for important games in the 2023 portion of the WBSC Softball World Cup.
An additional 10 players, including Haylie McCleney and Aleshia Ocasio, were among a group that AU announced prior to the 2022 season had signed two-year contracts. With the exception of the since-retired Amanda Chidester, those players can also presumably be expected to play play in at least one of the AU competitions this summer —and in some cases both.
All AUX and Championship Season games will air on ESPN platforms, although it has yet to be announced if all AUX games will again appear on ESPN linear networks.