Sunday Scroll: Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping

Nothing soft about it ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
Sunday Scroll
From The GIST Team

Batter up!

Welcome to The GIST’s Sunday Scroll, where we dive deep into one timely sports topic.

With the dust just settled on the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) and a new traditional softball league on the horizon, the exhilarating two-week AUX Softball season swings into action tomorrow, with recent college stars and game legends taking the diamond.

  • All part of a larger movement for women’s sports and softball, here’s everything you need to know about the innovative league. And spoiler alert: there’s nothing soft about it.
Quote of The Day
Quote These women need a place to play and to stay.
Jessica Mendoza smiles

— Softball icon and ESPN analyst Jessica Mendoza, on the soon-to-be AU Softball League (AUSL). Set to launch in 2025, the AUSL will build on the current AU softball offerings. Growing the game.

The Scroll

🥎 The background

A view of the Athletes Unlimited softball field from behind home plate
Source: AU Pro Softball/X

AUX Softball is part of the broader Athletes Unlimited (AU) network, which includes softball, lacrosse, volleyball, and basketball events. AU launched in 2020 with softball as its debut sport, introducing an innovative player-centric format under which athletes compete fantasy-style to accrue individual points.

  • That’s right, AU (until the launch of AUSL) operates outside of the traditional, city-based, team format. There are no fixed squads (teams generally change weekly), top-performing players become captains who draft their own teammates each week, and the winner is an individual based on their performance.
  • AU’s played a crucial role in the women’s sports landscape ever since, giving athletes domestic pro opportunities that were previously unavailable. Game-changing, quite literally.

And when it comes to softball, AU’s been at the center of a groundswell of momentum in the game. The last few years have seen WCWS attendance records shattered and eye-popping viewership numbers.

  • Now, with the sport’s return to the Olympics on the horizon at LA 2028, the AU softball action will be integral to the continued growth of the game.

⚙️ How AUX works

Athletes Unlimited players celebrate on the field
Source: Forbes

While typical AU seasons last about a month, AUX is shorter, but oh-so sweet. Forty-two athletes will compete, playing 18 games from tomorrow night through Tuesday, June 25th in Wichita, Kansas.

  • Those 18 games are broken into three six-game series, with players re-drafted after each series as chosen by the three team captains.
  • Speaking of, the top three point earners from each series earn the captain honor and the right to select their team for the week ahead. Major middle school kickball vibes.

As for those points, players can earn them in three ways: when their team wins a game or an inning, when they make a positive play in the field, and if they are voted one of the top 3 game MVPs by players and fans. Every moment counts.

  • At the end of the season, the athlete atop the leaderboard is crowned champion.
Together With The GIST

🎙️ Sound off

The GIST of It podcast hosts Steph Rotz and Ellen Hyslop smiling
Source: The GIST

Looking for a new podcast? Then you have to check out our twice-weekly podcast, The GIST of It. Hosted by BFFs Ellen Hyslop and Stephanie Rotz, it’s the women-produced and -hosted sports podcast you’ve been waiting for.

But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what our listeners are saying:

  • “They are enthusiastic and funny, and I don’t miss an episode!” (Ronbenlisa)
  • “The best sports podcast on the air!” (_Jo777)
  • “Finally a podcast that gives women’s sports the attention it deserves.” (Dnp!!)

Join the conversation (and these happy listeners!) by subscribing to The GIST of It wherever you tune into podcasts.

🤩 The starpower

Odicci Alexander pitches for Athletes Unlimited
Source: Athletes Unlimited

Jocelyn Alo, designated player/outfielder: The NCAA’s all-time home run leader, a two-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, and a Savannah Banana — Alo does it all. Already crushing it at the pro level, she’s set to make her AU debut, bringing her devastating power to the Wichita diamond. Going, going…gone.

Odicci Alexander, pitcher: The 2023 AU Pro Softball champion, Alexander became a household name during the 2021 WCWS for her superhuman plays and lights-out pitching. She’s an AU vet having competed in the league since 2021 — time to see if she can top the leaderboard on the AUX stage.

Montana Fouts, pitcher: Fouts is known for her flame-throwing and strikeout-inducing stuff, a skill that will transfer well to AUX scoring as she makes her pro debut. Plus, she’s already proven she lives for the big moment having thrown a perfect game on her birthday during the 2021 WCWS. Take that, Hannah.

Haylie McCleney, outfielder: An inaugural AU softball competitor, McCleney’s recognized as one of the game’s best. And while she excelled during her collegiate career at Alabama, McCleney really made a difference donning the red, white, and blue, winning two world titles and a silver medal with Team USA at the 2020 Olympics.

📺 How to tune in

Athletes Unlimited players await their teammate at home plate
Source: Athletes Unlimited

The fun gets underway from Wichita, Kansas with an Opening Day doubleheader starting tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET. If you’re stateside, you can catch all the action on ESPN networks, and if you’re in Canada, TSN has you covered with all the happenings from the diamond. Play ball, baby.

The GIST's Picks

Here’s what passed The GIST squad’s vibe check this week:

📚 What to read

This article by our pal Lindsay Gibbs on the International Women’s Professional Softball Association, which existed from 1976 to 1979 and was co-founded by none other than the legendary Billie Jean King.

👑 Who to know

The softball royalty serving as advisors for the upcoming AUSL: two-time medal-winning Olympians Cat Osterman, Natasha Watley, and the aforementioned Mendoza know plenty about leaving the game better than they found it. Icons.

👀 What to watch

This throwback Sport Science video featuring softball great Jennie Finch proving it’s harder to hit a softball than a baseball. Can’t argue with a woman in STEM.

Older messages

David vs. Goliath

Friday, June 7, 2024

Please please please ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Special Edition: Hooping and hollering

Thursday, June 6, 2024

The winner takes it all ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Read the room

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Calling it like she sees it ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Climbing the Scoville scale

Monday, June 3, 2024

Major key alert ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Cutting through the noise

Monday, June 3, 2024

Cha cha real smooth ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

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