Dejah Mulipola wins Athletes Unlimited softball championship

Dejah Mulipola is the 2022 Athletes Unlimited softball champion.

The former University of Arizona star scored 1,782 points to claim the individual title in a 60-player field. The winner was determined during a 30-game season at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, Illinois.

Mulipola, a silver medalist for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics, considers it one of her greatest accomplishments as a softball player.

“I definitely say top three, just because the women in this league are the best of the best,” the California native said. “It’s a challenging league.”

It was the closest race in three years of Athletes Unlimited softball. The top 10 players were separated by just 288 points heading into the final weekend.

Mulipola fell behind Alyssa Denham in the standings heading into the final game but responded by going 2-for-2 with a triple, a home run and two walks.

“I was like, you know, I could either pout about it or I could be optimistic and be like, ‘I have no pressure on my back now. I can play freely.’” she said.

For the season, Mulipola led the league with a .432 batting average and 19 RBIs and tied the Athletes Unlimited championship season record with nine home runs. The catcher hit seven homers in her final nine contests to become the first non-pitcher to win the championship.

Denham finished second, and Haylie McCleney and Sahvanna Jaquish rounded out the top four.

Mulipola joins Cat Osterman and Aleshia Ocasio as champions. Osterman won the inaugural title in 2020, then retired after finishing fifth last season. Ocasio finished 16th this season.

Mulipola finished third in the Athletes Unlimited AUX season earlier this year behind winner Danielle O’Toole and Rachel Garcia. She said playing that extra season in June helped prepare her for the Athletes Unlimited championship season.

“That kind of has its perks,” she said. “It was just getting some live (at-bats) under our belts and being able to catch the pitchers, learn the pitchers a little bit more, get comfortable with the athletes on the field.”

Middle infielder Hannah Flippen was selected Defensive Player of the Year and outfielder Shannon Rhodes was named Rookie of the Year.

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