(Jade Hewitt/Athletes Unlimited)

Georgina Corrick is grateful for the opportunity to be playing professional softball, even though it comes so soon after the conclusion of the NCAA season.

A pitcher who spent her collegiate career at the University of South Florida, Corrick’s NCAA career only ended in May. The team lost in its regional to both Florida State and Mississippi State, both performances that Corrick says didn’t go the way she wanted. Admittedly, there was “a little bit too much” on her plate.

One month later she’s in San Diego with AUX Softball, competing in the shortened three-series competition. Crediting her trainers for helping her properly recover, she’s been excited to get to experience Athletes Unlimited — even if for a short period of time.

Following the AUX season, Corrick will take a very limited amount of time before heading overseas to play with the Great Britain national team. She won’t be back until early August, which would have meant arriving late for the full third season of Athletes Unlimited.

“At the end of the day, I really just wanted to be here and be a part of AU in general,” Corrick told Just Women’s Sports. “And if AUX was the only season I’d really be able to compete, I absolutely wanted to do that.”

There’s also career longevity to consider, as well as not wanting to overburden herself this summer.

“It’s just one of those things that for the time and what kind of I knew my limitations were, it just didn’t make a lot of sense,” she said. “If I want to keep playing until 2028 for the next Olympics — which I really do — I probably can’t keep pushing myself to do those insane amounts of workloads.”

While softball has yet to be admitted to the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, many players — including NCAA and newly-minted Women’s Professional Fastpitch star Jocelyn Alo — have been vocal about wanting to play.

Despite the short rest and admitted nerves, Corrick has been tearing it up in the circle through two weeks of play.

Through six appearances and 16 innings pitched, the ace has a 1.68 ERA — the second best amongst all pitchers behind Danielle O’Toole (1.62) — and has only allowed four earned runs. In a league that has a plethora of sluggers and high-powered scoring, that’s not too bad for a rookie.

Consider this: last year’s champion, Aleshia Ocasio, has given up 11 earned runs and has a 4.30 ERA through six appearances and 19 innings pitched. Haylie Wagner, with four appearances and 14 innings pitched, has a 3.34 ERA with seven earned runs allowed.

That doesn’t mean the prospect of Athletes Unlimited wasn’t overwhelming.

“Now I’m playing against the lineup where my nine batters that I’m facing are the nine best batters in the country,” said Corrick. “It’s a very overwhelming concept sometimes to take as a pitcher. I can’t look too far forward.

“These are some of the best hitters in the nation. People you’re expected to give up hits, you’re expected to give up walks and runs. No one’s gonna hold that against you.”

And, she says, Athletes Unlimited keeps the players honest.

“That’s the coolest thing I’ve noticed about here,” Corrick said. “No one’s picking sides. No one’s calling anything out. Because at the end of the day, the girl that you’re picking might be your teammate next week, or she might be your captain.”

Those who followed Corrick through college aren’t surprised by her success so far with Athletes Unlimited. During her senior season, Corrick had an astounding 0.51 ERA to lead the NCAA while amassing 37 wins and only allowing 20 earned runs innearly 275 innings pitched. With one of the highest workloads in all of Division I, she held strong with 418 strikeouts.

Now the school’s all-time leader in strikeouts, she was one of three finalists for USA Softball’s College Softball Player of the Year award that was eventually given to Alo.

Making the transition from college to the pros is something that Corrick was excited about, but she’s been cognizant of making sure she remains true to who she is beyond all of the accolades. She didn’t want to have to reinvent herself in order to try to fit in, and two weeks in, it’s been working.

“I’m someone who a lot of people will tell me who I am, you know, the awards, the accolades, like, ‘this is Georgina Corrick, she is blank, blank, blank,’” Corrick said. “As opposed to, ‘this is George, this is who she is.’

“I think my team this year, this week, especially if you were able to like see in the dugout and see what we were doing, we’re having so much fun. And that’s kind of what my brand is. That’s what my personality is. I want them to know who I am as a person.”