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AUX: Standout pitcher Georgina Corrick grateful for pro experience

(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.”

Cameron Brink likes Caitlin Clark for 2024 WNBA Rookie of the Year

Cameron Brink poses with Caitlin Clark at 2024 wnba draft in new york
Cameron Brink poses with fellow draftee — and possible WNBA ROY —Caitlin Clark. (Photo by Emily Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cameron Brink already has her rookie of the year pick for the upcoming WNBA season, and it’s Indiana-bound star Caitlin Clark

In the latest edition of Kelley on the Street, host Kelley O'Hara caught up with Brink in New York hours before the Stanford phenom went No. 2 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks at the 2024 WNBA Draft. When O’Hara asked who would win the WNBA's rookie of the year, she answered without pause.

"Caitlin Clark," she said, while a fan commented that she thought Brink would take home the award. Brink later added that the extra foul granted to WNBA players will be "good for me."

"I hope it’s me," Charisma Osborne, who was later drafted by the Phoenix Mercury, said when asked her ROY prediction. "But, I don’t know — we’ll see."

Watch more of Kelley on the Street:

Dash winger Maria Sanchez confirms trade request a day shy of NWSL deadline

María Sanchez of Houston Dash during a NWSL game
In December, Sanchez signed a new three-year contract with the club worth $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)

Maria Sanchez issued a statement on Thursday, confirming recent reports that she has requested a trade from the Houston Dash. 

In it, she revealed that the club has been aware of the request "since late March."

"This has all taken a toll and isn’t an easy thing to talk about, but I want to confirm that I’ve requested an immediate trade," she wrote. "My expectations and reasons have been clear. I trust that my current club’s management will honor my decision in a timely manner and proceed with accepting a trade."

"I’m eager to refocus and dive back into what I love most: playing football," she concluded.

Reports of Sanchez's trade request first surfaced on ESPN last week, and were later confirmed by multiple sources. 

In December of last year, Sanchez signed a three-year contract with the Dash valued at $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. It was the largest contract in NWSL history at the time — a figure that would be eclipsed by multiple contracts in the following months. 

Sanchez spent the offseason as a restricted free agent, meaning that Houston could match any other team's offer to retain her rights. Should the Dash trade Sanchez, her current contract terms would remain intact, limiting potential buyers to teams able to afford to take on an inking of that size.

The Dash has yet to address the trade, instead reiterating to ESPN that Sanchez is "under contract, a choice she made in free agency at the end of 2023." 

Both the NWSL trade window and transfer window close tonight, April 19th, at 12 a.m. ET. The window will stay closed through the next 11 regular season games, reopening on August 1st, 2024.

Seattle Storm debut state-of-the-art $64 million practice facility

Jewell Loyd #24 of the Seattle Storm during warms up during practice on July 11, 2020 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida
Jewell Loyd, seen here practicing at Florida's IMG Academy, and her team are in for a major upgrade this season. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The four-time league champion Seattle Storm unveiled their new practice facility on Thursday, with Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel dubbing Interbay's Seattle Storm Center for Basketball Performance the team’s "new home."

"It's just such a special space," Brummel told Fox 13 Seattle. "I think when the players get here, it's gonna be overwhelming."

The sprawling 50,000-square-foot, $64 million property is just the second designated practice facility to be designed and built expressly for a WNBA team, with the Storm further noting that 85% of all design and engineering team members involved in the project's construction were women and people of color. The finished product holds two professional indoor courts, two 3x3 outdoor courts, a state-of-the-art locker room, and players' lounge, plus designated areas for strength and conditioning, kitchen, dining, and nutrition, and recovery. 

"This facility reflects our commitment to providing our athletes an exceptional environment that supports their growth, health, and performance," said Storm co-owner Ginny Gilder in an official team release. "It’s built for women, by women, embodying our dedication to leading the way in professional women’s sports."

For their part, the team can't wait to make the faciilty their own.

"It's amazing," Storm guard Jewell Loyd told Fox 13. "Not having to drive everywhere around, knowing you have access anytime of the day to get into the gym, to workout." 

Head coach Noelle Quinn said she predicts the team is "never going to leave this building."

"Which is a good thing for me," she continued. "You talk about having an edge in performance. We want our athletes to not only perform on the court, but get whatever they need."

All of the Storm's staff and operations will now live under one roof, and the team also has plans to launch a youth basketball program operating out of the building.

Mystics relocate game to accommodate Caitlin Clark fans

Maya Caldwell, Erica Wheeler, and Lexie Hull of the Indiana Fever celebrate Caitlin Clark
Get ready — Caitlin Clark is coming to town. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Caitlin Clark effect is quickly making its mark on the big leagues, as WNBA host teams around the country rush to upgrade their Fever games to larger arenas in order to accommodate surging ticket sales.

With Clark mere weeks away from her Indiana Fever debut, both the Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics have officially relocated their scheduled home games with head coach Christie Sides' squad. On Thursday, the Mystics became the latest to adjust their plans, moving their June 7th matchup from Entertainment & Sports Arena in Southwest DC to the more centrally located — and much larger — Capital One Arena "due to unprecedented demand."

The Mystics home court's capacity taps out at 4,200, while Capital One Arena — home to the Wizards, Capitals, and Georgetown Hoya's Men's Basketball — can fit nearly five times that crowd at some 20,000 spectators.

"The move to Capital One Arena will allow for additional fans in the stands as well as premium hospitality options, including Suites and the all-new all-inclusive courtside Hennessy Lofts," the team announced via Thursday's press release.

The Aces were one of the first teams to switch venues, aiming to take on the Indiana Fever in front of as many as 20,000 fans inside T-Mobile Arena on July 2nd. That’s a sizable a boost from their home venue, which holds just 12,000.

For those still planning to face the Fever in their home arenas, ticket prices have skyrocketed. Previously scheduled construction has already forced the LA Sparks to relocate their first five games — including their May 24th clash with the Fever — to Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid. The temporary venue is quite the downsize, holding just 4,000 in comparison to Arena's near-19,000. As of Friday, the get-in price for that game started around $400.

Despite fans launching a petition urging relocation, the Chicago Sky say they're unable to move their June 23rd Fever meeting from Wintrust Arena's 10,000-seat facility to the 23,500-seat United Center due to a concert. Tickets for that game start around $325 as of Friday.

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