Coley Ries Set to Play in Inaugural Season of Athletes Unlimited

Posted on August 27th, 2020 by

ROSEMOUNT, Ill. – The month of August certainly has been a memorable one for Coley Ries. Two weeks ago, she was named head coach of the Gustavus softball team, followed that announcement with a marital engagement, and is now playing professional softball in the inaugural season of Athletes Unlimited (AU).

After playing in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) since 2017, Ries is now one of 56 players competing for AU. AU does not have team owners, instead the athletes are the decision-makers and stakeholders in the league. Each week, new teams are drafted and players compete to earn points and unlock leaderboard cash and prizes. Points are earned through MVP voting, inning and game wins, and offensive plays/pitching stats.

“This league is such a unique experience,” Ries said. “It’s been an honor to play in the NPF but being a part of the beginning of something is really special. They have treated us like true professionals and I feel so lucky to be here.”

Ries was drafted by Team Warren, which is the orange team, and will play in the first doubleheader of the season noon CST Saturday at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemount, Ill. – the same facility she played at with the Chicago Bandits. Ries and Team Warren then play another doubleheader at noon Sunday, followed by a single game at 7 p.m. Monday. Saturday’s doubleheader will air on ESPN2, Sunday on ESPN3, and Monday night on CBS Sports Network.

“Having the chance to play on national television is so important for our sport, ratings have been extremely successful at the collegiate level,” Ries said. “Now younger athletes can watch this and dream of continuing to play well past their college years.”

Although AU is a brand new professional league, Ries is familiar with many of her teammates on Team Warren. Gwen Svekis, Aleshia Ocasio, Abby Ramirez, and DJ Sanders played with Ries for the Chicago Bandits, and Kati Mauga with the Texas Charge. Ries has also played professionally with a few athletes on the other three AU teams.

“I’m excited to see how the season plays out,” Ries said. “It’s so different than any other model of professional sports. You’re teammates one week, and competitors the next.”

The schedule is set for five weekends, running through Sept. 28. Once the season is complete, Ries will return to the Gustavus campus and begin her inaugural season as head coach of the Gusties.

“I am so grateful for the Gustavus athletic department and my team for being understanding and supportive of this endeavor,” she said. “I believe these experiences continue to make me a better coach and more knowledgeable about the game.”


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