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Former Northwestern softball standout Rachel Lewis now taking her swings for player-run league Athletes Unlimited

Athletes Unlimited, The Player-Run Softball League Is In Full Swing In Rosemont
Athletes Unlimited, player-run softball league, is in full swing in Rosemont 03:00

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Athletes Unlimited Softball is back at Rosemont for through the end of August. The professional league is player run, features a redraft of teams every week, and is where former Northwestern Wildcats standout Rachel Lewis is continuing her career.

"You're at the peak of your athletic career. You've made it to the top. I made it to the [Women's College] World Series, and now I get to say that I've played professionally, professional softball," Lewis told CBS 2's Matt Zahn. "So I think it's just one of those things that, as an athlete, especially growing up as an athlete, you just kind of dream about, and it's just something really cool to accomplish."

Lewis said what was most attractive about playing for Athletes Unlimited was that they put players first.

"The athletes truly are running it. They are the head of the committees. They're making the rules. It's pretty cool just how the draft has worked out, too; how we get a new team every week, and just getting to meet new people. A lot of professional leagues can get overrun by people higher up, and I think to have us being the main voice of how we want to things to run, we're always trying to constantly improve year after year," she said.

Lewis said she's looking forward to how Athletes Unlimited can grow as a league, and branch out to other markets.

Athletes Unlimited already has softball, basketball, volleyball, and lacrosse teams.

"It's just really cool to see this thing growing so fast," she said.

Lewis said fans interested in checking out softball games at the Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont will see plenty of exciting action on the ballfield.

"I think the pitchers are amazing, and the hitters are amazing as well. So it just makes it really interesting when you have the best of the best pitchers and hitters going at it, and everybody keeps it interesting. We have a ton of fun playing," she said.

Lewis recently helped take the Northwestern Wildcats to their first Women's College World Series appearance since 2007.

"That was amazing. That was also one of the just, kind of like the bucket list items as a kid growing up playing softball," she said. "I think it was just awesome for our program."

Now playing professionally, Lewis hopes to keep going for a long time.

"It's definitely becoming more of a possibility. So I think it's something that is an incredible opportunity, and I think people will do it for as long as they can," she said.

Athletes Unlimited softball teams play two games every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The action wraps up on Aug. 28 in Rosemont.

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