Aleshia Ocasio takes indefinite leave from softball's Athletes Unlimited

Aleshia Ocasio will take an indefinite leave of absence from Athletes Unlimited due to a family emergency, the new professional softball league announced Friday.

Primarily a pitcher, Ocasio is the league's second-highest scorer through the first two weeks of play, trailing only pitcher Cat Osterman. Players accumulate points based on individual and team performance in Athletes Unlimited, which holds new drafts each week and will crown an individual champion rather than a team champion at the end of the five-week season.

Ocasio was to serve as one of four team captains for the third week of games and had already drafted her team. Erika Piancastelli, selected by Ocasio in Tuesday's draft and currently fifth overall in scoring, will take over as captain of the team.

With no potential replacement players able to pass health protocols in time for the start of play Saturday, the league permitted Piancastelli to trade outfielder Emily Crane for pitcher Karissa Hovinga to ensure a full pitching staff. Hovinga was originally drafted this week by DJ Sanders.