Women’s Sports Weekly Report May 22-29
In this photo from October 17, 2021, Brittney Griner (42) of the Phoenix Mercury is defended by Azurá Stevens (30) of the Chicago Sky during the first half of Game 4 of the WNBA Finals at Wintrust Arena on October 17, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images/TNS)
By Caitlin Phelan
This week the world of women’s sports marked the start of the Women’s National Basketball Association regular season, where many records have already been broken by players such as Brittney Griner and Breanna Stewart. We also saw the NCAA Women’s Softball Regional Tournament, where many shocking upsets occurred, as well as seeded No. 1 Oklahoma qualify for the Super Regionals taking place this weekend. In golf, Wake Forest picked up a stunning win over USC, capturing the college’s first-ever NCAA women’s golf title.
The highly anticipated WNBA season began this week, and Brittney Griner made her long-awaited return and played in her first official WNBA game in 579 days on Friday, May 19, playing 25 minutes in the 94-71 loss to the Phoenix Mercury versus Los Angeles. Sparks. Griner recorded 18 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
The eight-time WNBA All-Star also broke records last Friday when an impressive 683,000 people tuned in to the Mercury-Sparks opening night game, the most-watched WNBA regular-season game on the cable in 24 years.
New York Liberty’s Breanna Stewart, who was traded from the Seattle Storm last offseason, set a New York Liberty scoring record in her home debut, scoring 45 points. The record performance also marked the first time a WNBA player scored 40 or more points in his home debut with a franchise. She also added a team-high 12 rebounds to secure the double-double in the 90-73 win over the Indiana Fever.
On Tuesday, May 16, ESPN announced that a Serena Williams docuseries, titled “In the Arena: Serena Williams,” will be coming to the network, where she will showcase her iconic career that spanned more than two decades. The docuseries will talk about the tennis superstar’s legacy and journey, as well as an in-depth look at each of his 23 Grand Slam victories.
Soft ball :
This week we saw the NCAA Women’s Softball Regional Tournament. Sixteen college softball teams remain after a thrilling regional weekend, and only eight of them will advance to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City next week.
The current favorite, No. 1 Oklahoma, topped regionals to extend his winning streak to 46 games, one shy of Arizona (1996-97) for the Division I record.
Wake Forest defeated the University of Southern California for its first NCAA women’s golf title on May 24. Wake Forest’s Lauren Walsh closed her match against Brianna Navarrosa with a par conceded on the 16th hole, and Wake Forest won its first women’s golf championship by beating USC 3-1 on Wednesday. Wake Forest lost to Duke in the 2019 National Finals, earned a school-record five tournament wins this season with a veteran-led team.
This week, Stanford’s Rose Zhang became the first woman to win back-to-back NCAA titles. Zhang has now won just about everything in amateur golf. With a perfect performance at the NCAA championships, Stanford’s second has now done something no one else has done: win back-to-back national titles. Zhang also won the US Women’s Amateur in 2020, the US Girls’ Junior in 2021 and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur last month.
Maya Ana Callender made history last week with the NFL’s New England Patriots when she became the first woman hired as a full-time scout in the history of the Patriots franchise, which s spans 64 years. She previously served as Director of Operations at Princeton. Callander now becomes the second woman to work in the Patriots scouting department, joining longtime chief administrative officer Nancy Meier, who has been with the team since 1975. She also became the first woman to be hired for the Patriots under hall-of-famous coach, Bill Belichick.