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Oklahoma Sooners Beat Florida State Seminole 5-1 in Game 3 of Women’s College World Series

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The win allowed the Oklahoma Sooners to win their fifth Women’s College World Series title.

What We Know:

  • The Sooners’ Jocelyn Alo started Thursday’s game with a home run. After this, Jayda Coleman “poked one over the fence” in the second inning, giving the team an early 2-0 lead. Soon after, the Seminoles got in their only run in the third inning when the Sooners’ Tiare Jennings lost a popup, and Kalei Harding took her opportunity to score.
  • Oklahoma responded automatically with Jennings scoring on a wild pitch by Florida State’s freshman reliever Emma Wilson. Coleman scored two with a “hard-line drive off the left-field wall to score two” and give the Sooners the 5-1 advantage.
  • The Sooners acquired this win because of star pitcher Giselle Juarez. Before the game, the Oklahoma softball team lacked a dominant pitcher, but Juarez “answered the call.” In Game 2, she helped the team win 6-2 against the Seminoles. During Game 3, Juarez allowed one run on two hits.
  • The crowd’s majority also stood up when Juarez took the circle in the seventh inning. ESPN writes that she caught the final out like a “popup into her glove.” After securing the catch, the other Sooners ran up to her, and “Boomer Sooner” played over the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium’s sound system.

“Honestly, I was kind of hoping it didn’t go in the sun and that they would let me catch it,” Juarez said. “But I mean, it felt so slow motion, and then just to look up after I caught it and see [Kinzie] Hansen running at me — surreal, awesome moment.”

  • In contrast, Florida State University’s Seminoles softball team aimed to win their second title in three consecutive World Series under coach Lonni Alameda. However, the Sooners shocked them with their talent. Center fielder Dani Morgan told the media she felt pride in the team despite losing.
  • Although the Seminoles did not win this time around, they made marks at the World Series. For example, freshman Kayley Mudge made 14 hits, a new record for the Women’s College World Series.

The Sooners’ other World Series wins were in 2000, 2013, 2016, and 2017, under coach Patty Gasso.

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Olympics: Simone Biles out of team gymnastics final ‘due to medical issue,’ officials say

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((BREAKING NEWS))

Biles withdrew due to a medical issue, according to a statement from USA Gymnastics.

“She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” officials said in the statement.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist competed in Team USA’s first rotation on vault Tuesday, bailing out of her Amanar and only completing a 1.5 twist on a 2.5-twisting Yurchenko, then taking a big stumble backward on the landing.

She scored a 13.766 and was seen walking off the floor with her bag and a trainer.

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Maria Taylor Signs with NBC after Parting Ways with ESPN

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ESPN announced Maria Taylor would begin work with NBC Sports by covering the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The news comes after she and ESPN could not reach an agreement about her contract extension.

What We Know:

  • In light of her departure, ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro celebrated Taylor’s “ability and work ethic;” additionally, he mentioned he was proud of the work she did for the company. Pitaro stated the network remains determined to build a “deep and skilled talent roster” to reflect the athletes and topics they report and fans they serve.
  • In regards to leaving her former position, Taylor expressed gratitude for her time at ESPN; she thanked Pitaro and others for encouraging and motivating her, and declared she would “make them proud.”
  • Taylor began at ESPN by working for the SEC Network covering college sports and hosting College GameDay. Her skills and screen presence eventually landed her as the host of NBA Countdown. With NBC, she will work as a host and contributor at Football Night in America and the Super Bowl. Taylor will also co-host Prime Plus with Mike Trico.
  • When asked about her new position, Taylor said she was excited to start. She said she always dreamed of hosting events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl. Taylor added that the opportunity would be impossible without “standing on the shoulders of all those” who came before her.
  • Taylor’s future at ESPN entered limbo earlier this month after racist comments made by colleague Rachel Nichols. In released audio footage, Nichols is heard on a phone call complaining to Lebron James’ adviser Adam Mendelsohn about Taylor hosting the NBA Finals. She implied that the network only chose Taylor to improve diversity. After footage surfaced, Nichols quickly apologized but was pulled from sideline coverage.

Taylor covered Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals as her last assignment with ESPN.

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Olympic Opening Ceremony Director Fired for 1998 Holocaust Joke

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Organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto announced the news a day before the Olympics’ July 23 Opening Ceremony.

What We Know:

  • The organizing committee dismissed director Kentaro Kobayashi due to a joke about the Holocaust made during a 1998 comedy act. Throughout his performance, Kobayashi includes the use of the phrase “Let’s play Holocaust.”
  • Hashimoto stated that when the committee learned Kobayashi used a phrase mocking a historical tragedy, they were extremely disappointed. He also apologized for “causing such a development” just a day before the Olympics began; Hashimoto proceeded to express remorse for troubling the involved parties and people across Japan. After the news was released, footage of Kobayashi’s skit appeared on the internet.

  • Many expressed disdain at the sketch. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and global social action director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said nobody holds the right to mock victims of Nazi genocide. Cooper further mentioned how Nazis gassed disabled Germans, stating that any association of Kobayashi with the Tokyo Olympics would mock the Paralympics and insults the memory of 6 million Jews.
  • The 2021 Tokyo Olympics has been at the center of many scandals. These include banning Namibian female athletes for testosterone levels, removing Sha’Carri Richardson for marijuana, and more. According to Hashimoto, the postponed Games were supposed to send a positive message; however, the many incidents will give the Tokyo event a negative image.
  • In addition, Japan faces global criticism for proceeding with the Olympics against medical experts’ advice. Recently, Japan declared a state of emergency due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. However, ESPN reports the country partially feels pressure from the International Olympic Committee (IOC); if the Games were not held, the IOC would lose an estimated  $3 billion to $4 billion in television rights. Alongside this, government audits suggest this year’s Olympics cost more than $15.4 billion, with all but $6.7 billion being public money.

The Tokyo Olympics will continue until August 8.

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