With the Women's Big Bash League well underway in its fifth season, there are a number of athletes from across the UNSW sporting community who are making a splash for their respective teams.
UNSW Elite Athlete Program member and Ben Lexcen scholar Carly Leeson had her first appearance for her new team, the Melbourne Renegades over the weekend. Carly clearly left an impression with her amazing stats of 4/4 in her club game for Universities Women's Cricket Club the previous weekend and was immediately elevated to the Renegades' match day squad for both of the weekend's games. With the team in trouble thanks to a slow run rate in the second game, Carly came in at number nine and immediately looked to push up the scoring rate, notching up seven runs from five balls before being run out in the 19th over.
Carly also bowled her first over for the team, coming in for the ninth over when her team desperately needed a wicket. She delivered straight away, tempting former teammate Erin Burns with a full toss that was caught on the boundary. It was a great start to her campaign with the women in red and she will look to grow into her role in the next few games.
UNSW alumni have also been up and about in the WBBL, with Georgia Redmayne making the big move from the Hobart Hurricanes to join the Perth Scorchers for this season. Known primarily as a wicket keeper while in Hobart, Georgia has taken up a specialist batting role with the Scorchers as she works on building that aspect of her game. Like Carly, Georgia was called on to come in at a crunch moment for her team on the weekend, at four wickets down and needing to score quickly after the Melbourne Stars had put on a big total. Georgia was working herself in nicely, scoring five runs from six balls before being dramatically run out as she dived for the crease.
Our other alumna and UNSW Sports Advisory Council member Alex Blackwell, has been in incredible form for the Sydney Thunder. So far this season Alex has piled on 190 runs at a 63.33 average. She's hit 17 fours and four sixes, been not out twice, scored a half century and been Player of the Match in the Thunder's win over the Stars. At 36 years old, Alex is one of the oldest players in the competition but she has shown no signs of slowing down and has been a sensational mentor for the young players in her team.
Two members of the Universities Women's Cricket Club have also been making an impact this season. 18-year-old Maddy Darke and 17-year-old Stella Campbell have both been improving each time they take the field. Maddy has been taking her opportunities with the bat where they come, but with Australian stars Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry at the top of the order, those opportunities can be few and far between. She will learn a great deal from her time spent training and batting with both players. Stella took her first wicket in the Sixers' win over the Stars on the weekend, seeing off New Zealand international Katey Martin with a fantastic swinging ball. She also took a catch off the bowling of teammate Sarah Aley to dismiss the dangerous Erin Osborne.
The WBBL season runs until 8 December and there are plenty of opportunities to see our UNSW women in action at grounds around Sydney, check out the WBBL05 fixture for more information.