Pitcher Is First Woman to Play in Japan Pro League

17-year-old faces 2 batters, strikes out 1
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2009 2:21 PM CDT
Pitcher Is First Woman to Play in Japan Pro League
Eri Yoshida.   (AP Photo)

Eri Yoshida became the first woman to play professional baseball against men in Japan today, where the pitcher had a strikeout in her debut, the AP reports. The 17-year-old, whose signing was widely viewed as a publicity stunt, faced just two batters, walking the first and allowing a stolen base. “I wasn’t thinking about anything other than just going out there and giving it my all,” she said.

“I think this was a bad result but … the fans were really cheering me on,” the high-schooler added. “I want to be able to pitch more innings and become a pitcher who can be relied upon.” The knuckleballer, whose hero is Boston’s Tim Wakefield, plays for the Kobe squad in the minor Kansai Independent League; the Kobe 9 Cruise beat the Osaka Gold Villicanes 5-0. (Read more Japan stories.)

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