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Eri Yoshida

Meet the first woman to play professional baseball in Japan.

Eri Yoshida, a 17-year-old who throws a sidearm knuckleball, took the mound in the ninth inning of Kobe 9 Cruise’s 5-0 win over the Osaka Gold Villicanes in the newly-formed Kansai Independent League.

She walked the first batter leading off the inning on four pitches and allowed a stolen base before striking out the next batter swinging at Osaka Dome. She was then replaced after facing just two batters.

The 5-feet, 114-pound Yoshida is hoping to stick with the Kobe team. Friday’s performance was far from conclusive but at least she has the first strikeout of her career.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone throwing a sidearm knuckleball before. David Pinto, from whom I got the link, has some video there so you can see what that looks like for yourself. Good luck, Eri Yoshida.

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