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Friday, 6th August 2010
In Sports, Japan Sports News,

Female Japanese baseballer gains large following

A female baseball player who hails from Japan has been causing ripples throughout the sport.

Eri Yoshida, who is 18 years old, plays at the Nettleton Stadium in Chico, northern California, for local team the Outlaws. She has earned herself the nickname "knuckle princess" and also appears to be responsible for a rise in the number of people attending baseball games at the stadium.

Yoshida has also been praised for sparking the interest of more girls in playing the traditionally male-dominated sport. She is the first Japanese female to play professional baseball in a US men's league and is also the first woman to pitch since player Ila Borders left the sport a decade ago.

Emily Westphal, executive director of the Girls Inc charity - which has sponsored the Outlaws on the back of Yoshida joining the team - told Reuters: "Everyone I talk to is really excited and interested to hear that she really has become this draw for people in the community."

Yoshida was born in Yokohama and was first chosen to play for a pro team when she was 16.

Written by Mark Smith.

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