Female knuckleballer Yoshida to pursue new challenge overseas

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KOBE, Dec. 15 (20:32) Kyodo

Female professional knuckleballer Eri Yoshida, who played this
season in the independent league with the Kobe 9 Cruise, said on her
blog Tuesday she will participate in the Arizona Winter League
starting in January.

''After much consideration and feeling this allure to play, I
made a decision to participate with the hope of pursuing a new
challenge and gaining actual experience,'' Yoshida said on her blog.

The 17-year-old Yoshida went 0-2 in 11 games for the Kobe club
while taking home study courses for a high school diploma.

Players who take part in the Arizona Winter League usually aim
to get pro contracts in the major leagues or independent leagues in
North America. The short-season instructional, in which about 20
games are played, runs from the end of January until March.

Yoshida, who is the first ever Japanese female pro baseball
player, left the financially troubled Kansai Independent League after
one season in October.

The Kanagawa native said she is undecided on what she will do
after completing the Arizona Winter League.

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