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Outlaws to Introduce Female Knuckleball Pitcher Yoshida

May 4, 2010 - Golden Baseball League (GBL) News Release

(Chico, CA. May 4, 2010) The Chico Outlaws, members of the independent Golden Baseball League, will hold a press conference Friday May 7th at 5:00 pm announcing the arrival at spring training of female Japanese knuckleball pitcher Eri Yoshida.

The press conference will be held at the Chico Sports Club located at 260 Cohasset Road in Chico, CA 95926. The Chico Sports Club is owned by Jeff Stover, a former shot putter at the University of Oregon and defensive lineman with the San Francisco 49ers. Stover earned a world championship ring with a win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII.

Yoshida, 18, was the first female drafted by a professional team in Japan when she was drafted by the Kobe 9 Cruise of the independent Kansai League in the seventh round of their 2009 draft. After appearing in 11 games for the Cruise during the 2009 season, she went to the 2010 Arizona Winter League in Yuma, AZ, where Yoshida compiled a 1-1 record with a 4.79 ERA in 10 games for the Yuma Scorpions in her first appearance in the United States. Yoshida threw 4.2 innings of shutout baseball to get her first victory enroute to a 5-0 win over Team Canada.

The inspiration for Yoshida to be a knuckleball pitcher came from seeing videos of Boston's Tim Wakefield throwing the pitch. Yoshida taught herself how to thrown the pitch and throws the knuckleball from a side arm slot. She had the opportunity earlier this spring to visit with Wakefield at the Boston Red Sox spring training camp and throw a bullpen session.

The Outlaws offered Yoshida a contract to play in the Golden Baseball League, which she signed on Apr 8, 2010, making her the first female to play professionally in the United States since Ila Borders and also the first woman to see action at the professional level in two countries.

The Outlaws open the 2010 season on the road in Tijuana and return to Nettleton Stadium on Wednesday May 26th at 6:35 pm for their home opener against Tijuana. Full-season tickets, along with 5, 10 and 20-game mini-plans are still available. Single game tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 7th. To purchase single game tickets over the phone, fans can contact the Outlaws main office starting on May 7th at 530-345-3210. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Outlaws office, which recently moved and is located at 313 Walnut Street, Suite 110 in Chico.

For more information, please visit the team's official website at www.chicooutlaws.com.

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