By Hyejeong Hwang] “I tasted another kind of baseball.”
The South Korean women’s national baseball team took on the United States National Team in the second game of the Women’s Baseball World Cup 2024 (WBSC) qualifier in Thunder Bay, Canada, on Tuesday (June 10). The team dropped a cold opener to the U.S., 0-14, after allowing 13 hits in the first two innings.
After the game, outfielder Ahn Soo-ji said, “The Americans hit really well, and I got to taste a different kind of baseball.”
Ahn Su-ji, who started the game at first base and left field, stayed in front of the fence throughout the game to catch the hard-hitting Americans’ balls. “I stuck to the fence to catch it, but the ball had already gone over the fence,” Ahn laughed.
바카라사이트 Distribution of hits by USA players in the 10-day match between USA and South Korea. Photo credit | WBSC.
On the day, Ahn hit one home run to the left field fence where she was standing, one double that hit the ground and went over the fence, and one double that went directly over the fence. Ashton Rensdell’s solo home run in the top of the third inning, which Ahn chased down to catch, was said to have gone over 110 meters, the official stadium distance.
Ahn went 1-for-2 on the day. The team has collected seven extra-base hits in the last two games, two of which were long balls. In the third inning against the U.S., Ahn lined a clean single to left field off Baum with one out. “I was able to hit the ball thanks to my fastball drills. It felt really good,” said Ahn, adding, “The American players’ pitches were really fast and good, but I saw the timing of the fastball and took aim.”
Korea’s No. 1 hitter Ahn Soo-ji celebrates after hitting a clean single to left field off USA starter Jamie Baum in the first inning. Thunder Bay (Canada) | By Hye Jung Hwang. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Hae-ri, who started at first base in the sixth spot on the lineup, also played well offensively for the Americans. She caught several infield flies and went 1-for-1 with a walk and a hit by pitch.
“They were throwing fastballs, so I tried to take them and hit them without a leg kick, and that’s what I’ve been practicing since I started training,” Kim said. “Definitely, their ball is different from Hong Kong’s ball. They have a good end to the ball, and they throw changeups freely, so I went in looking for a fastball and got a hit in my first at-bat, and the left-hander in the second at-bat only threw me a changeup.”
First baseman Kim Hae-ri bats against the United States. Thunder Bay (Canada) | By Hye Jung Hwang. email@example.com
First baseman Kim Hae-ri plays defense against the United States. Thunder Bay (Canada) | By Hye Jung Hwang. firstname.lastname@example.org
“Yesterday, we lost to Hong Kong, and we were devastated. Everyone was devastated. It felt like we got off on the wrong foot. It’s not going to be an easy match against the U.S., but we said to ourselves, ‘Let’s try hard and do everything we can. Luckily, we made fewer mistakes today and didn’t play too badly.”
The team performed better than the previous day, committing only two errors and scoring one run in the second and third innings against the top-ranked U.S. team. The U.S. brought outfielders Kelcia Whitmore, the first woman to sign a minor league contract in the U.S., Olivia Pizzardo, the first woman to play D1 collegiately in the U.S., and “Aces” Ashton Rensdell and Alex Hugo to Korea.
The team stood tall against them and held their own. After turning things around against the United States, the team will play their third match of the preliminary round against Australia on Nov. 11 at 12:30 a.m. KST. email@example.com
USA leadoff Ashton Rensselaer roars after hitting a triple to right field in the first inning. Thunder Bay (Canada) | By Hye Jung Hwang. firstname.lastname@example.org
Outfielder Kelcia Whitmore, the first woman to sign a minor league contract, scores on Perez’s single up the middle in the first inning. Thunder Bay (Canada) | By Hye Jung Hwang. email@example.com
Olivia Pizzardo, the first woman to play D1 collegiate baseball in the U.S., pitches against South Korea.