PITCHER ERI YOSHIDA is living her dream far from her native Japan.
The 18-year-old righthander has signed with the Chico (Calif.) Outlaws, a minor league team that competes in the independent Golden Baseball League.
A 50 mph sidearm knuckleball that is, according to reports, as hard to hit as Muhammad Ali in his prime.
The 5-2, 115-pound Yoshida is the first female to pitch professionally in the United States since Ila Borders retired from minor league ball over 10 years ago. And she is the first female to play pro ball in two countries.
"I am grateful for this opportunity to pitch for the Chico Outlaws," Yoshida told the team's Web site. "This is a dream come true for me."