13/09/2023 - 17/09/2023


Hosted by:   JPN

IX Women's Baseball World Cup 2023 - Group B | presented by CARNEXT - Official Payoff

Will Sakura Fujiwara be the next Madonna Japan star?

Will Sakura Fujiwara be the next Madonna Japan star?
The 14-year-old Niiza East Little Senior student, who has been a pitcher since age five, officiated the ceremonial first pitch before the Chinese Taipei-Japan game on Saturday.

Sakura Fujiwara, 14, has played baseball since age five. She currently plays for Niiza East Little Senior in the Saitama Prefecture.

The WBSC talked to Fujiwara during her warm-up for the ceremonial first pitch preceding the Japan-Chinese Taipei game at the IX WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup Group B, presented by CARNEXT on Saturday.

She interrupted her routine, bowed and said with a smile, "I'm a little nervous."

Looking at your wind-up movement, is it correct to say Hideo Nomo is your inspiration?
"Not really. My model is Mika Konishi."

Konishi, born in 1983, became a legend in the Japan Women's Baseball League, playing in the pro league through to the final 2019 season. She helped Japan to the 2012 Women's Baseball World Cup title, winning games against Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands.

Japan Women's Baseball League legend Mika Konishi "Konitan Project" providing Baseball training and equipment for girls and boys Baseball in Brazil and Paraguay.
byu/Reignado inbaseball

How did you become interested in baseball? "My older brother and father play. That got me into the game".

You dream of representing your team in Koshien, the Summer High School Finals and later, becoming a professional player. For what team? "I definitely have this goal and dream of representing the Hanshin Ladies".

Have you seen the Women's Baseball World Cup games? "I've seen a lot of live streaming of the games, and I believe it's a lot of fun."

Do you think Japan will win? "Yes, I think they will."

Her first baseball preview, proved correct as Japan beat Chinese Taipei 2-0.