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Conference Report

Samurai Japan Women's National Team's "ENEOS Presents 6th IBAF Women's Baseball World Cup 2014 Miyazaki Competition" Press Conference


On August 19th (Tue), a press conference in preparation for the "ENEOS Presents 6th IBAF Women's Baseball World Cup 2014 Miyazaki Competition", beginning on the 1st of next month, was held at Nippon Professional Baseball.
The conference was attended by Women's National Team coach Koichi Okura, NPB Commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki, and among the players, the captain Akiko Shimura (Asahi Trust), Risa Nakashima (Astraia), Yuki Kawabata (Astraia), Ayako Rokkaku (Samurai), and Yukari Isozaki (Samurai).

The Women's National Team is sitting on three straight wins at the World Cup. As they prepared for this tournament, with their fourth straight win at stake, Coach Okura stated, "Through my experience in the past international competitions, I have felt the importance of mentally strong players. That's why at this past training camp, we have selected players who are mentally strong, who can meet our minute requests, and play with certainty. We are hoping to achieve a fourth straight win, but I hope that achieving this result will cause people to realize that there are many women who play baseball. That's another reason I consider this a competition we must win."

Also, in response to a question from a reporter, "How do you feel about playing in this competition, in light of Samurai Japan's goal to be the best in the world in every age group, including the women's national team?", he explained his thoughts by saying,

"I am extremely grateful that women's baseball has been added to the Samurai Project, and I consider this a great opportunity. I want many people to know about the players through this World Cup, and we all hope that playing in this tournament will become the dream of all women's players who are giving it their all. We have received support from many people in facing the World Cup, and we will play with all we have, out of gratitude.

At the opening of the conference, Commissioner Kumazaki sent a cheer, saying,
"The women's baseball team has three straight wins. I hope that you will seek a fourth straight win. There is an increasing trend in the number of players in women's baseball. The role of women's baseball has become incredibly important in the expansion and development of Japanese baseball. I am supporting the women's national team from the bottom of my heart, so that they will take hold of the crown of victory."

The 6th IBAF Women's Baseball World Cup 2014 Miyazaki Competition will begin with the first preliminaries on September 1st. The primary league will be divided between the A-group and B-group, and Japan will play in the A-group. Their first game will be with Australia.

Comments from Akiko Shimura (Asahi Trust)

"This competition is being held in Japan, and is a very important competition. I believe our victory will lead to the development of women's baseball. I hope that we will win this competition, and come back with good results to report to you."

Comments from Risa Nakashima (Astraia)

"This will be my fifth time entering this competition. The strengths of the Japanese team are team dynamics, teamwork, small ball, and fielding. I think that these games will put these strengths into action, and I want us all to achieve win after win, without any mistakes."

Comments from Yuki Kawabata (Astraia)

"I believe that four straight wins is a very high expectation, but I want to play with feelings of joy and gratitude that this competition being held in Japan. I hope that I can focus on every single pitch, and contribute to the team with my distinctive batting."

Comments from Ayako Rokkaku (Samurai)

"I am being played on third base, but just as they say that third base is the hot corner, I hope to pull myself together, support the pitcher, focus on my on-base percentage while batting, and contribute to the team."

Comments from Yukari Isozaki (Samurai)

"My pitching style is to vary my pace, and pitch to contact. I hope that I can make pitches like that in this competition, and since I have backup behind me that can make any catch, I hope to trust in my teammates and contribute to the team, so I thank you for your support."



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