Weiner: Team USA women’s baseball players describe why America won’t let its girls play

From Natalie Weiner at SB Nation on August 22, 2018:

Five years ago, Emily Tsujikawa stood on the mound at a baseball tournament in eastern Washington as members of the opposing team, along with their parents and grandparents, shouted at her. They were refusing to step up to the plate and let her pitch because she was a girl.

Even after her opponents acquiesced to the umpires’ threat of a forfeit, the heckling continued. “If you strike out, you won’t eat dinner tonight,” one parent yelled down to their on-deck son, 17-year-old Tsujikawa recalls. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s kind of strict.’” Her team won. ”I honestly had a pretty good game, but it was just strange to encounter that — especially being only 12.”

That memory lingers even as Tsujikawa takes the mound this week to compete for the first time as a member of the USA Baseball Women’s National Team. The United States is one of 12 countries looking for gold at the eighth Women’s Baseball World Cup, which begins Aug. 22 in Viera, Florida — the first edition of the tournament ever held on U.S. soil. It’s been over a decade since the Americans last claimed the top honor at the world’s biggest baseball tournament for women (they did, however, win gold at the 2015 Pan-American Games), and in the 2016 Women’s Baseball World Cup, they didn’t even advance out of pool play.

Read the full article here: https://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2018/8/22/17764996/team-usa-womens-baseball-world-cup-2018

Originally published: August 22, 2018. Last Updated: August 22, 2018.