| Oct 17, 2006

Dragons win CL with 'Girl Power' formula

YOKOHAMA — When no challenge exists, for some, the answer is to manufacture one. Call it the Teenage Girl Syndrome — when there isn’t enough drama in a given situation, never underestimate a moody 16-year-old girl’s ability to create some, and fast. As the ...

Oct 13, 2006

Fighters win Pacific League

SAPPORO — The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters needed only one chance to win their first Pacific League championship since 1981. The Agony and Ecstasy: Atsunori Inaba of the Fighters (center) celebrates with teammates after Hokkaido Nippon Ham clinched its first Pacific League pennant in ...

Oct 12, 2006

Hammies relaxed as second stage starts

SAPPORO — Enough standing around, say the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Waiting for last weekend’s first-stage Pacific League playoffs to take place may have been a bit unnerving for the PL’s No. 1 seed, but if it was, the team’s attitude did not reflect ...

Oct 12, 2006

Darvish excels vs. Hawks

SAPPORO — Messing this one up will be pretty tough. Hokkaido Nippon Ham hurler Yu Darvish reacts after striking out the final batter of the game as the Fighters downed the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 3-1 in Game 1 of the Pacific League second-stage playoffs ...

| Oct 11, 2006

Oh inspired Hawks despite absence

TOKOROZAWA, Saitama Pref. — Here is a look back at the first-stage Pacific League playoffs, in which the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks beat the Seibu Lions 2-1. In a sentence: The Hawks combined persistent offense and excellent pitching to purge their PL postseason demons. The ...

Oct 10, 2006

Comeback Hawks heading to Hokkaido

TOKOROZAWA, Saitama Pref. — Third place is feeling a whole lot better than first has the last couple years for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. Softbank’s Homare Inamine delivers an RBI single in the seventh inning of Game 3 of the first stage of the ...

Oct 9, 2006

Wounded Hawks lash out at Lions to level series

TOKOROZAWA, Saitama Pref. — What a response. Fukuoka Softbank’s Nobuhiko Matsunaka slams a three-run homer off Lions reliever Takashi Ishii in the top of the ninth at Invoice Seibu Dome on Sunday afternoon. With the 11-3 win, the Hawks tied the first-stage Pacific League ...

Oct 8, 2006

Masterful Matsuzaka

TOKOROZAWA, Saitama Pref. — Kazumi Saito was good enough to beat any pitcher in Japan on Saturday. Seibu Lions starter Daisuke Matsuzaka delivers a pitch against the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in Game 1 of the Pacific League first-stage playoffs on Saturday at Invoice Seibu ...