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‘Knuckle Princess’ set for 2011 debut

Staff Report

Right-hander Eri Yoshida, 19, will pitch for the Chico Outlaws for the second straight season and will make her first start of 2011 on Friday against North American Baseball League rival Maui Na Koa Ikaika.

Yoshida became the first female to play professionally in the United States and Japan in a men’s league. She made eight starts last season for the Outlaws, but her season ended early due to a tired arm. She competed in the Arizona Winter League in February.

The Outlaws won the league title last season.

“We are thrilled to have Eri back and pitching for the Outlaws again,” said Mike Marshall, Chico’s manager and team president.

On Friday, Yoshida will compete against her former skipper, Garry Templeton, and Maui, at Chico’s Nettleton Stadium.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to pitch for the Chico Outlaws again,” said Yoshida. “This is a dream come true for me, and I hope that I can contribute to the team to help them win and also to continue to improve as a pro baseball player.”