woman pitcher on the University
of Tokyo baseball team took the mound at Jingu Stadium in Tokyo
on November 5 in a game against Rikkyo
University, becoming the first-ever Japanese woman to pitch in a
college league game.
Nineteen-year-old Megumi Takemoto,
a first-year student at the prestigious university, was put in in the
top of the ninth inning with no outs and Rikkyo leading 6-2. She walked
the only batter she faced on six pitches--all fastballs--from a full
count. Her fastest pitch was 104 kilometers per hour, or 65 miles per
The left-handed pitcher, who was
born in Niigata Prefecture, is 163 centimeters (5 feet 4 inches) tall
and weighs 50 kilograms (110 pounds). She is the second female college
student to pitch in the regular season; Jodi Haller of the United States
pitched for Meiji University four years ago.
"Home plate looked closer than
I'd imagined," Takemoto said, reflecting on her performance. "Although
I faced only one batter, it was still a good experience. I'd like to
do better next time."
Team manager Yutaka Misumi said,
"I let her pitch because she was throwing strikes in the bullpen. The
fact that she got two strikes after going 0 and 3 proves she has guts."
The rival manager Haruyuki Teshima
of Rikkyo University also spoke highly of Takemoto, saying, "She has
a good pitching style. I think she has the potential to pitch regularly
in future games with one or two more years of experience."
Photo: Takemoto looks forward to improving her control
and pitching in more games. (PANA)