This day was the debut match of an international competition that a player dreamed of.
This is the 3rd year of the national team. In the meantime, there have been no international competitions due to the Corona 19 pandemic (global pandemic), so I have not been able to show my skills to the world. The international stage debut finally came. He showed off his solidly built up skills. This is the story of Park So-yeon (22), an infielder on the Korean women’s baseball team.
Before Hong Kong, the first game of the qualifiers for the “2024 Women’s Baseball World Cup (WBSC)” held in Thunder Bay, Canada on the 9th (Korean time), Park So-yeon played a big role in the offense and defense by starting as the 6th batsman and second baseman.
Her national team’s first goal, which broke out in the bottom of the first inning, was also due to Park So-yeon’s neat and timely hit. Park So-yeon pulled out a timely hit to the left at the bottom of the first inning, when she was losing 0-2, with 2 outs and bases loaded. It was her first hit and her first RBI in her own international competition.
In the bottom of the 4th inning, Park So-yeon scored an additional run with a sacrifice fly to left field. She also picked off two walks on the day, and she went 1-for-1 with 2 RBIs and 2 walks, going 3 on base.
After the game, Park So-yeon said, “Now I know that this is my first international competition. It was the first time she heard the national anthem at the stadium wearing her national team uniform. She doesn’t know how to describe it, but there was a ‘grim’ that made her heart boil,” she looked back.
The secret to her three on-base runs that day, including posting two RBIs, was “the result of her training every day right before leaving Canada,” she revealed. Park So-yeon said, “I took a break from baseball for a while (after going to language school) and joined the national team late (early July). However, since he had been playing baseball for the first time in a long time, his defense was very poor. He couldn’t see the ball bound. So he wanted to work hard at least once, so he practiced batting every day, and he found a sense.”
The chance to load the bases was taken twice in front of Park So-yeon, but both were successful. Park So-yeon said, “Before, when the bases were full, I and he became impatient and physically exhausted, so I never tried to take advantage of the opportunity. So this time he said, ‘Let’s go in and do what we do. I went in with the thought of ‘let’s just hit the ball properly at the center of the bat’ and I could see the ball well. I think my swing came out,” he smiled.
Park So-yeon was very happy when she got a timely hit in her first at-bat. He said, “At that time, without realizing it, I stepped on the base alone and clapped. In a situation where we were losing 0-2, we were relieved to score points. I was so frustrated because I was not good at baseball until now. As for the batting, the overall frustration was great, but the ceremony came naturally because I thought, ‘I have finally been helpful to the team’.”
On this day, he started as second baseman and caught every ball that could get out of the infield. He showed off a defense that puts the viewer at ease once the ball goes to second base.
Park So-yeon said, “My body was light today. As soon as the opposing batters hit the ball with the bat, the start was cut off instinctively. Until now, while playing the national team practice game, I was anxious when the ball came in front of me. But today, it’s been a while since I’ve felt like, ‘Let the ball come to me’.” It was in the best condition.
The background that Park So-yeon was able to come to Canada in the best condition was the dedication of her family. Park So-yeon said, “Baseball has been bad for the past month, so I’ve been a bit fat at home. Whenever I was down, my family worked hard to please me (laughs). Even when she goes to training on weekdays, her mother always picks her up and picks her up early in the morning. She also served me a lot of delicious food,” she turned around.
Her older brother, who walked the path of an elite baseball player until her high school, and her baseball-loving father also helped Park So-yeon train in the scorching sun. He said, “In the evening or morning, when there was no training for the middle school baseball team, I visited the school playground with her father and brother and practiced batting every day. When I asked her brother for her advice, I found her sense at some point,” he added.스포츠토토
However, in the beginning of the 7th inning, the national team allowed Hong Kong to turn around by giving up 4 runs, eventually bowing its head to 8-9.
On this day, the referee’s strike zone was the subject of controversy. Due to the inconsistent strike judgment, several players from the national team with good starting strategies turned to strikeouts.
Park So-yeon said, “I caught the ball falling left and right with a strike. that was difficult So, he rather tried to hit the incoming ball with his hand in advance. He said, “I wanted to make the ball on the inside rotate faster than hitting it with a ‘tuk’.”
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong match was held from 12:30 a.m. Korean time for 3 hours and 10 minutes. Park So-yeon’s grandmother also came to Park So-yeon’s house and her family watched the game in real time.
Park So-yeon said, “Women’s baseball fighting! Park So-yeon is the best!’, and she cheered me on that dawn. She is grateful, but unfortunately lost by one point,” she said. “I will continue to play against Western players (US, Australia, Canada, etc.). The difference in her physique is huge, but even in a losing situation, she doesn’t give up until the end and I want to show her spirit to somehow narrow the score gap,” she pledged.
Prior to the interview, Park So-yeon said, “I was on my way back from bat swing training with (captain and catcher Choi) Min-hee for about 30 minutes.” “It’s my own routine. I get anxious if I don’t do it even for a day. She did it yesterday, and she did the bat swing today too. Still, she seems to be in a good mood today. Still, it is very regrettable that I would have won if I had made a better ball in the bases-scoring chance,” she said, promising victory in the next game.