It was a mistake. The South Korean women’s national baseball team was reduced to tears by an error.
The game lasted more than three hours. Considering that the average length of a KBO game this season is 3 hours and 16 minutes, including extra innings, it was a long, hard-fought game, even though it was a seven-inning game.
However, there are winners and losers in every game. On Sept. 9 (KST), South Korea was the loser of the first qualifying game for the Women’s Baseball World Cup 2024 between South Korea and Hong Kong in Thunder Bay, Canada. The Korean Women’s National Team fell just one point short to Hong Kong, 8-9.
Mistakes made the difference. While the team committed six defensive errors, Hong Kong only had one. Before the game, head coach Yang Sang-moon emphasized that it would be a “mistake battle,” and it was the Korean team that took advantage.
The Koreans gave up an early lead in the first inning. However, they tied the game at 1-2 in the bottom of the first inning, went scoreless in the top of the second inning, and took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Shin Noo-ri, the “No. 4 hitter,” hit a spectacular three-run triple.
But the lead was precarious. Every time Hong Kong scored, the national team would answer back. They held a 7-5 lead going into the fourth inning, but fielding errors cost them runs they shouldn’t have, and they couldn’t capitalize on the bases-loaded opportunities that came their way in each inning.
Both teams went scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings, and Team USA entered the top of the seventh with a two-run lead, 7-5. A run in the top of the seventh would have sealed the win for Team Korea.
However, Team Korea gave Hong Kong a big inning in the top of the seventh. With the bases loaded and one out, a pinch-hitter gave up a single to a Hong Kong batter. At the same time, a fielding error allowed an extra run to score. The score was tied at 7-7.
With momentum on their side, Hong Kong took the reins. The next batter walked Lee Ji-sook, but with the bases loaded, Hong Kong’s No. 1 hitter hit a two-run double to left field. In an instant, the Koreans were down 7-9.
Going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Korean team stood in the dugout, determined to make a comeback, but ultimately put their heads down. In the bottom of the seventh, Yang Seo-jin led off with a walk and Shin Noo-ri advanced to second on a wild pitch. With runners on first and second, Park So-yeon was also hit by a pitch, giving the team a chance to load the bases.
Kim Hae-ri scored on a wild pitch to bring the score to 6-7. However, in the bottom of the second inning, the last pitch went straight to the infield and the team had to accept a disappointing one-run loss.
It was also disappointing to see the team miss a couple of chances with the bases loaded. After scoring just one run in the bottom of the first inning, the team had the bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning, but only managed to score one run on Choi Min-hee’s sacrifice fly to left field.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Koreans added two runs on a sacrifice fly to left field by Park So-yeon and a sacrifice fly to center field by Kim Hae-ri. They also failed to score in the bottom of the sixth inning. The only consolation came in the bottom of the inning, when Shin Nuri hit a “swooping” triple to right field with two outs.
There were only four hits on the day. Ahn Soo-ji, Shin Nuri, Kim Hyun-ah, and Park So-yeon each had one hit. Shin went 1-for-2 with a home run and three RBIs, Park So-yeon went 1-for-1 with a home run and two RBIs, and Kim Hae-ri went 1-for-2 without a hit.메이저놀이터
Park Min-seong struck out four in four innings but gave up five runs (four earned), while Kim Bomi gave up two runs in two innings and Lee Ji-sook gave up two runs in one inning (unearned) in relief.