By Hyejeong Hwang] It was the international debut of a player’s dreams.
This is her third year on the national team. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she hasn’t been able to show the world her skills because there have been no international competitions. Her international debut has finally arrived. She was able to showcase her solid skills. This is the story of Park So-yeon, 22, an infielder for the South Korean women’s national baseball team.
Park started as the No. 6 hitter and second baseman against Hong Kong in the first game of the Women’s Baseball World Cup 2024 (WBSC) qualifiers in Thunder Bay, Canada, on Sept. 9 (KST).
The first run of the game came in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to a clean hit by Park Soyeon. Down 0-2 in the bottom of the first, Park lined a single to left field with two outs. It was her first international hit and first RBI.
Park added another run in the bottom of the fourth inning with no outs on a sacrifice fly to left field. She finished the day 1-for-1 with two runs scored, two RBIs and two walks, while also drawing two walks.
After the game, Park said, “I realize now that it was my first international debut. It’s the first time I’ve worn my national team jersey on the field and heard the national anthem. I don’t know how to describe it, but there was a ‘tingle’ in my heart.”
The key to her three hits, including two RBIs, was “training every day right up until the day before I left for Canada.” “I took a break from baseball for a while (to study abroad) and joined the national team late (in early July),” Park said, “but after playing baseball for so long, my defense was really bad. I couldn’t see the bounds of the ball, so I wanted to try my best to hit, so I practiced batting practice every day and found my groove,” she explained.
Park had two chances to score the winning run, but she converted both. “Before, when I was faced with the bases loaded, I would get impatient and get physical, so I never took advantage of the opportunity,” Park said. “So this time, I thought, ‘I’ll just go in and do my thing. I just need to center the ball properly,’ and I saw the ball well. I think my swing came through,” he smiled.
Park was overjoyed to get a hit in her first at-bat. “At that point, I was clapping after stepping on the base by myself. I was down 0-2, and I was so happy to score a run. I was so frustrated because I wasn’t playing well. I was frustrated with my hitting and overall frustration, but I thought, ‘I finally helped the team,’ so the ceremony came naturally,” he laughed. 토토사이트
He started at second base that day and caught every ball that came his way out of the infield. When the ball went to second base, she played a relaxed defense.
Park said, “I felt light today. I was able to instinctively get off to a good start as soon as the opposing hitters hit the ball right on the bat. During the national team practice games, I was nervous when the ball came in front of me, but today, I felt like the ball was coming to me for the first time in a long time.” She was in top form.