Next spring, a 16-year-old schoolgirl will become the first female to play professional baseball in Japan. Eri Yoshida was drafted by the Kobe 9 Cruise, a team in a new independent Japanese league. The 5-foot, 114 pound pitcher successfully held male batters hitless for one inning in her tryout earlier this month. Yoshida throws a side-arm knuckleball and says she wants to be like Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, who is known for his knuckleball. "I always dreamed of becoming a professional," said Yoshida. "I have only just been picked by the team and haven't achieved anything yet." [The Independent]