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6th Annual Pacific Rim Championships
Nov. 1, 2018
HANAMAKI CITY, JAPAN – The Senior Softball USA Team won the 6th Annual Pacific Rim Championships here Oct. 20-21.
The SSUSA Team, made up of 10 senior players from eight states and Canada, went 1-1 in seeding to advance to the Championships single-elimination games. The SSUSA team beat top-seeded Taiwan Team 11-3 and then Japan 9-6 to win the title.
This is the second time in six years that the SSUSA Team has won the Pacific Rim Championships.
The Pacific Rim Slowpitch Softball Federation includes teams from Japan, China, Taiwan and the United States. The tournament rotates among those four countries each year. This year, the winning team elected to be called Team USA/Canada because it was made up of players from both countries.
Team USA/Canada and a local Japanese team gather for a group photo following a practice
“The purpose of these Championships is to promote slow-pitch softball throughout the Pacific Rim and established international friendships among the players,” said Terry Hennessy, manager of the USA/Canada team and US delegate to the federation.
The USA/Canada team, played three practice games to warm up with the very soft “Joyful ball” in Hanamaki City against different local Iwate Prefecture senior teams. They also met with Hanamaki Mayor Toichi Ueda along with representatives from the Chinese team and toured the Iwate Prefecture in Northern Japan.
The highlight of the Championships was a banquet for 500 players on Saturday night, which featured several Japanese dishes, a traditional “Dance of The Deer” and songs by each team. The American team, led by Donna Pearson, performed ‘Rolex’ (or Roly-Roly) by Ayo & Teo to the delight of the crowd, which chanted “USA”.
Photo taken by Robert Hsu from the banquet.
On the field, Jeff Senten of Tennessee was selected Best Defense for his play at shortstop, Jim Goff of Iowa won Best Offense with a .727 batting average and Drew Pearson took MVP honors with a .833 average and a superb performance in left field.
A ceremonial float used in parades celebrating spring in Iwate, Japan.
A tea pot weighing several tons and worth 2 million yen (about $20,000).
A cherry tree that is estimated to be 400 yrs old. It has split the boulder it has grown out of.
Photo taken by Robert Hsu.
Next year, the US hosts the Pacific Rim Championships in Oahu, Hawaii, on Oct. 24-25. More information on the 2019 Pacific Rim will be available in December.