Mexico’s women’s team has already made history at the World Cup

THUNDER BAY, Ontario – This is the first time Mexico’s women’s team has participated in an international tournament. Facing Nicaragua in the Women’s Pan American Baseball Championship, Mexico gave the ball to their starter Rosie del Castillo. Del Castillo grew up playing against men’s teams and had already made history by becoming the first professional pitcher in his country when he joined the Damanche Blue Jays, a Meritana League team in Yucatan.

Del Castillo, along with Veronica Romo, tossed a no-hitter and no run.

It is a way to make yourself known internationally.

“At the time, I didn’t know I was a no-hitter,” she told during the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup this week, via WBSC announcer Tony Alvarez. “All the girls contributed a lot to getting that win and more.”

“It was incredible for them and for the team,” Mexico team manager Vicente Jimenez said. “Players have played a lot in their home states to try to put women’s baseball on the map. It means a lot to them and the team, especially Mexican baseball.”

Mexico — which started Week 12 — didn’t throw a no-hitter again, but their performance this week was almost historic. Playing in the Women’s Baseball World Cup for the first time, they showed incredible talent in every way to qualify for the 2024 finals again in Thunder Bay next summer.

Denis Perez Velasquez scored 8 runs as Mexico beat Hong Kong 16-6.

Thanks to Del Castillo’s five scoreless innings and Edith De Lieja’s three hits, they dispatched South Korea 10-0.

They played a close game against Canada–before a rain break–after the USA beat Canada and Hong Kong 23-0 and 29-0, before losing to the USA 2-0. . It may go without saying, but Mexico has established itself as a strong contender in women’s baseball.

“Everybody wanted to punch that ticket to the finals, and that’s what happened,” shortstop Samaria Benitez said. “We’re very pleased with what we’ve accomplished.”

Benitez gained viral fame for his spectacular performances in the middle of the infield during the tournament. Mexico’s defense is a consistent performance compared to the sometimes flawed defense seen in other teams. This is another reason why Mexico has had a performance of exposure on the international stage.

“It was unbelievable. First of all, I dreamed of moments like this my whole life,” Benitez said. “When I was a kid, I would look at the website for highlights and I would say, ‘You know what? I want to be on that side and do such dramas.’ All of a sudden, now I’m there, and it’s amazing. It’s been a blessing and I hope we can keep it going.

Although the women’s team is a novelty internationally, it is very recognized at home. Players often face each other in national tournaments in Mexico, where each state competes for supremacy in the country.

Valerio, like many players on the Mexico national team, has spent most of her life playing against men. This includes a perfect game he threw when he was 12 years old. It is a memory that will always stand out.

“Up until that moment, I had played eight years and it never happened,” said Valerio, who pitched 5 1/2 scoreless innings in the World Cup. “But I believed in my teammates — not one woman — the coaches, the manager and the whole team. I was nervous, but I got over it and threw the perfect game.

Adriana Palma, who controlled the bats for the U.S. on Sunday, also grew up playing against men … even though she was an avid attraction at the time, receiving cash offers for every strikeout she landed.

“This guy was really nice,” Palma recalled. “I heard about him, and practically everybody told me he was going to hit a home run. So, I got ready a little bit and threw my slider — my best pitch — and then a lot of people told me they’d pay me 500 bucks to hit him.

As funny as those stories were, Palma had to dominate the men for some time before she finally earned the respect of her opponents and audience.

“Discrimination is something you see everywhere, especially players who say, ‘She’s a girl, she doesn’t shoot hard; it’s easy to give away wins,'” declared Palma. Let me give them a challenge.”

With the group stage coming to an end, the players are now returning to their homes. They will train next year, with some returning to the studio and others rejoining their respective local clubs. They will continue to surprise the world when they return to the finals next summer.

“[El avanzar a la final] It’s very important because I love baseball,” Benitez said. “I got some text messages and other messages saying, ‘I want to be a bowler, I want to play like you.’ I really respect that. You have to dedicate your life to baseball like I did, and the end result will be known.

Many thanks to Tony Alvarez and WBSC for translation assistance.

Wilmot Chandler

"Explorer. Web specialist. Beer practitioner. Alcoholaholic. Social media geek. Introvert. Food lover. Future teen idol."

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