Japan All-Star Series Diary: Team USA’s Arrival

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The USA Softball Women’s National Team is in Fukushima, Japan for the Japan All-Star Series, which will take place Aug. 6-8. No. 1 Team USA is playing No. 2 Japan in a three-game series held at Azuma Stadium (Fukushima, Japan) and Yokohama Stadium (Yokohama, Japan).

Team USA and University of Tennessee assistant coach Chris Malveaux will be providing his insight throughout the stay:

Hello all!  This is the first time I’ve ever done any sort of a daily journal like this, so please bear with me! It’s truly an honor to have an experience like this, competing with the Women’s National Team as well as coming to Japan for the first time in my life.  I’m very humbled to be a part of this.

In our second full day here, I’ve been able to see a lot of things that are very admirable. The people here are incredibly respectful of everyone they come across. They have been so welcoming so far in our visit.  It’s pretty neat to be able to see their culture up close and personal.

As for being with the Women’s National Team, it’s a great honor to be around these athletes. Almost all are still in college, but they all act like professionals. 

Day 1 

We arrived in Fukushima two nights ago at around 8 PM local time in Japan. We proceeded to get to work ASAP.  In our first full day here yesterday, we went to practice right away at 9:30 in the morning at Shinobugoaka Baseball Stadium. We were able to get out and move around, take some BP and get some defense in while the pitchers went through bullpens. Right away, we were reminded just how skilled these athletes are. I’m sure they were jet-lagged, but they got after it.

Day 2

We have a different schedule than we did on Day 1. There was one little odd moment in the morning, before 9 AM. There was a very small earthquake and you can feel it, especially on the 10th floor where our rooms are. I definitely wasn’t used to that. We didn’t have practice until the afternoon, so we were able to go to this small CrossFit gym near the hotel. It was only about a five-minute walk from the hotel. It definitely had all the necessities. We split up into two groups and each went for an hour. After lunch, we headed out to the field for practice. Since it rained all day and into the evening, we ended up practicing at Azuma Stadium – one of the venues in last year’s Olympic Games. We went into the cages underneath and got some work in. A little bit of defensive work, some hitting and the pitchers were able to throw. It would’ve been nice to get outside, but we still got some good work in.

The CrossFit Gym
Shinobugoaka Baseball Stadium