Pitching a no-hitter is difficult in itself. To throw a perfect game is even more impressive. To throw a perfect game and record all outs via the strikeout? Well, that was basically unheard of -- until North Texas pitcher Hope Trautwein did it on Sunday.
She struck out all 21 batters that faced her for her third career no-hitter. This one was extra special and will go down in the history books. Her performance against Arkansas-Pine Bluff was the first 21-strikeout perfect game in Division-I softball history and, according to the team staff, she never even had a three-ball count.
To put Trautwein's feat into perspective, here's a look at similar games that have taken place in college softball and MLB:
NCAA softball 21-strikeout games
- 2018: Alabama's Alexis Osorio had a 21-K game against Fordham, but it was not a perfect game
- 1991: California's Michele Granger had a 21-K game against Creighton, but it was not a perfect game
Most strikeouts in an MLB perfect game
- 2012: Giants' Matt Cain had a 14-K game against the Astros
- 1965: Dodgers' Sandy Koufax had a 14-K game against the Cubs
Despite making history, Trautwein was not thinking about the perfect game while it was happening. As she told the The Washington Post, she did not even know she was throwing a perfect game:
"I actually didn't really realize what was happening, what kind of game this would become. At the end of the game, I was just like, 'Phew, okay, another win, on to another game' because we had a doubleheader.
After the final out, a communications assistant in the school's athletic department went over to her, asking if she realized what she just did. She was shocked to hear the details of the no-hitter, since she was just so focused on the win at the time.
"Everyone's like, 'Oh it's a goal you achieved, it's pretty much impossible,'" Trautwein said. "But normally with pitchers, we just try and throw zeroes on the board in the most efficient way possible. I just never thought I'd actually do it."
Following the win, the internet got hold of the story and she said the attention softball is getting from all of this is great for the sport.
"It's crazy; my phone is blowing up 24/7. I have people texting me and congratulating me," she said. "It's huge to see how softball is affecting the sports world right now because softball is one of the fastest-growing women's sports. Personally I think that everyone should get to know softball and how fun it is."
North Texas won the game 3-0 and has a 19-9 overall record.