David Wells did it with a nasty hangover. Don Larsen pulled it off in the 1956 World Series. Sandy Koufax struck out 14 in his. Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott probably can’t even remember all of theirs.
All of those legends have pitched at least one perfect game. None of them ever accomplished what North Texas softball pitcher Hope Trautwein did when she toed the rubber against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday.
No exaggeration needed: Trautwein struck out all 21 batters she faced in what is believed to be the first “perfect” perfect game in NCAA Division I history.
Hope Trautwein’s “Perfect” Perfect Game
That, my friends, is true perfection.
The 5-foot-11 senior from Pflugerville, Texas, sent every batter she faced back to the dugout in a 3-0 win. She caught ’em looking. She got ’em swinging. Batters had no idea how to even put the ball in play against the Mean Green Strikeout Machine.
Her “perfect” perfect game was historic, too. It’s the first seven-inning perfect game in which all 21 outs were strikeouts in Division I softball history. The Conference USA pitcher did something not even Abbott, Osterman or Jennie Finch ever did.
According to NCAA records dug up by ABC13, only two D-I pitchers have notched 21 strikeouts in a seven-inning game. Alabama’s Alexis Osorio did it against Fordham in 2018. California’s Michele Granger pulled it off against Creighton in 1991. Neither of those were perfect games, though.
“That was a great performance by Hope,” North Texas head coach Rodney DeLong said postgame. “Any time she gets the ball, she never surprises us with the success she has. She’s the hardest worker on our team, she brings it every day and she deserves all the credit and all the success in the world.”
This isn’t even the first time this season Trautwein has struck out 21 batters in a game. She did that against Southeastern Louisiana in February but also surrendered five hits and two runs.
Here’s what she looks like from behind the rubber:
Congrats to Hope Trautwein on etching her name in the NCAA record books.