The Perfect Perfect Game

 

Hope Trautwein struck out all 21 batters Sunday in a 3-0 University of North Texas win at Arkansas-Pine Bluff yesterday. She struck out 21 batters two other times in her career, but this appears to be the first 21 strike-out perfect game in NCAA Women’s Softball history. Hope played high school softball in Pflugerville, an Austin suburb to its northeast.

I thought this was a welcome bit of fresh air amidst the MLB’s campaign to alienate most of its audience. (I would have cross-posted this in the National Pastime Group, but our group focuses on baseball, and we baseball nuts can be a bit conservative about the game’s boundaries.)

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  1. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I think you’d be fine with this on the other board.

    I’ve watched some women’s softball, and have noticed that go0d pitching tends to be dominant.  Is bunting a thing?

    • #1
  2. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Is Hope a girl? A “real girl”?   

    Just kidding – I’ve seen some of those girls pitch and I don’t think I could hit against them.

    • #2
  3. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    I’ve been coaching a casual baseball team and we’ve been talking a lot about the pitching game baseball has become (and now softball, apparently). I think it was great as a rare occurrence, but it’s prevalence makes the game unbearable.

    The most interesting games involve double plays and good fielding. Making a 13 player game a 3 player game is just tedious. For the audience and for the players.

    If baseball wants to see more audience, they need to pursue more balance and fewer shut out games.

    • #3
  4. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I think you’d be fine with this on the other board.

    I’ve watched some women’s softball, and have noticed that go0d pitching tends to be dominant. Is bunting a thing?

    I was watching a game yesterday.  I saw a lot of “swinging bunts”.   I even saw a gal score from second on a dribbler between the pitcher and first base.    68mph was the fastest pitch I saw.

    • #4
  5. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I think you’d be fine with this on the other board.

    I’ve watched some women’s softball, and have noticed that go0d pitching tends to be dominant. Is bunting a thing?

    True.  A dominant pitcher in women’s softball is a nearly unstoppable force.

    • #5
  6. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Stina (View Comment):

    I’ve been coaching a casual baseball team and we’ve been talking a lot about the pitching game baseball has become (and now softball, apparently). I think it was great as a rare occurrence, but it’s prevalence makes the game unbearable.

    The most interesting games involve double plays and good fielding. Making a 13 player game a 3 player game is just tedious. For the audience and for the players.

    If baseball wants to see more audience, they need to pursue more balance and fewer shut out games.

    I’d (sort of) analogize this to women’s college basketball in the recent era when the University of Connecticut was absolutely dominant–as in long winning streaks and winning the national title all the time.  One admires the players’ skills and the program itself, but, much like a softball game where a pitcher is so good that players can hardly put a ball in play, it’s not very interesting after awhile, once you get past the immediate talent of the great player.

    • #6
  7. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I think you’d be fine with this on the other board.

    I’ve watched some women’s softball, and have noticed that go0d pitching tends to be dominant. Is bunting a thing?

    I was watching a game yesterday. I saw a lot of “swinging bunts”. I even saw a gal score from second on a dribbler between the pitcher and first base. 68mph was the fastest pitch I saw.

    It’s also only 43 ft from the front of the rubber to the front of the plate.    68 mph is the equivalent of about 96 mph in baseball.   Takes about .43 seconds to reach the plate.  Less if you consider where the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand.

    • #7
  8. Allan Rutter Member
    Allan Rutter
    @AllanRutter

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I think you’d be fine with this on the other board.

    I’ve watched some women’s softball, and have noticed that go0d pitching tends to be dominant. Is bunting a thing?

    True. A dominant pitcher in women’s softball is a nearly unstoppable force.

    A dominant pitcher is a huge advantage in men’s fast pitch too. When I was a wee lad in SE Houston, my dad was a catcher on our church league softball team, which played fast pitch ball. This was near the NASA area in the late sixties/early seventies, so the workforce was fairly transient. We would be crushed to hear that a really good pitcher was being transferred away. Fast pitch mechanics and ball control are a tough skill to learn, but as others have commented, the shorter mound-to-plate distance makes the pitch very hard to hit, particularly if the pitcher can deliver strikes reliably (as our Ms. Trautwein clearly has mastered).

    • #8
  9. Allan Rutter Member
    Allan Rutter
    @AllanRutter

    Stina (View Comment):

    I’ve been coaching a casual baseball team and we’ve been talking a lot about the pitching game baseball has become (and now softball, apparently). I think it was great as a rare occurrence, but it’s prevalence makes the game unbearable.

    The most interesting games involve double plays and good fielding. Making a 13 player game a 3 player game is just tedious. For the audience and for the players.

    If baseball wants to see more audience, they need to pursue more balance and fewer shut out games.

    As our hapless Rangers were shut out by the Padres for the second time as we were swept, I support fewer shut out games. It probably starts when our team stops striking out in double digits each game.

    • #9
  10. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Allan Rutter (View Comment):
    Fast pitch mechanics and ball control are a tough skill to learn, but as others have commented, the shorter mound-to-plate distance makes the pitch very hard to hit, particularly if the pitcher can deliver strikes reliably (as our Ms. Trautwein clearly has mastered).

    I played in middle school and high school and the pitches were already really fast, but control was still on the table.

    Fun times.

    • #10
  11. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Hey, if it’s got pitching, hitting, baserunning and no “wokeness” it works for me. 

    • #11
  12. Gene Killian Coolidge
    Gene Killian
    @GeneKillian

    That is impressive. D-1 women’s softball players are incredible athletes. I offer this video as Exhibit A, even though the umpire blew the call.

    • #12
  13. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Hey, if it’s got pitching, hitting, baserunning and no “wokeness” it works for me.

    “Wokeness” is lurking in the wings.

    • #13
  14. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Gene Killian (View Comment):

    That is impressive. D-1 women’s softball players are incredible athletes. I offer this video as Exhibit A, even though the umpire blew the call.

    Great play!    
    When my kids were small, Little League baseball was co-ed.   Far and away the best shortstop in the league was a girl.   At some point…age 12 maybe?…girls had to  switch from baseball to softball.   Everybody was sad to see her go….except the backup shortstop on her team.  He finally got some playing time.

    • #14
  15. Allan Rutter Member
    Allan Rutter
    @AllanRutter

    A nice story by Jason Gay in the WSJ https://www-wsj-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/hope-trautwein-softball-perfect-game-11618317570. Hope has already got her undergrad degree and is a MBA student. Her pitching coach was the only one paying attention to her feat and said nothing about it, as one does.

    • #15
  16. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    And here’s a piece from our local news on Hope. 

    https://www.kvue.com/article/sports/hope-trautwein-north-texas-perfect-game-21-ks-pflugerville-hendrickson-graduate/269-53eb1d1d-1162-461e-9b02-1b2337b1e843

    • #16
  17. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    And here is a video on the King and His Court.  The video claims that Eddie could pitch 104 mph.

    • #17
  18. Allan Rutter Member
    Allan Rutter
    @AllanRutter

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    And here’s a piece from our local news on Hope.

    https://www.kvue.com/article/sports/hope-trautwein-north-texas-perfect-game-21-ks-pflugerville-hendrickson-graduate/269-53eb1d1d-1162-461e-9b02-1b2337b1e843

    Well, she is a local product!

    • #18