Not all perfect games are equal.
North Texas pitcher Hope Trautwein not only set all 21 Arkansas-Pine Bluff batters down in order in a 3-0 win on Sunday, the senior right-hander fanned everybody who stepped into the batter's box.
The Associated Press noted two other pitchers (Alabama’s Alexis Osorio in 2018 and California’s Michele Granger 1991) registered 21 strikeouts, but neither did so in a perfect game.
This isn't even the first time Trautwein finished a start with 21 strikeouts. She pulled off the feat over eight innings in a 3-0 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in February 2020 and matched the total this February as the Mean Green downed Southeastern Louisiana 6-2.
NCAA Softball @NCAAsoftball
𝐁𝐄𝐒𝐓 𝐌𝐎𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐒 𝐎𝐅 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟎 🥎 <br>📅 Feb. 21<br><br>Hope Trautwein struck out a @ConferenceUSA record 2️⃣1️⃣ batters in a 3-0 victory over Texas A&M Corpus Christi in eight innings and boosted career strikeout total to over 400.#NCAASoftball | @MeanGreenSB pic.twitter.com/B5SZqNy3kX
"That was a great performance by Hope," head coach Rodney DeLong said of Trautwein's effort Sunday. "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."
As great as she was, she would've needed to throw a few more innings in order to write her name into the NCAA record books. Eileen Canney (Northwestern, 2006) and Cristin Vitek (Baylor, 2004) both had 28 strikeouts in a single game. They each needed extra innings to do so.
Following Sunday's game, Trautwein now boasts a 1.70 ERA with 123 strikeouts in 66 innings on the season.