Sunday afternoon was a historical day for North Texas pitcher Hope Trautwein, as the senior threw the first perfect game in North Texas softball history, along with breaking an NCAA record.
The historic feat came against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, in a game that saw North Texas win 3-0. Trautwein struck out all 21 batters she faced, making her the first pitcher in NCAA history to do so.
Pitching for the last four years at North Texas, Trautwein is second to Ashley Kirk in career strikeouts, while leading the school in career earned-run average, opponents batting average, and strikeouts in a single game.
“Any time [Trautwein] gets the ball, she never surprises us with the success she has,” softball head coach Rodney DeLong said of Trautwein’s performance Sunday. “She’s the hardest worker on our team, she brings it every day.”
The perfect game is believed to be the first perfect game in NCAA Division I softball in which the pitcher faced 21 batters and struck all of them out.
21 strikeouts in itself puts Trautwein in an exclusive club that only former University of Alabama pitcher, Alexis Osorio and former University of California pitcher Michele Granger are included in.
Trautwein had previously struck out 21 batters on two different occasions: once in 2020 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and earlier this year against Southeastern Louisiana University. Sunday’s perfect game was Trautwein’s third no hitter, and her first since 2019.
Trautwein’s perfect game is the second in NCAA Division I softball this year, following Oklahoma State University’s Carrie Eberle and Kelly Maxwell’s combined perfect game versus North Texas in March–a game that Trautwein relieved in.
In terms of the season, Trautwein’s perfect game becomes her sixth win.
The Mean Green offense was able to offer Trautwein run support in the fourth inning, giving the senior pitcher leeway to be in line for the win without having to worry about lack of run support.
Trautwein closed out the performance with a swinging strikeout, and instead of an explosive reaction and celebration, the righty calmly stepped off the mound, jogging to her battery-mate, freshman catcher Ashlyn Walker, sharing a glove tap. The North Texas fielders converged around the 5 “11 pitcher sharing congratulatory high fives and smiling, acknowledging the history that they had just witnessed.
Many major news outlets acknowledged Trautwein’s achievement, most notably ESPN. The sports media juggernaut posted an article to their page and showcased the video on their flagship program, SportsCenter. Longtime analyst John Anderson remarked “wow … that’s super perfect,” in response to the perfect game.
Pitching a perfect game and striking out every batter faced is a record that only one woman in NCAA Division I softball history has achieved, and her name is Hope Trautwein.
“[Trautwein] brings it every day and she deserves all the credit and all the success in the world,” DeLong said.
Featured Image: Senior pitcher Hope Trautwein starts with the first pitch of the UNT vs. Missouri State softball game on Feb. 15th, 2020. Image by Ryan Cantrell