It’s been a pretty good year for the University of North Texas women’s softball team.
The Mean Green have posted 19 victories against just nine losses so far. But the highlight of the season came on Sunday, in the first game of a double-header against the University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff.
Starting pitcher Hope Trautwein did something that no Division I softball player has ever done before: not only did she throw a perfect game – no hits, no walks, no batters hit by a pitch – but she struck out every single batter she faced – 21 of them over seven innings.
Trautwein, a redshirt junior studying for a master’s degree in accounting, says she could feel that she was pitching well during the game. But she didn’t realize just how well until afterwards.
“I knew I had a perfect game going, but I guess I didn’t really realize that I struck out everyone,” she told Texas Standard. “My only job is to get our team back in the dugout. So it was fun, and it was going by so fast but, I mean, I didn’t really take it in.”
Such a remarkable performance may have felt pedestrian to Trautwein because of how much success she’s had at UNT. The Pflugerville native holds school records in earned run average, opponent batting average and wins. She’s thrown two no-hitters in addition to Sunday’s perfect game.
“My freshman year, my very first no-hitter, I was so anxious. I was so nervous. Every pitch I threw, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, is this going to be the one to, you know, go ahead and break that no hitter?’” she said. “But this time I was full of confidence.”
Trautwein’s achievement has become national news. She has appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter and been written about by The Washington Post and Sports Illustrated. All of a sudden being known and being seen as a role model in the softball world has been quite an experience, she says.
“I get a lot of messages now like, ‘My daughter plays softball and she’s looking up to you,’” Trautwein said. “And that just means the world to me. It’s so incredible.”