The Elusive Immaculate Inning

I thought tonight was the night.

Kopps was 8 for 8 in his first inning before the ground out.

I’ve seen a couple of perfect games, start to finish, live on TV. I saw JD Martinez’s four homer game in 2017, a handful of no-hitters, and a couple unassisted triple plays.

But the Immaculate Inning eludes me. In the Majors, it’s happened 101 times since 1889 (it happens more now due to high strikeout rates).

It’s easy to see unusual things nowadays. You hear about perfect games brewing, for example, and you can tune in. But the Immaculate Inning is special because it’s over before you know it.

This was a college game obviously, so it’s probably not as rare. But Kopps had me on the edge of my seat for a moment.

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Hope Trautwein of North Texas had three immaculate innings in her perfect softball game against UAPB a couple of weeks ago. But it is very rare. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.

Two things make it so rare: First, one out of three hitters is probably going to get the bat on the ball, at least to foul one off and see a fourth pitch. Second, pitchers don’t tend to throw nine straight strikes (or even want to, such as the waste pitch on 0-2).

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