Cabrini softball defeated Gwynedd Mercy on April 13, 8-0, but there was a bigger storyline than just a shutout victory.
Avery Byrnes, junior pitcher, threw a perfect game; the first in the history of Cabrini softball.
Wednesday afternoon in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, Byrnes took the mound in what turned out to be a historic outing.
“I felt better as each inning progressed, and once I got to the fourth inning, I knew I had the opportunity to throw a perfect game,” Byrnes said.
Byrnes retired 15 batters, getting each batter out over the span of five innings, hence a perfect game. The usual collegiate softball game is seven innings however, if a team is up by eight runs after five innings then the game will be called.
The Cavs provided Byrnes with eight runs throughout the game and after two innings, jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
“I would not have thrown a perfect game if it were not for the offense, we even mercy-ruled them, it was huge to have that run support,” Byrnes said.
Byrnes advanced to an overall season record of eight wins and five losses. The team overall went on an eight game win streak and Byrnes’ perfect game came earlier during this streak.
“I knew in the first inning that she had brought her ‘A game’ and that this was going to be a special performance,” Chris Protesto, softball head coach said. “As a team we have gained so much momentum from her outing that it ultimately has contributed largely to our current win streak.”
Byrnes credited the defense as well for making plays throughout the 15 batters that preserved her perfect game.
“I had full trust in my defense that game and having a reliable defense behind me is something I am very grateful to have as a pitcher,” Byrnes said.
The game ended on a line drive catch by centerfielder Dorian Lyles. Several groundballs and a pop-up were recorded by first baseman, Emily Wargo, as well.
“The job of the fielders are always to make the pitcher’s job easier,” Wargo said. “When Avery was out there striking batters out left and right, we all made it a priority to do whatever it takes for her to record a perfect game and that’s what we did.”
Despite throwing a perfect game, the Cavs had to do a complete turnaround and play a second game that day, a doubleheader against the same opponent Gwynedd Mercy.
“After the game we obviously congratulated Avery on her perfect game, but at the same time we had a game right after that so we had to prepare as if it was a normal win and moved right along,” Protesto said.
The second game of the doubleheader ended with the Cavs winning, 4-2, however was heavily overshadowed by the memorable outing from Byrnes; one that will be in the record books for years to come.