Having pitched five games in the previous four days, McIntosh told MaxPreps said she entered Tuesday's game "a little sore," so she "just wanted to make sure that my
fundamentals were correct and not try to overdue anything."
Instead, she overwhelmed Lincoln County, teammates and herself while becoming just the fourth pitcher in Kentucky High School Athletics
Association history to post 21 strikeouts in a seven-inning game. She was the
first to do so since Whitney Valentine pulled it off in 2003 for Elizabethtown
versus Green County.
The last perfect
perfect softball game — 21 batters, 21 strikeouts —
MaxPreps could confirm was by Shannon Becker
the first ever in New York. Before that, Cedar Grove (N.J.)
hurler Mia Faieta
pulled off the feat in a 2017 playoff game.
According to the NFHS Record Book
more than 40 pitchers have struck out 21 batters or more in a 7-inning game.
The record is 24 by Kelly Holmes of Plymouth Canton (Mich.) who sat down 24
against Walled Lake Western in 1992. There is no available list of perfect 21 K games, but clearly it is rare.
McIntosh, who will pitch next fall at Division III Berea College in Kentucky, has pitched multiple no-hitters but never a perfect game. Her previous strikeout high was 18.
"I was just completely shocked," she said Tuesday via text just hours after the victory. "In the back of my mind, I knew what was going on, but I just tried to play and not think about it."
With her dad and assistant coach Tim McIntosh calling the pitches, none of the Rockets let on they knew what was going on. But Madison knew. All of her pitches were working, primarily her rise, drop curve and fastball. She threw just one change up.
"My speed was up tonight, so my quick pitches were on," Madison said.
"By the seventh inning, I got nervous," Madison admitted. "But I just got on the mound and tried to blow it past them."
The right-hander did, She improved to 9-4 on the season while lowering her ERA to 1.75. She's struck out 136 in 84 innings.
The gem was particularly sweet considering she, like all players in Kentucky and most of the country, missed out on a 2020 season due to the pandemic.
It should also be the start of an eventful week. On Friday, she's planning on signing her letter of intent to Berea. The Mountaineers better sign her quick. After Tuesday's performance, more offers might be arriving.
"I honestly had no idea something like this was going to happen tonight," Madison said. "I am just completely on Cloud 9."