When Stonington (Conn.) High softball pitcher Andrea Chiaradio woke up on Saturday morning, she had no idea she was about to complete the most perfect game anyone could ever perform.
As reported by the Westerly Sun and New London Day, just hours later, Chiaradio would close out a perfect game comprised of 21 strikeouts, cementing her legacy as a Connecticut legend after all but single-handedly ensuring that Stonington would knock off Norwich (Conn.) Free Academy in Stonington's 3-0 win.
Chiaradio's "perfect" perfect game came just hours before White Sox pitcher Philip Humber tossed the 21st perfect game in MLB history, making Saturday one heck of a day for shutdown pitching.
"She seemed like she just had confidence," Stonington coach Ann-Marie Houle told the New London Day. "I don't know what the heck was going on in her mind. I'm superstitious, so people were sitting on the same buckets for seven innings. But she played center field all last year and she never complained. When the coach gives you that moment and you take it ... good for her.
"All the parents stood up and gave her a standing ovation at the end."
While an all-strikeout perfect game might seem incredible enough, the circumstances surrounding Chiaradio's accomplishment make the feat all the more incredible. Norwich Free Academy entered Saturday's game on the back of a 27-hit, 26-7 victory on Thursday. That stood in stark contrast to Chiaradio's previous start, when the teen had been topped by a tough East Lyme squad. After the victory, Chiaradio -- who boasts a 3-1 record and 1.26 ERA after the perfect game, according to the Sun -- admitted she had been nervous about her chances against NFA based on those stats, despite previous impressive outings like her three-hit victory against Westerly (R.I.) High in Stonington's season opener.
In the end, the only thing the pitcher had to be concerned about was holding on to an ever elusive 21-strikeout perfect game, with only NFA's final hitter -- Emily Devito -- instilling any significant fear in the Stonington pitcher after Devito gamely fouled off a number of pitches to keep the game alive.