Perhaps the most improbable softball game in state history began on Tuesday between Platt and New Britain.
After completing six innings in a little more than four hours, what is believed to be the highest scoring game in Connecticut history was called due to darkness, tied at 43-43.
“It is absolutely amazing,” Platt coach Jen Duell said. “I have been playing the game and coaching for a while and I have never seen a game like Tuesday, and the fact that we have an inning left is even more amazing.”
According to the National Federation of High School Associations national record book, the 86 runs scored thus far ranks third all-time in combined runs scored, following a 95-run contest in California in 2011 and a 94-run game out of Massachusetts in 1983.
Platt (8-9) and New Britain (3-11) will begin the seventh inning Tuesday, where at least one more run will be added to the record-breaking game.
“Apparently, it is close to a national record,” Duell said. “At what point do you just go for the record, you’ll never be in this situation again. But no, we are going to let the girls just play their game.”
It has not been a clean game to this point, with 11 errors and a total of 66 walks between both teams.
“It was frustrating from a softball standpoint with the number of walks and errors, the stats were obnoxiously crazy,” Duell said. “What I was blown away with was that the girls on both teams were in it the whole time.”
Throughout, players on both teams remained invested in winning the game, battling through numerous comebacks regardless of the deficit.
“I have coached at every level and I have never seen anything close to that,” New Britain assistant coach Joel Simmone said. “It was over four hours and they are usually pretty quick. There was one point I think we were up 18 runs and I knew in my gut there was no way that was a safe lead.”
The back-and-forth battle continued right up until the moment where the game was officially called.
“We were up 43-40 with two outs and an 0-2 count,” Simmone said. “We decided to bring the outfield in and this girl hit a shot over the right fielder’s head. All three runs scored and she had a standup triple. We stranded her at third base but that’s how they tied it up.”
Sophomore Saniya Carraway delivered the clutch triple for Platt, tying the game just before it was called by the umpires.
“The game was called due to darkness and I went out to tell my players,” Duell said. “The first thing they asked was ‘When are we playing that last inning, can we play tomorrow?’. I was at the point of ‘when is this over?’ but they wanted to win and wanted to keep going. It really showed the dedication and perseverance of both teams.”
“I think the umps had enough,” Simmone said. “They said either tie, come back and play one inning or come back and play seven. We are going to come back and play one and see what happens.”
When the game resumes on Tuesday, Platt will likely activate its ace Emily Hart who had been sidelined since May 12.
“A week prior my sophomore starting pitcher, who is averaging 12 strikeouts a game and is batting over .400 took a line drive to the shin, putting her in a boot,” Duell said. “So we went from having a strong pitcher to the point where we had no one who could consistently throw it over the plate.”
Platt suffered three mercy-rule losses since losing Hart, but will try to use her off the bench in the seventh inning on Tuesday.
“I did not put her on the lineup card, because I did not think she would have a potential to play in the game,” Duell said. “She was trying to show kids how to pitch while sitting in the dugout. My AD reached out to the umpire in chief, but based on the book it looks like I can add her to the lineup card and I would just get an official strike against me.”
Regardless of how the game ends once it is resumed, it will be an irreplaceable memory for those involved and will stand alone in Connecticut softball history.
“It was fun, the girls had a blast,” Simmone said. “It was something they will remember for the rest of their lives. We all have a picture of the scoreboard to keep for prosperity but it was an amazing feat for all of those hours to go by and it be tied at 43.”
New Britain 43, Platt 43
(Suspended, darkness, will resume Tuesday)