Except a little history was on the line. Fairfield's Alicia Hollowell came into the game needing just five strikeouts to break the national career record and reach the magical 2,000 mark.
Hollowell made history in the fourth inning of the Falcons' 3-0 victory, getting her 2,000th career strikeout and breaking the previous national record of 1,999 set last year by LaTanya Coates of Bangor, Mich. She went on to finish with a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts and pushed her career total to 2,006.
"It is a relief to finally get it because it's been something I've been working toward for awhile," Hollowell said from her home Wednesday night. "We weren't playing one of the better teams in our league and I thought I might get it in the second inning. But it didn't happen until the fourth."
For the season, Hollowell upped her strikeout total to 237. Considering she had 641 in her sophomore season (also the national record) and 636 from last season, Hollowell may be on her way to putting about 300 or 400 strikeouts in between herself and the previous record.
"I am going to have to come up with some new goals," said Hollowell, who will travel with her team next week to the Wendy's Invitational tournament in Ashland, Ohio.
The victory over Bethel Wednesday also pushed Hollowell's career win total to 112 and put her just one behind the state record of 113 set by Tori Nyberg from Carlmont of Belmont three years ago. Hollowell already has the state record for career shutouts and is tied for the state record for career no-hitters with 37.
Despite the records, the season has been frustrating for Hollowell as the Falcons' lost their preseason No. 1 state and national ranking after their first game. They lost two more times at the Tournament of Champions in Arizona before bouncing back last week at the Best of the West tourney in Santa Maria. Hollowell had a no-hitter in a victory over Johnson of Sacramento, the top-ranked team in that area and had a no-hitter in a 1-0 nine-inning loss to Chaminade of West Hills. That extra-inning defeat turned out to be the only one for Fairfield in the event.
"It was really rough for us at the beginning by not playing any preseason games and then going straight to the Tournament of Champions," Hollowell said. "But now we're coming together and things should get better."
Looks like in some respects they already have.