You may have heard the baseball/softball term "hitting for the cycle" before. It happens in less than 1% of all MLB baseball games. This occurs when a batter hits a single, double, triple, and home run in the same game.
There are other rare events in baseball and softball including no-hitters, perfect games, perfect innings, and 3 pitch innings.
There is one feat, however, which is the rarest of them all. In fact, it's so rare, you probably never even heard about it. It's called the "homerun cycle." This is when a batter hits a solo, 2-run, 3-run, and grand slam home run all in the same game.
In February 2019, a University of Arkansas softball player established this feat. It has only happened twice in affiliated baseball, with the last instance occurring in 2022.
Here is where the story gets interesting...
According to Yahoo Sports, Division I softball averaged one home run every 49.4 plate appearances in 2018. Using that stat and combining it with the chances of having the necessary runners on base, the odds of hitting for the home run cycle are 1-in-1.5 billion - or about five times less likely than winning the Powerball lottery.
Here is where the story gets really interesting...
On May 22, 1979, a spry sophomore Pioneer softball player slugged her way towards immortality within the West Greene record book. Lorie Wise (Hildreth) swung fast and steady on that late spring afternoon. She launched moonshot after moonshot, again and again, keeping her team in the game against a strong Carmichaels squad.
Here is where the story gets amazingly interesting...
A batter hitting the homerun cycle accounts for 10 RBIs scored. Anytime your team can plate 10 runs, you've put yourself in a position to win a ballgame. Unfortunately, despite Lorie's herculean effort at the plate, the Lady Pioneers fell behind early and eventually lost the game that day.
I guess the old adage is true, defense wins championships.