Here are the longest games in Women’s College World Series history, taken from the official NCAA softball record books

Innings Team vs. opponent (score) Year
25 Texas A&M (1) vs. Cal Poly Pomona (0) 1984
*17 Oklahoma (7) vs. Florida (5) (17 inn.) 2017
17 Arizona (1) vs. Kansas (0) 1992
17 UCLA (2) vs. South Carolina (1) 1983
15 Florida (9) vs. Nebraska (8) 2013
15 Oklahoma State (3) vs. CSUN (2) 1994
14 Arizona (2) vs. UCLA (0) 1997
14 Iowa (9) vs. Michigan (7) 1995
14 Texas A&M (1) vs. UCLA (0) 1983
14 Fresno St. (1) vs. Oklahoma St. (0) 1982

*Championship Series — Game 1

Let’s take a deeper look at the four longest WCWS marathons.

25 innings | Texas A&M vs. Cal Poly Pomona (1984)

Failure wasn’t an option for Shawn Andaya. Never while growing up — thanks to her “hardcore” dad — and never while in the circle during the longest game in WCWS history.

The 1984 game between defending champion Texas A&M and Cal Poly Pomona was decided in two parts. First was 22 1/2 innings, beginning on Thursday, May 24. A rain delay halted the scoreless play, and the game resumed the next afternoon at 4:30 p.m for 2 1/2 more innings, before finally ending with an Aggies 1-0 victory. 

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The Austin American-Statesman claimed the rain rescued both teams that Thursday night. Andaya disagrees. The postponement to the next day was an added hurdle to a never-ending marathon. 

In front of a crowd of 6,000, the freshman had thrown all 22 scoreless innings that first night. “I’m pretty old school,” Andaya told NCAA.com. “I never ice down, but I knew from that many innings — and it was a little cool — that I would probably be really sore the next morning. I wasn’t looking forward to that, and I would’ve preferred to just keep going, but it wasn’t possible.” 

After all, that’s how her dad taught her about failure. “If you have the physical conditions to keep going — I just kept going,” Andaya said. She awoke that Friday morning to her arm feeling like a side of beef, but Aggies coach Bob Brock expected her to finish what she started. It took an hour and a half of tossing to her catcher before she felt comfortable entering the circle for the final two innings of the game.

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Andaya wasn’t the only one preparing to return to the circle once play resumed. Cal Poly Pomona’s Rhonda Wheatley entered play during the fourth inning on Thursday and returned for the second day. She and teammate Tammy Delp, who pitched the first 3.1 innings, had combined to match Andaya’s zeroes on the scoreboard. 

Wheatley’s slingshot motion made her a striking opponent to Andaya’s windmill action. 

“I’d never seen a slingshotter who could throw like her,” Andaya said. “We could not hit her. She was just unbeatable that day.”

That is until the bottom of the 25th inning, when Andaya drove in the game-winning run off Wheatley.

“When you’re in a game like that and you’re a hitter and a pitcher and you get the opportunity to help yourself, my batting average goes up tremendously,” Andaya said. “I’m batting 1.000 at that point.” 

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With Josie Carter on third after leading off the inning with a double and advancing to third on a groundout, Andaya hit a grounder up the middle. Second baseman Kathy Powell’s throw home was late. Aggies win.

After a 5-hour, 50-minute scoreless deadlock Thursday night, the marathon ended on a tricky play at home 24 hours later. 

Andaya sometimes forgets who drove in the winning run after 6:13 total time of play. But when reminded, she vividly remembers her sprint to first base.

“We’re desperate here. I ran my butt off (hoping that I would be safe), turned around and looked and everybody was jumping,” Andaya said. “I was like, “Holy crap it’s over.'”

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Along with pitching the entire 25-inning game and driving in the winning run, Andaya struck out 15 batters, walked five and allowed 11 hits. The Daily Press in Newport News, VA, coined the freshman second-team All-American an “iron woman.”

Cal Poly went on to play Fresno State in a 12-inning game later that day. The Broncos lost 1-0 on a wild pitch — another tricky play at home. The team went 37 innings in two games without scoring a run. Cal Poly had to drop the softball program in 1993 after seven appearances in the WCWS.

The Aggies advanced to the championship game in 1984, where they lost 1-0 to UCLA.

17 innings | Oklahoma vs. Florida (2017)