'It was a wild game': South Mountain, Metro Tech softball teams combine to score 93 runs

South Mountain, Metro Tech played a six-inning softball game that lasted 4 hours, 17 minutes

Richard Obert
Arizona Republic

The Arizona Interscholastic Association is nearly finished compiling state softball records, but not quite gotten to the team scoring records.

It can probably put Tuesday's game between Phoenix Union High School District schools South Mountain and Metro Tech at the top.

South Mountain outlasted host Metro Tech 54-39 in a game that lasted 4 hours and 17 minutes and caused Metro Tech coach James Irvine to turn the lights back on due to an automated system that shuts down the lights at a certain time each night.

The game started a little after 3:45 p.m.

South Mountain and Metro Tech combined to score the third-most runs in a high school softball team in the nation.

"I was ready to be there until 10 o'clock at night," Irvine said. "Typically, softball games don't take that long. That was actually the second time that has happened to us. It happened to our JV team. They had a game at 5:45 and the lights turned off at 8."

Tuesday's game ended, actually, an inning early due to the 10-run rule.

South Mountain put 17 runs on the board in the top of the fifth, then 16 more in the sixth. Metro Tech countered with 11 runs in the bottom half of the fifth but could only muster six more in the sixth, causing the game to end.

The 93 combined runs, according to documented records, were the fourth-most ever scored in the nation for a high school softball game.

Last year, in Kansas, Udall defeated South Haven/Caldwell 50-46. MaxPreps had reported a year earlier that the most combined runs ever scored for a softball game came in 2011 when Cuyama Valley beat Coast Union 48-47 in California.

According to National Federation of State High School Association, in 1983 there were 94 combined runs between two Massachusetts' teams in an 88-6 game

So South and Metro Tech came just three runs shy of tying the national record.

"It was a wild game!," Irvine said in an email. "The umpire had a pretty consistent tight strike zone and my pitchers just couldn't find it."

Seth Polansky of the AIA, in the process of finishing up the state softball records, said in 1984 Mayer defeated Salome 42-40. But he said he would have to dig deeper to say for sure that was the state record for combined softball runs in a game. He said he found in 2021 that Duncan beat Fort Thomas 24-23 and 36-35 in their two matchups.

On Tuesday, Metro Tech's four pitchers — two who normally play in the infield — combined for 44 walks. That doesn't count the several hit batters. South Mountain had just 11 hits to rack up 54 runs, according to the stat sheet that Irvine provided.

South Mountain used one pitcher the entire game, walking nine batters.

Irvine said his student manager wasn't too sure how to differentiate between a hit and an error, but added that "the runs are 100% correct."

South Mountain coach Robert Quihuis has not returned a message from The Republic. South Mountain doesn't list a roster on MaxPreps, but, according to the Metro Tech's stats, the Jaguars had one player go 1 for 1 with seven RBI and five walks and seven runs scored.

Metro Tech's Maria Vasquez, Emily Chairez and Diana Gutierrez, who all batted in a row in the order, combined for 18 RBI, according to the Metro Tech stats.

The teams combined to throw 527 pitches. There were 14 total strikeouts and 64 walks between them. Metro Tech had 16 doubles, three triples and one inside-the-park home run.

Last week, pitching was much better for Metro Tech in a 33-11 win over South Mountain.

Metro Tech is 2-16-1 this season, which is an improvement over last year when it went 0-23. South Mountain won its first game since a season-opening 10-3 victory over Phoenix Washington at a tournament.

Before putting up 54 runs on Tuesday, South Mountain had scored a total of 45 runs in 15 games.

Metro Tech's scoreboard looked like football shootout was going on.

"Someone texted and said, 'That's not even a football score, that's like a basketball score,' " Irvine said.

Irvine is proud of his team.

"Metro Tech is not known for being a powerhouse in sports," he said. "I have girls that left that game that night and didn't get home until 10:30 because they had to take the city bus. Then, they had to get up the next morning to catch a bus to get to school.

"A few years ago, I would get girls who played volleyball in the fall season and basketball in the winter season and come to me during the spring and had not won a game. Or they might have won a handful of games. These girls as athletes and people continue to impress me by showing up every day and have fun and play just because they want to play."

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert atrichard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter@azc_obert