A look back at local, national and world events through Deseret News archives.

Media coverage of women’s sports has seen its ebbs and flows through the years. Iconic moments and inspiring stories — think U.S. women’s soccer triumphs on the world stage or the recent NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament — tend to provide the boost.

But it wasn’t always the case. Regrettably, the Deseret News archives, like most newspapers, reveal too few of the great moments in girls and women’s sports.

But that doesn’t mean the magic moments didn’t happen.

On this day in 1991, the University of Utah women’s softball team began a two-game series with Creighton with an NCAA College World Series berth on the line.

And 56 innings later, you read that right, the Utes were headed to the College World Series, their first-ever time.

“It all seems like such a blur to me,” Utah coach Jo Evans said after the games, which due to the late hour, were played on May 11 and 12. “I can’t even remember everything that happened. We had so many chances to win the game, as did Creighton. We look over here and feel badly for Creighton, it’s a shame that somebody has to lose.”

A recap of the doubleheader, which was actually for the Western Athletic Conference championship, appeared in the May 13 edition of the newspaper.

Utah softball triumphs after 56-straight innings

Fortunately, ESPN has provided a recap from its vaults, at least of the NCAA-record 31-inning game:

Recap of Utah women's softball in 31-inning game

Though Utah did not have much success in the 1991 College World Series, the Utah women were back in 1994.

Evans reflected on those days — and that particular group of players — in this story.

Utah coach Jo Evans doesn’t want season to end

We were there: See Deseret News front pages from 45 big moments in Utah, world history

And times have changed, for the Utes and for women’s high school, college and pro sports. Coverage is much-improved, even-steven in some cases, and the conversation about making it better continues.

In the meantime, here are some favorite Utah softball stories from the past two years’ squads:

“‘An unforgettable feeling’: Mariah Lopez entered stadium in a cap and gown and exited with a huge win

“‘They had a little chip on their shoulder’: How No. 16 Utes ‘stepped over the line’ from average to awesome

What to know about Utah softball as it continues quest toward NCAA title

Joy in Uteville: Utah advances to College World Series for 1st time in 29 years

And for those following this year’s team, how about Thursday night’s game?

Shonni Passi blasted a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning and Utah held on for a 7-4 victory over the No. 22 Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium in Stanford, Calif.

This triumph improves Utah’s record to 33-19 in 2024 with the league semifinals and finals and perhaps postseason play on the horizon.