Montana Fouts celebrated her 21st birthday to perfection Friday night.
The Alabama pitcher threw just the fifth perfect game in Women’s College World Series history, blanking UCLA 6-0. It was also the first perfecto in the Series in . . . 21 years.
The 21st out was tense for a second — UCLA’s Aaliyah Jordan hit a line drive to the warning track in left field that Alabama’s Alexis Mack hauled in.
This was Fouts’ second win in as many nights in the Series. She tossed a two-hitter Thursday in beating Arizona 5-1.
The Crimson Tide (52-7) are now a win away from playing in the best-of-three championship finals. Their next game will be Sunday vs. the winner of Saturday’s elimination game between Oklahoma State and either Arizona or Florida State.
Who is Montana Fouts?
Montana Fouts has been one of the best softball pitchers in the SEC the past three years, with a career 51-12 record and 1.47 ERA.
She has been dominant as a junior after pitching in just eight games during an abbreviated 2020 season. Fouts has struck out 344 batters in 210 2/3 innings after averaging slightly more than a K per inning her first two seasons. She fanned 14 Bruins on Friday and 16 Wildcats on Thursday.
“I was telling (my teammates) this morning I just felt so different compared to last year, just the way this team has lived through adversity. How can you not give everything you’ve got when they’re standing there?” Fouts told ESPN’s Holly Rowe in a postgame interview.
Even though this was Fouts’ first collegiate no-hitter, she has plenty of experience throwing them; according to her Alabama bio , she authored 15 perfect games and 25 no-nos in high school. That helps to explain why she was a three-time Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year.
This also isn’t her first go-round in the Women’s College World Series. She shut out Arizona and Oklahoma in elimination games in 2019 after losing to the Sooners in the Tide’s first game. Oklahoma eventually eliminated Alabama in bracket play.
Fouts will get a chance at revenge this year if Alabama and OU meet in the finals.