This past weekend, a softball player from West Alabama College named Montana Fouts threw what is now the perfect game in NCAA softball history. The game was so dominant that it may go down in softball history as one of the greatest WCC wins in history.
In the mid-1980s, it took college softball players a lot longer to make the big bucks than they do today. Now, second-year Alabama pitcher Montana Fouts is showing them how it’s done. A few weeks ago, she threw a perfect game in the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Over the past three years, this is the second perfect game she’s pitched.
A new WCWS champion is born — Alabama softball. The Alabama Crimson Tide beat Utah to claim their second title, while head coach Patrick Murphy earned his first WCWS Coach of the Year Award. In the final moments of the final game of the season, a 17-year-old named Montana Fouts, pitching for the Crimson Tide, became the first teenager to throw a perfect game in a WCWS final, against the University of Utah.
OCLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma. — As Montana Fouts led off the game against UCLA, throwing strike after strike and staggering the Olympians and everyone else, his father stood in the Alabama supporters’ section, oblivious to what was happening in front of him. As Courtney Blades-Rogers sat in a hotel room Friday night, she knew exactly what was coming. She got behind it in the fourth inning. Blades-Rogers, the last pitcher with a perfect game in the WCWS, started biting her nails. To be honest, she thought she should escort someone out. In the top of the sixth inning, her family realized that Fouts was close to the perfect matchup that would put her in the same company as Blades-Rogers in 2000, when she was a senior at Southern Miss. Her son came up to her and asked: Mom, would you be mad if she played a perfect game? 2 Connected Meanwhile, someone in the stadium approached Tim Fouts with two outs left in the seventh inning and told him: Montana will play a perfect game! I am: What? No way, how can you do that against UCLA, Tim Fouts said. There’s no such thing. I am very proud of her and shocked to be honest. I’m shocked. An hour after Montana Fouts became the fifth pitcher to throw a perfect game in the WCWS in a 6-0 win over the Bruins, and the first since the Blades-Rogers, Tim Fouts was speechless. Tim watched his daughter throw perfect passes and perfect games in high school. He had watched every game and every pitch since she started playing softball at age 7, but to see his own child make history against one of the most historic programs in college softball seemed too incredible to believe. Even though he helped Fauth prepare for this moment. Alabama’s Montana Fouts showed his dominance on the big stage with his fifth perfect game in WCWS history Friday night against UCLA. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki When Montana showed interest in pitching, Tim decided to learn from the best so his daughter would be the best. They were big fans of Royal pitcher Jenny Finch, so he asked his dad, Doug: Who teaches Jenny? Me, he said. So I want to learn from you, Tim said. Montana attended several Finch summer camps, and Tim acted as Doug did with Jenny, refusing to complicate her mechanics. Tim traveled 80 miles from his home in Charleston, West Virginia to Grayson, Kentucky, where Montana lived with his mother. When she graduated from high school, Montana was the top pitching prospect in the country, throwing 25 no-hitters and 15 perfect games, and was named the 2018 USA Today High School Player of the Year. She won 21 games as a freshman at Alabama, averaging 1.39 earned points, and seemed on her way to greatness. After an early defeat against Arizona in the season opener, Alabama coach Patrick Murphy told espnW: She’ll be one of those kids who has to tell Montana, and you’ll know right away who it is. play 0:41 Alabama’s Montana Fouts celebrates its 21st birthday. for her fifth perfect game in Women’s College World Series history. But as she entered her sophomore year in 2020, she felt something was wrong with her game. She won just three of her eight starts in the abbreviated COVID-19 season, posting an unusual 2.04 ERA. When the players were sent home indefinitely in March, she told Murphy how disappointed she was with the season. This will never happen again, she told him. She came home and Tim Fouts said Montana fished a lot, rested a lot and lay on the ground. She is also determined to rediscover the qualities that made her a pitcher with the potential to become the best player in the country. Tim calls the 2020 season a mulligan. That moment began in 2020, Montana Fouts said. I think we all had to go through that to get to where we are now and feel what we feel now. But honestly, I just trusted the process, like Murph always says, that’s what we have to do, and I trusted the process, I trusted God’s process, and I trusted my coaches. I just believe they believe in me, so why can’t I believe in myself? Back on campus, his teammates saw Fouts come back to life. If you know Montana, you know this perfect game started in August, when she worked so hard and was the first one on the field and the last one to leave, said first baseman Kaylee Towe. She is a great person, a great friend, a great teammate, and there is no better person. play 2:15 Montana Fouts made 14 aces in a perfect game, the first in the WCWS in 20 years, to win No. 1. 3 Alabama to a 6-0 win at No. 2 UCLA. Fouts has been nearly unstoppable since mid-April, when he last lost. ESPN analyst Amanda Scarborough, a former pitcher at Texas A&M, noticed the change after teammate Lexi Kilfoyle suffered an injury around the same time. When Lexi couldn’t pitch for a few weeks, the pressure on Montana Fouts increased, and she took it, Scarborough said. She wanted more, just as she wanted more at crucial moments. I got the impression that she likes to be pushed and she thrives on those moments, and she’s getting better. Just like in the regular season series, things got better in the third game. It has built and built and built to become what it is today. She went 3-0 in the SEC tournament and set a tournament record with 39 strikeouts. Their win over Florida in the championship game was their first in an SEC title game since 2006. She continued her dominance in the regional championship against Clemson, where she played two complete games and gave up 28 points. She then played another complete game in the Super Regional against Kentucky. She struck out 16 batters in the WCWS opener against Arizona and was back on the field Friday against 2019 champion UCLA. Bubba Nickels and Rachel Garcia, who were on their way to the Olympics after the WCWS, had bad luck in the first round – and that was just a harbinger of things to come. Alabama had never beaten UCLA in softball until Friday night. When Montana came in, she had a curveball, a fastball and that was it, Murphy said. She threw a high fastball as a rising ball. And she developed these throws, throws with movement, and we knew she had speed, but when she has movement, it’s something special. No one wants to waste time and everything has to be instant, and it takes time to develop these pitches. She forced herself to work to become the person she is today. If you know Montana, you know this perfect game started in August when she worked so hard and was the first one on the field and the last one to leave. Alabama first baseman, Kaylie Towe. Blades-Rogers happened to be in Oklahoma City with Georgia’s softball team, where her daughter, Britton Rogers, is a freshman pitcher. The team gathered at their hotel to watch the game, and Blades-Rogers watched Fouts, a pitcher she sometimes recommends her own daughter study. There were a few moments when the drive Blades-Rogers had hoped for almost happened. The Fouts led 3-0 at the end of the third inning before Kelly Godin threw a strikeout and then an out. Garcia and Aaliyah Jordan each had three hits in the fourth. Briana Perez led 3-0 with two errors and a strikeout in the bottom of the fifth. Blades-Rogers began to think back to their own historic achievement, a 1-0 win over Arizona in the WCWS. UCLA hit a rising ball, and I know that feeling too, because I remember the ball flying out of my hand at 3-2 and it must have been a spiral ball, Blades-Rogers said. When it flew out of my hand, I said: Oh, no, and it’s gone up. And the girl waved. So I know the feeling. When you’re a pitcher, you always have the hope and dream of doing something that big. It’s the culmination of a lot of work, a lot of sweat and a lot of tears, probably more tears than sweat. Because you’re having a great day. And you’re not having the best of days. And when you came out, she looked trapped. And that’s how I knew in the fourth inning: It doesn’t deliver a single blow. It’s amazing she did it, because it’s so hard. Blades-Rogers witnessed it, as Alexis Mack caught Jordan’s catch on a warning track to seal the victory, and the celebration that followed – on Fouts’ 21st pitch of the season. Birthday, no less – but she wasn’t angry. A little sad, yes, but not upset. How can she be like this? When you see another pitcher master his craft like Fouts did, you get a tremendous sense of pride and appreciation. Blades-Rogers said she thought Fouts would be a game changer. A lot of young pitchers will look at this and say: Hey, I want to be like her.The World Championship Series of softball (WCSS), which was formerly the Women’s College World Series (WCWS), is a series of college softball national championship tournaments started with the 1982 softball season. The WCWS is a quadrennial competition for the eight best teams in the NCAA’s Division I softball conference tournaments. The best-of-three series is held at a neutral site that rotates from one year to the next with one team hosting each year. The Alabama Crimson Tide made history this year by winning the series for the first time.. Read more about tim fouts softball and let us know what you think.
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