OKLAHOMA CITY – A perfect game from Montana Fouts kept Alabama softball in the winner’s bracket at the 2021 Women’s College World Series as the Crimson Tide defeated the defending national champions UCLA, 6-0, Friday night.
The perfect game is the sixth in WCWS history and the first since Southern Miss’ Courtney Blades in 2000. It is the sixth postseason no-hitter for Alabama, the first postseason perfect game and the first solo perfect game of Fouts’ career.
Alabama (52-7) took the early lead over UCLA (47-6) with a pair of runs in the first inning. A three-run home run from Kaylee Tow in the fifth stretched the lead to 5-0 before an RBI groundout brought the score to its final tally of 6-0. Fouts (27-3) and the Tide defense held the Bruins off the basepaths, finishing the game with 14 strikeouts.
The win gives Alabama an off day Saturday before resuming play Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN. The Tide can potentially match up against Arizona, Florida State or Oklahoma State, who all play on Saturday.
“Well, it’s a special, first of all, it’s her birthday, so a hell of a birthday present to herself,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “Just to watch greatness is pretty cool. All of you were a witness to it. So, didn’t think she would get better from yesterday, but she did. And these are, obviously you guys know, these are good teams. I mean, this is the King of the PAC 12, the PAC 12 champions, and to throw a perfect game against legendary UCLA is something else for a kid from a small town from northeast Kentucky. So just unbelievable feeling. And I knew she had a no-hitter, but to be honest with you, I didn’t realize it was a perfect game, so Sarah Cornell had to tell me afterwards, but just fun to watch.”
“I honestly wasn’t really thinking about it,” Fouts said. “I don’t think you can think like that as a pitcher, as a player or even in the stands really, because I feel like I’m a superstitious person, but I don’t know, I was just locked in each pitch because I know that one swing away they have momentum, they’re a great hitting team, great pitching staff, we respect them so much. So I think — Murph says all the time — respect your opponents. And tonight for me I think that that just meant locking in pitch by pitch, just because I know the game could get away in a heartbeat.”