As the Women's College World Series continues, each loss in the softball tournament marks the end of college careers for many players — including Montana Fouts, the All-American pitcher from the Alabama Crimson Tide.
When asked what her career at Alabama meant to her and if she could reflect and how she was feeling, Fouts managed to get three words — "Shoot. It's tough." — before getting visibly emotional.
After taking a couple of seconds, she continued, saying, "Like Murph [Crimson Tide head coach Patrick Murphy] said" — and got emotional again, saying that she promised she would "get it out."
You can't help but watch the above video and feel for the 23-year-old softball superstar.
"These people are my everything. They really are. I couldn't have asked for a better place to spend my dream. This has always been my dream. And I will have people for the rest of my life, so, I don't even have the words. I don't know if I'll ever have the words for this place and what Murph and the coaches and these teammates mean to me. I have a home," she finished.
Following Alabama's elimination, the SEC Network posted a graphic honoring Fouts.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) June 3, 2023
Toward the end of the season, Fouts battled through a hyperextended knee that kept her out of the SEC Tournament until the NCAA Tournament. From there, she was seen wearing a brace on her left leg.
The Women's College World Series is a double-elimination tournament. The Crimson Tide first played on June 1 against the Tennessee Volunteers, losing 10-5. They had a chance to stay alive with a win over the Stanford Cardinal on June 2 but fell 2-0 after a Sydney Steele performance that included a home run in the top of the seventh inning.
Fouts departs from Alabama after playing from 2019-2023, having committed in 2014, her freshman year of high school.
Fouts finishes with 1,181 strikeouts, a 100-32 record, four no-hitters and an earned run average of less than 2.0.
The list of accolades is long but includes the following:
- NFCA National Pitcher of the Year (2021)
- WCWS All-Tournament Team (2021)
- SEC Tournament MVP (2021)
- SEC Co-Pitcher of the Year (2021)
- First Team All-American, twice (2021, 2023)
- Second Team All-American, twice (2019, 2022)
- SEC Freshman of the Year (2019)
This might not be the last time we see Fouts suit up for softball, though. She was drafted in the sixth round (23rd) overall by the Smash It Sports Vipers in the Women's Professional Fastpitch Draft on April 17. The league officially launched in June 2022 and features four teams, including the Smash It Sports Vipers.
Regardless, Fouts finishes her career as one of the best athletes in Alabama sports history. Her impact was immeasurable, leading the Tide to WCWS berths in 2019, 2021 and 2023. She was undoubtedly the face of college softball at one point in her career and deserves a statue outside Rhoads Stadium.
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