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.
FROM HEAD COACH PATRICK MURPHY
"Well, it's a special, first of all, it's her birthday, so a hell of a birthday present to herself. 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."
FROM MONTANA FOUTS
"I honestly wasn't really thinking about it. 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."
- The perfect game is the sixth in WCWS history, the first since Southern Miss' Courtney Blades in 2000.
- It is the sixth postseason no-hitter for Alabama and the first postseason perfect game.
- It is the second perfect game for Fouts, her first solo and the fifth in Alabama history.
- The Tide improves its record to 22-23 all-time at the Women's College World Series.
- It is the third time Alabama has won its first two games at the WCWS, previously doing so in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
- The win was the first over UCLA in program history, breaking a streak of 10-straight wins by the Bruins in the all-time series.
- The Tide improves its current win streak to 20 games, 18 of which have come over ranked foes.
- Fouts has 22 games with double-digit strikeouts, including her last nine straight and 16 against ranked teams.
- With 344 strikeouts this season, Fouts ranks fourth on the Alabama single-season rankings, just 17 away from Jackie Traina's 2012 record of 361.
- Bailey Hemphill drew two walks to improve her career total to 236, tying Florida's Amanda Lorenz for the SEC career record
T1 | Bailey Hemphill went opposite field for an RBI double, driving in Alexis Mack (1-0, 0 Out)
T1 | Jenna Johnson dropped a single into shallow center and Hemphill scored from third (2-0, 1 Out)
T5 | Kaylee Tow slugged a three-run home run to straightaway center (5-0, 1 Out)
T6 | A run came home on an RBI groundout (6-0, 1 Out)
WOMEN'S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES (OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.) Sunday, June 6 vs. TBD - 2:30 p.m. CT - ESPN