Montana Fouts, knee brace and all, came in for 5-seed Alabama to close the door on 12-seed Northwestern on Saturday night in Game 2 of the Tuscaloosa Super Regional in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The Crimson Tide's 2-1 victory evened the best-of-three series at one game apiece, forcing a decisive Game 3 for Sunday afternoon on the same field.
Fouts pitched the final 2.2 innings, retiring all eight batters she faced while striking out three. That included the final batter, arguably Northwestern's best hitter in Jordyn Rudd, who tried to check her swing on Fouts' final pitch but failed to do so.
Rudd was 2-for-2 on the night and had driven in Northwestern's only run when she stepped to the plate in the seventh.
Ashley Prange led the Alabama offense, going 2-for-4 and driving in the game-winning run to break up a 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh inning.
Jaala Torrence started in the circle for Alabama, as Fouts continues to recover completely from a knee injury suffered during a recent SEC Softball Tournament game. Torrence pitched the first 4.1 innings, giving up seven hits and one run while walking two and striking out four.
The teams will play the deciding Game 3 Sunday at 4 p.m. ET, with the winner earning a spot on the Women's College World Series and the loser going home for the season. It will be televised by ESPN and ESPN+.
Check back later for the full recap.