Montana Fouts won her second game at the College World Series with a perfect game against No. 2 UCLA Friday. (Alabama Athletics Photo)
Kentucky native Montana Fouts threw a perfect game for Alabama to beat UCLA 6-0 in the College World Series Friday night on her 21st birthday. It was another stunning performance by the former East Carter High School standout.
Here is everything Fouts had to say after the game.
Q. First off, happy birthday. And my question is, how does this rank as I guess one of the better birthdays you’ve ever had? Is it the best birthday you’ve ever had? Second best?
MONTANA FOUTS: Well, last year I didn’t get to spend it with my team, and the year before I think we were on our way home and that was, my birthday was the day after. So I think, if anything, we got the win, and I’m just happy to be with my teammates right now.
Q. Emphasis on just spinning the ball more. How has that elevated your game throughout the season?
MONTANA FOUTS: I mean, I love to throw hard, but the best hitters in the country, you can’t throw 90 or they’re going to hit it. I just think spin, spin, spin, and speed does help and I appreciate my speed, but at the same time, that’s not always there, so you got to rely a lot more on spin.
Q. Coach just mentioned that you told him after the last season, that was never going to happen again, the type of performance that you had. Everything that you did starting in August led to this moment. What exactly did you do to get to this point?
MONTANA FOUTS: Well, I think this point started in 2020. I think that we had to go through all of that to get where we’re at and feeling what we’re feeling right now. But, honestly, I was just trusting in the process, like Murph says all the time, that’s what we need to do and I was trusting that process, I was trusting God’s process, and my coaches. I just think they believe in me, so why can’t I believe in myself.
Q. From your excitement, the biggest person that was more excited was your dad. So I have to know, how does it feel, not only this for you, but also your family who have been with you since the beginning?
MONTANA FOUTS: You know, I’m just so grateful for them. Obviously, I wouldn’t be where I’m at without them. But I think that the most exciting part is we got the win, so I think that we’ll celebrate a little bit tonight and then we’re going to move on and get ready for the next one.
Q. At what point in the game did you realize you had some things special going and once you did how hard was that to get that out of your mind and then just focus on getting the next batter out?
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.
Q. Can you talk about the incident in the second inning where your necklace got wrapped up in your mask? What was going on there and has that ever happened before?
MONTANA FOUTS: It’s only happened a couple of times, but usually I can get it undone myself. I think I left a couple of pitches, I wasn’t really happy with the spin on them and I thought they were a little flat, so I ran from the dugout and I told Steph, I thought Jesus was trying to tell me something, spin it a little bit, so I think that’s what he was trying to tell me, so.. (laughing).
Q. In the last seven NCAA tournament games, your team has been able to get off to a hot start and score first in four of those. Talk about how great it is to know you go out to the circle and have a lead and how much more comfortable that gives you a calming presence?
MONTANA FOUTS: You definitely get more comfortable, but I just know that Murph says all the time again, If they don’t score, we win. But at the same time, we do have to score. I think that they just want it so much, each and every batter, they’re just battling every pitch and I just think that they have so much heart and I think that they deserve everything right now.