Montana Fouts ties career-high in strikeouts leading Alabama softball past Arizona in first round of WCWS
No. 3 Alabama softball (51-7) advanced to the winners bracket after a 5-1 victory over No. 11 Arizona (41-14) on Thursday in the first round of the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
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Here are three things we learned as the Crimson Tide advanced at the WCWS:
Fouts near perfect
Fouts pitched 14 innings with a combined 14 strikeouts and no runs allowed as a freshman in the 2019 WCWS.
It was more of the same for the unanimous NFCA All-American, who picked up her 26th win of the season and 21st appearance with 10-plus strikeouts, bringing her season total to 330. She’s had eight starts in a row with 10-plus strikeouts.
After recording the first out via a groundout, Fouts reeled off eight straight strikeouts before giving up a hit. She also struck out six in a row from the fifth inning on and did not record a single walk.
She struck out the side in four innings. Batters four through nine all struck out two times. She allowed a solo home run in the seventh inning.
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Bats awake early, stay up late
The Crimson Tide jumped out to a lead in the first inning for the third time in six NCAA Tournament games behind back-to-back walks from Bailey Hemphill and Kaylee Tow and a single from Jenna Johnson.
Hemphill brought her career total to 63 with a solo home run in the third inning.
In the sixth inning, the Crimson Tide scored three runs with two outs.
Savannah Woodard scored on a Maddie Morgan double. Pinch-hitter Abby Doerr hit a two-run home run on an 0-2 count, her second home run of the year.
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Win streak travels to OKC
The victory gives the Crimson Tide its 19th win in a row, 17th against a ranked opponent and first away from Rhoads Stadium since the Georgia series (April 30-May 2).
Alabama is now looking for its second win in OKC, something it has done in the last six of the eight WCWS appearances since 2008.
Alabama plays at 8:30 p.m. Friday (ESPNU) against the winner of Florida State and UCLA.
A win Friday would put the Crimson Tide in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Sunday (ESPN).
A loss Friday would put the Crimson Tide against the winner of Oklahoma and Georgia at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN).
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