Alabama Crimson Tide: Montana Fouts might be Tide best in any sport

Pool Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.
Pool Photo/Gary Cosby Jr. /

More than a few Alabama Crimson Tide fans think Montana Fouts might be the best UA player in the 2020-21 academic year. Not just the best softball player – the best player among all the athletes on Alabama Crimson Tide teams.

Suggesting Fouts might be the best Crimson Tide player in a year when an Alabama Football player won the Heisman Award borders on heresy. How could it be that Montana Fouts might be a better player than DeVonta Smith, arguably the best, and certainly the most honored Alabama Crimson Tide receiver of all time?

Every Crimson Tide fan can provide their preferred answer. Those on the side of Fouts being the best player are not necessarily claiming Montana is the best athlete. Many athletes from many different Crimson Tide sports would be in consideration as the best athlete.

The argument for Fouts turns on one word – domination. She was dominating long before the Friday night perfect game against UCLA. For the season, her record is 27-3, with 344 strikeouts against 137 hits and an E.R.A. of 1.43.

Coming down the stretch for the Crimson Tide, Fouts has been sensational. Going back to the May 8 win over Ole Miss, Fouts’ 9-0 record includes 120 strikeouts while allowing only 34 hits. In two Women’s College World Series (WCWS) games, Fouts has given up two hits to 43 batters. Thirty of the 42 outs in the two Tide victories came from Montana’s strikeouts.

Going into their game against the Crimson Tide, Arizona had a team batting average of .326. The team batting average for UCLA before facing Fouts was .320. The combined team batting average for Arizona and UCLA against Montana Fouts was .047.

Becoming the fifth player ever (and the first in 21 years) to pitch a perfect game in the WCWS is spectacular. The two-game domination of the Wildcats and Bruins might be even more impressive.

Alabama Crimson Tide and Fouts

Montana and the Alabama Crimson Tide are not finished. There is work left to do and three more games to win. Next up Sunday afternoon for the Crimson Tide is a semi-final with the Tide getting two shots if needed to advance to the National Championship series.

Fouts does not have to be as good as she was against Arizona and UCLA. Something less should be enough to win the semi-final battle. In a championship series, possibly against the ‘baddest’ bats in college softball, Fouts will be challenged. If it is the Tide vs. the Oklahoma Sooners and their NCAA-best .417 team batting average, Fouts will need some runs from her teammates. As long as Montana keeps ‘spinning it’ with her standard velocity, movement and accuracy, the odds favor the Crimson Tide.

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Fouts consistently throws over 70 mph, which is comparable to a baseball being thrown at 100+ miles per hour. With her long stride and the ball traveling only 35 feet to the plate; batters have just over three-tenths of a second to decide to swing and try to connect.