OKLAHOMA CITY, Ok. (WHNT) – Alabama softball was eliminated by Stanford in the Women’s College World Series Friday night ending not only their season, but the career of one of the Tide’s all-time greats.

Montana Fouts dominated the SEC and NCAA throughout her five-year career and was moved to tears following the Tide’s elimination on Friday night.

“These people are my everything, they really are. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to spend my dream, this has always been my dream,” Fouts said as she fought back tears. “I will have people for the rest of my life. I don’t even have the words and I don’t know if I ever will have the words for what this place and what Murph and the coaches and these teammates mean to me.”

Fouts was a member of the Crimson Tide Softball program for 215 wins over the last five years. She was the winning pitcher in 100 of those games.

Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy has coached the likes of former four-time All-American Jackie Traina and two-time All-American Alexis Osorio, of which he says Fouts is the most competitive pitcher to come through his program.

“She has the most competitive spirit I’ve seen in a pitcher that wears the ‘A’,” Murphy said. “She’s come through time and time again.”

Fouts, a Kentucky native, didn’t sneak up on the Alabama Softball program. She came roaring in as one of the most talented softball prospects in the country. A three-time Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year, Foutz entered the program in 2019.

As a freshman she appeared in 33 games, starting 21 of them and leading the team with a 1.39 ERA. Fouts never let a moment become too big as she struck out 14 batters in back-to-back complete games in the 2019 Women’s College World Series. She would end her freshman season with 193 strikeouts.

She was a first-team All-SEC selection and the 2019 SEC Freshman of the Year as well as named to the 2019 Women’s College World Series All-Tournament Team.

In 2020, Alabama Softball played just 22 games before the COVID-19 Pandemic shut down the season. Fouts only appeared in eight of those games but racked up 41 strikeouts.

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After the loss of the 2020 season, Fouts returned in 2021 with the most dominant season of her collegiate career. She posted a 27-4 record as a starter with a 1.61 ERA. In addition, she struck out a career-best 143 batters and earned three saves as the Tide posted a 52-9 record before falling to Florida State in the Women’s College World Series.

Once again, Fouts was named to the first team All-SEC and was named the 2021 SEC Co-Pitcher of the Year.

The 2022 season saw Fouts win 24 games as starting pitcher and strike out 275 batters. She was once again named to the First Team All-SEC marking the third time in her career.

The Crimson Tide did not make the 2022 Women’s College World Series and questions regarding Fouts return to school began to surface. She answered those questions announcing she would return to school for her fifth and final season.

In 2023, Fouts won 25 games as the Tide’s ace and posted her lowest earned run average since her freshman season in 2019. However, her final season did not come without adversity.

In the SEC Tournament quarterfinal against Kentucky, Fouts injured her knee on a pitch. The injury would cause her to miss the remainder of the SEC Tournament and the entire NCAA Regional but as she had her entire career Fouts continued to impress by returning in the NCAA Super Regional while battling the injury.

The Tide were able to sail past Northwestern to advance to the Women’s College World Series for the third time in Fouts’ career.

Alabama would go on to lose to Tennessee and Stanford in the Women’s College World Series ending Fouts’ career at Alabama as one of the best to ever play for the Crimson Tide Softball program.

All in all, Fouts ends her career in the top 10 of nearly every pitching category in the Alabama record book.

Fouts’ impact on the Tide program doesn’t end on the field, off the field Fouts was an ambassador for the program as her following increased over her days in Tuscaloosa.

“She could talk to an 80-year-old as easily as an 8-year-old. Not many kids could do that. Not many teenagers, not many college kids, not many adults could do that,” Murphy said. ” She can. She makes everybody feel special. She takes her time with everybody. She’s an icon in the sport.”

Fouts penned a letter to the game of softball prior to her final game in which she thanked the game for the things that it has brought her in her life.

While her collegiate playing career is over, Fouts will have the opportunity to play professionally and Coach Patrick Murphy hopes she is awarded the opportunity to represent her country at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

“I hope to God that she gets to wear the USA uniform in 2028 in LA,” Murphy said. “She will be on the cover of every newspaper, every magazine, you name it on the way up to the Olympics in ’28 I guarantee because she’s not done with the sport by any means so you are going to see her for a long, long time.”