Montana Fouts Named SEC Tournament MVP
Alabama Crimson Tide junior Montana Fouts earned SEC Tournament MVP thanks to her tournament-record 39-strikeouts while leading her team to a championship. Fouts carried the Crimson Tide to the program's sixth SEC Tournament championship and rightfully earned Tournament MVP.
Fouts in her three-game weekend faced 81 batters, allowed 13 hits, three walks and three hit by pitches the led to four runs, three of them earned. She struck out 39 batters and had an ERA of 1.05 for the tournament.
"I think it's really easy to give everything that you have to a team that just means so much. I think that everything that we've been through, I think that, I can throw three games, you know? I mean, what's that?," said the SEC Tournament MVP on pitching three days in a row. "I just think that, looking at my teammates I think in the sixth or so inning Maddie looked at me and she's like 'dig deep' and I think that's all I needed to hear, because, I mean we've come this far, why would we stop now?"
Fouts struck out 15 batters against the Kentucky Wildcats in the quarterfinals, a team that had beaten Alabama in their regular season series. She followed that performance up on Friday in the semifinals against Tennessee with 13 strikeouts and closed out the weekend with 11 strikeouts in the final against the Florida Gators.
"She wanted to not only throw 70, but she wanted to throw 70 from inning one to inning seven and she wanted to dominate for seven innings. Not four, not five, not six but seven," said Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy.
Her 39 strikeouts break a tournament record previously held by LSU's Brittni Sneed, who struck out 37 batters in 2002. Sneed also led the Tigers to the tournament title and was named tournament MVP.
Fouts recorded the first complete game shutout in the championship since Tennessee's Monica Abbott led her team to victory in 2006.
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