Alabama softball: How Montana Fouts’ life has changed since World Series perfect game

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Montana Fouts threw a 14-strikeout perfect game in the Women's College World Series, leading Alabama softball to a 6-0 victory against second-seeded UCLA.

With that performance in June, life changed for the pitcher from Grayson, Ky.

Only five perfect games have ever been pitched at the WCWS, with the previous one coming 20 years before.

Months later, with her senior season around the corner and her goal of winning a national championship remaining the same, the life of the star pitcher may be a little different.

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Since that perfect game has come the implementation of Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) guidelines by the NCAA last July, allowing student-athletes to profit. Fouts has landed multiple NIL deals, with companies including Diamond Kinetics PitchTracker, Dirtroad Outfitters and Pure Country Automotive in Kentucky.

In a report by Cameo in September, Fouts was the most-requested college athlete on the video messaging site. Fouts was ahead of South Carolina transfer quarterback Spencer Rattler and former Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy, among others.

The Crimson Tide ace has also held several pitching camps in West Virginia, where she teaches fundamentals to young, aspiring pitchers.

Last fall, Fouts was a candidate in Alabama's homecoming queen election and finished runner-up.

She has also has been selected as a member of the U.S. softball team that will compete at the 2022 World Games in Hoover this summer.

While there are changes in her life beyond the circle, the biggest difference Fouts has noticed remains on the field.

"I would say things have definitely turned for the better just because at that point in the season, and even before the season I fell in love with the game all over again," said Fouts. "I have more respect and I love the game more than I ever have.

"Above all things, I just realized how much I love it, how much I love being with my teammates and realizing that is the most important thing out of everything: the love we have for each other and playing the game and being on the field."

Alabama's Montana Fouts, left, is taken out by coach Patrick Murphy, right, in the third inning of an NCAA Women's College World Series softball game against Florida State, Monday, June 7, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Alabama's Montana Fouts, left, is taken out by coach Patrick Murphy, right, in the third inning of an NCAA Women's College World Series softball game against Florida State, Monday, June 7, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Alabama coach Patrick Murphy has seen Fouts continue to work and progress .

"If you looked at Montana from day one when she came in and then looked at her last year against UCLA and Arizona, it is a totally different kid," Murphy said. "All the credit goes to Montana, her dad, and Steph (Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro), our pitching coach."

Alabama will open its season on Feb. 11 vs. Southern Utah in the Candrea Classic in Tucson, Ariz.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama softball: How Montana Fouts' life changed since perfect game

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