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Montana Fouts Officially Announces Return for Fifth Season with Alabama Softball

The superstar pitcher will use her extra year of eligibility for the Crimson Tide.

It has been the message coming from the Alabama softball program and head coach Patrick Murphy for over a year now, but with her latest social media post, Montana Fouts has left no doubt. The superstar pitcher will be returning for a fifth season with the Crimson Tide. 

"You’ll see me proudly wearing the A next year," Fouts said in a tweet. "I don’t have to think twice about that. Murph- not only are you a hall of fame coach, but you’re a hall of fame man. I’ll die on that hill so Bury me In Dixie, Sweet Home Alabama, Roll Tide and Amen."

Fouts issued a longer statement on Instagram.

"I want to thank the University of Alabama for everything they have done for me," she said. "For instilling greatness, pure love, passion, and family. It’s been the best 4 years of my life. I’ve learned so much from this place. I believe Jesus has a plan, and has lead me to exactly where I need to be. I will continue to thank the Lord for any door that closes, because he knows how to open them too.

"Thats why I will stay HOME, and keep bleeding crimson. This is a Home and a culture that will pump through my veins until the good Lord calls me. You’ll see me proudly wearing the A next year. I don’t have to think twice about that."

The 2021 NFCA National Pitcher of the Year has a list of accolades a mile long, and has become one of the most popular student athletes in the country, regardless of the sport. 

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She finished the season with a 24-8 record in 39 appearances with a 2.10 ERA and 275 strikeouts. Fouts earned First Team All-SEC honors for the third time this season, and also won SEC Co-Pitcher of the Year in 2021 and SEC Freshman of the Year in 2019. 

With Lexi Kilfoyl unavailable for the last month of the season, Fouts carried the majority of the load including five appearances and over 400 pitches in the Tuscaloosa Regional over the weekend.

"I’m really proud of her," Murphy said after Alabama's season-ending loss to Stanford. "I mean, she gave it her all and you can tell that. She never complains about anything, and she probably has some stuff she wanted to complain about, but she doesn’t. She’s a great, great athlete."

Fouts added another weapon to her arsenal late in the season with a changeup she started using more in games, including multiple times throughout the regional. She was able to use it effectively, and the change in speed makes Fouts even more dangerous to opposing hitters. Murphy called her changeup one of the biggest positives from the weekend. 

Along with Fouts, Ally Shipman and Ashley Prange were the other fourth-year seniors on Alabama's 2022 roster. None participated in senior day festivities and have said throughout the season that they would be coming back. All three have confirmed in social media posts Tuesday evening. 

This comes one day after two Alabama softball players (Jenna Lord and Abby Doerr) entered the transfer portal.

Montana Fouts
Montana Fouts at A&M
Montana Fouts
Montana Fouts celebrates a strikeout
Montana Fouts
Patrick Murphy and Montana Fouts at 2022 Tuscaloosa Regional