Fouts strikes out 16, leads Alabama past Arizona 5-1 in WCWS

Montana Fouts struck out 16 and allowed two hits in a complete-game victory, helping No. 3 seed Alabama beat Arizona 5-1 in the Women’s College World Series opener for both teams

OKLAHOMA CITY — Montana Fouts struck out 16 and allowed two hits in a complete-game victory, helping No. 3 seed Alabama beat Arizona 5-1 on Thursday night in the Women’s College World Series opener for both teams.

Fouts threw 103 pitches, including 73 strikes. The first-team NFCA All-American lost her shutout when Jessie Harper hit a solo homer with two out in the seventh inning.

It was Alabama’s 19th straight win. The Crimson Tide last loss on April 17.

Alabama (51-7) will play the winner of the UCLA-Florida State game in a winners bracket contest Friday night. No. 11 seed Arizona (41-14) will play the loser of that matchup in an elimination game on Saturday.

Alabama opened the scoring in the first inning when Jenna Johnson singled and Bailey Hemphill scored an unearned run on a fielding error.

Hemphill launched a solo homer over the left field fence in the bottom of the third. It was the 13th blast of the season for the school’s career home run leader.

Fouts took a no-hitter into the fourth inning, but Arizona’s Janelle Meono broke it up leading off the inning. The Crimson Tide ended the inning with a double play.

Alabama put up three insurance runs in the sixth. Maddie Morgan had an RBI double, and Abby Doerr hit a two-run homer to make it 5-0. It was Doerr’s second homer of the season.

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