Stanford Heavenly Contributing Hushes Alabama Wcws

OKLAHOMA CITY-Alabama’s season ended Friday night with a 2-0 loss to Stanford in a playoff game at the Women’s College World Series.

This ended the career of Alabama star pitcher Montana Fouts. She took the circle again with a large splint on her left knee that she had Hyper-stretched during the last SEC tournament and bravely struck out, walking the full seven innings and giving up only five hits and the two runs.

But 9-seeded Stanford held off the 5-seeded Crimson Tide in one hit as starting pitcher Alana Vawter and reliever NiJaree combined Canady for a masterpiece shutout.

Fouts settled in after Stanford scored four hits in the first three innings. She didn’t give up another hit until Stanford’s Sydney Steele drove a home run through the left-field wall with two outs atop the seventh at 2-0.

It was more than enough to ensure the victory at Stanford.

Vawter failed to give up a hit until he gave up Ashley Prange with two outs in the third inning of a single to flat midcourt. But after Prange moved up to number two on a wild pitch, that was as far as she could go. Vawter finished the Heat by jumping Jenna Johnson of Bama to second place.

And when it came time for her to be eliminated in favor of Canada in the sixth inning, Canady was practically impossible to beat, striking out all five batters she faced and striking out three.

“The two young girls from Stanford who were on the hill are great,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “It’s a great duo that they have there now. They’re just hard to reconcile. Congratulations to you.

“I don’t think anyone gave us a chance to be here after Montana fell in Fayetteville (in the SEC tournament). I can’t say enough about the doctors on our team, Dr. Lyle Cain, Kevin Wilk, Dr. Brett Bentley, Esi Atinkah, our track and field coach, and everyone who helped her get back to being who she was.”

Stanford set up the first run of the game in the top of the second inning as Emily Schultz singled and eventually scored on Sydney Steele’s one-hit double. But Fouts retired the last two cardinal hits to end the inning without taking any additional damage.

There were a number of fine defensive gems in the well-played contest – perhaps none more impressive than two made in each half of the sixth inning. The first was a leaping catch that Alabama left fielder Johnson took over his head on a fly ball as it flipped and hit the padded wall in the top of the Inning. Then, when Johnson after came to the plate and hit a sharp liner into right field, Stanford right fielder Kaitlyn Lim made a spectacular diving catch to end Alabama”s half of the same inning.

But the stellar pitching from both sides has been the bigger story.

Fouts was almost as brilliant as the Stanford combination of Vawter and Canady. She didn’t run a single shot, striking out four and finishing the final season of her legendary Alabama career with a 1.94 era. she rounded out the cardinal from the third inning until Steele’s homer in the seventh gave the cardinal an insurance run.

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