At long last, the SEC softball tournament is here — and it's as competitive as ever. On Thursday, May 11, the fifth-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide defeated No. 4 seed Arkansas in extras to advance to the semifinal round.
However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows for Alabama.
All-American pitcher Montana Fouts left the game in the seventh inning and could not finish the game. Wait, what happened? Here's what we know about her injury and availability for the rest of the tournament.
What happened to Montana Fouts?
As stated before, Montana left the game in the seventh inning; it appears she suffered a left leg or ankle injury. She finished the game with 108 pitches thrown, including "66 strikes, nine strikeouts, three walks, three wild pitches, and five hits allowed," according to SECSports.com.
Alabama coach Patrick Murphy updated fans on Montana's injury.
Following their victory over the defending SEC tournament champs, Alabama coach Patrick Murphy told ESPN's Holly Rowe and said he didn't plan on having Montana pitch in the semifinals or finals of the tournament. He didn't say too much about her injury, but he said she lost her footing while landing on her follow-through.
"She slipped a little bit," he said, per AL.com. "I've seen it before with a pitcher where the surface gets really, really, like concrete, and it's slick. … Hopefully, she's going to be OK."
Once the game ended, the Crimson Tide gathered around the injured All-SEC pitcher, who was in tears: "Montana has been the leader from day one — the one that speaks up in the huddle, the one that speaks up in practice, in our team room," coach Patrick Murphy added, per Sports Illustrated.
"I really think that they wanted to have her back 100% tonight," he added. "[Alex Salter] came in and did a hell of a job, made some really good pitches. And then you know, we just kept rallying, and finally, somebody gets the job done, and it was [Bailey] Dowling."
Alabama will face the winner of No. 8 Florida and No. 1 Tennessee in the semifinals on Friday, May 12.