Star softball pitcher Montana Fouts' run for homecoming queen has come to an end, as McLean Moore claimed the crown for the University of Alabama's 2021 election.

Fouts' campaign, “Be The Blessing,” was officially announced on Oct.15 with the mission of helping young girls excel in sports, specifically softball.

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While Fouts was one of the most popular candidates in the race, her loss doesn't come as much of a surprise. Many controversies surrounded this year’s homecoming queen race as McLean Moore was allegedly backed by Theta Nu Epsilon, otherwise known as The Machine.

For those unaware of the mystery that surrounds the Machine at Alabama, it is a not-so-secret organization governed by most sororities and fraternities at the university. The Machine has traditionally determined Student Government representatives, homecoming queens, and to a degree, the entire student political system at UA.

Moore’s campaign ran under the catchphrase “Match With McLean” and triggered a discussion about the lack of representation and diversity on her campaign staff. The Crimson White, the student-led newspaper at the University of Alabama, covered the issues behind her campaign marketing materials that sparked controversy on campus and online.

McLean Moore. Courtesy of UA News

According to a release from the University of Alabama, Moore is majoring in finance and economics and was sponsored by her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.

"The 2021 University of Alabama Homecoming Court was selected in a student election," the release read. "This year marked the biggest voter turnout since 2015, with 13,180 students voting."

Moore advocated for “Big Brothers and Sisters of West Alabama” during her run. The overall goal of this organization is to help children have a mentor, as well as provide good role models for their most formative years.

Other candidates included Laney Ackles (whose philanthropy was Tuscaloosa’s Arts ‘n Autism), Noelle Fall (who ran to promote the Culverhouse DEI Mentoring and Diversity in the Business Bridge Program), and Savanah Lemon (who chose the Boys and Girls Club of Tuscaloosa to be her campaign platform).

Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings toward the Machine, all candidates were helpful in bringing awareness and donations to their respective charities and organizations.

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