Feb. 5, 2005
CLEARWATER, Fla.-- Lady Vol hurler Monica Abbott recorded her fifth career no-hitter by striking out 15, facing the minimum 21 batters and walking just one in No. 13 Tennessee's 5-0 shutout of Florida A&M in Pool B play at the Clearwater Invitational in Clearwater, Fla. The Salinas, Calif., native improved her record to 2-0 on the young season and has not allowed a single run in 17 innings of work in 2005. Junior third baseman Kristi Durant provided all the offense that UT would need with a three-RBI single during a pivotal five-run second inning outburst.
"This was another great performance from Monica Abbott," said Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly. "For the most part we were riding her strong left arm the whole game. I believe we have the capability to be a better offensive club, and I've challenged this group to work harder on that aspect of their game. Overall, Karen and I are happy with their effort and with all they have accomplished during these first four games. We are very proud of this team's attitude, mental approach to the game and overall commitment to excellence.
With the All-American Abbott allowing just a single walk while facing the minimum 21 batters during her seven innings of work it was up to the Orange & White offense to stake its hurler to a lead. After threatening to get on the scoreboard in the first, Tennessee got the offensive machine rolling in the top of the second as designated player Brittany Bessho reached first on an error by FAMU shortstop Kelly Gordon. A Shannon Doepking sacrifice bunt and an Abbott groundout advanced Bessho to third with two down. That's when Lady Rattler pitcher Destiny Gordon's defense failed her as an error on a Katherine Card ground ball by second baseman Ashley Walker extended UT's inning and allowed Bessho to cross the plate with the Lady Vols' initial run of the contest.
The floodgates opened as shortstop Lindsay Schutzler singled through the left side of the infield to advance Card to second and junior center fielder Sarah Fekete followed with a base knock back to the pitcher to load the bases with two-time All-SEC selection Durant striding to the dish. The Placentia, Calif., native made Florida A&M pay for their miscues with a hard liner to left field that plated three runs for a 4-0 UT advantage. Durant managed to advance to second on the throw home and was promptly cashed in as another Lady Rattler error, this time on a throwing miscue to first by Gordon on an Ashley Cline grounder, allowed Durant to cross with the Orange & White's fifth run of the evening.
Tennessee threatened in both the sixth and seventh innings but was unable to
add to the 5-0 lead. The extra runs were really unnecessary with Abbott on
the mound as the sophomore did not allow a single FAMU base runner after the
fourth inning and at one point struck out eight Lady Rattlers in a row.