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Tonya Callahan

Tonya Callahan

Jan. 24, 2007

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Three Lady Vol softball players have made the "Top 50 Watch List" for the Sixth Annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award according to a release from the Amateur Softball Association (ASA). The list is comprised of players representing 33 schools and 11 different conferences throughout NCAA Division I.

Tennessee senior pitcher Monica Abbott, senior outfielder Lindsay Schutzler and junior infielder Tonya Callahan are three of 10 players from the Southeastern Conference to make the listing. Each of the Big Orange's three honorees is returning as a 2006 first-team Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American.

The top 25 finalists for the prestigious honor will be announced on April 4 with the group being trimmed down to 10 nominees on May 9. The final three will be selected on May 23 with the winner to be presented her award prior to the start of the annual Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Already the career win and strikeout record holder in the Southeastern Conference, Abbott enters 2007 on the cusp of national history after an impressive three-year career in the Orange & White. With an overall record of 139-29, the Salinas, Calif., native needs just 13 more victories to surpass former Southern Miss hurler Courtney Blades' NCAA Division I win mark of 151 triumphs. The national strikeout record is also within sight as the 6-3 lefthander begins the new season needing 550 more K's to surpass former Texas All-American Cat Osterman's 2,265 career strikeouts. During Abbott's freshman and sophomore seasons she registered 582 and 603 K's, respectively, before dropping slightly to 531 K's during her junior campaign. She spent the summer months traveling the world with the U.S. National Team during its run to titles at the II World Cup of Softball and the Japan Cup.

Schutzler enters 2007 fresh off another solid UT campaign and a stint with the U.S. World University Games team this past July that won gold in T'ai-nan City, Taiwan. The Monterey, Calif., native completed the '06 season 10th in NCAA Division I in runs scored per game (0.99) and 15th in triples per contest (0.11) after leading the SEC with eight three-baggers. The 5-5 outfielder finished last year second in the SEC in runs scored (72), third in hits (94), fourth in on-base percentage (.479) and fifth in hitting (.409), while registering 31 multi-hit efforts.

The major power source in the UT line-up, Callahan led the SEC in 2006 with 73 RBI. The Holden, Mo., native also blasted 13 home runs to improve her standing to third on the all-time Lady Vol HR chart with 24 career big flies in just two full seasons at Rocky Top. Last season the 5-8 infielder ranked third in the conference in homers, fourth in slugging percentage (.630), seventh in hits (73) and on-base percentage (.472) and ninth in batting average (.365). She also made just three errors at first base while handling 311 chances for a .990 fielding percentage.

The 2007 Lady Vol campaign will open on Feb. 9th at the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C., with a match-up against East Carolina at 10 a.m. ET.

2007 USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List

* Monica AbbottTennesseeSeniorPitcherSalinas, CA
Candice BakerCal State FullertonSeniorPitcherBuena Park, CA
Callista BalkoArizonaJuniorCatcherTucson, AZ
Brandice BalschmiterMassachusettsSophomorePitcherNewark, NY
Lacey BertucciLouisiana-LafayetteSeniorFirst BaseFolsom, LA
Catherine BishopLouisvilleSeniorPitcherAdelaide, Australia
Katie BurkhartArizona StateJuniorPitcherSan Luis Obispo, CA
Courtney BuresMississippi StateSophomoreShortstopHaymarket, VA
* Tonya CallahanTennesseeJuniorFirst BaseHolden, MO
*Eileen CanneyNorthwesternSeniorPitcherParadise, CA
*Gina CarbonattoPacificSeniorOutfieldLake Stevens, WA
Kasi CarrollGeorgiaSeniorPitcherNorris City, IL
*Ashley ChartersWashingtonJuniorShortstopNewberg, OR
*Kaitlin CochranArizona StateSophomoreOutfieldYorba Linda, CA
Maddy CoonStanfordSophomoreInfieldChappaqua, NY
*Garland CooperNorthwesternSeniorFirst BaseMission Viejo, CA
Ashley DeBuhrNebraskaSeniorPitcherBeatrice, NE
Melanie DenischukUMBCSeniorUtilityPoway, CA
*Norrelle DicksonOklahomaSeniorUtilityOrange, CA
Samantha FindlayMichiganJuniorFirst BaseLockport, IL
*Erin FlorosSan Diego StateSophomoreCatcherSan Diego, CA
*Rachel FoldenMarshallJuniorUtilityBaldwin Park, CA
*Kristie FoxArizonaSeniorShortstopSan Diego, CA
Whitney HallerGeorgia TechSophomoreFirst BaseMarietta, GA
Kassie HumphreysKansasSeniorPitcherGlendale, AZ
*Leslie KleinLSUSeniorOutfieldSunrise, FL
*Chelsi LakeBaylorSeniorInfieldKeller, TX
*Dominique LastrapesWashington SeniorSecond BaseMission Viejo, CA
Jodie LegaspiUCLASeniorShortstopGarden Grove, CA
Mia LongfellowOregon StateSeniorUtilityRamona, CA
*Caitlin LoweArizonaSeniorOutfieldTustin, CA
Robin MackinFresno StateSophomorePitcherNewmarket, Ontario, Canada
*Megan McAllisterGeorgiaSeniorInfieldCarlsbad, CA
*Brianne McGowanOregon StateSeniorPitcherReno, NV
*Kellie MiddletonGeorgiaSeniorOutfieldNorcross, GA
*Cambria MirandaOregon StateJuniorUtilityCamarillo, CA
Whitney MollicaMassachusettsSophomoreThird BaseWindham, NH
Taryne MowattArizonaJuniorPitcher/UtilityCorona, CA
*Brette ReaganBaylorSophomoreInfieldMagnolia, TX
Jackie RinehartStanfordSeniorOutfieldReno, NV
*Brittany RogersAlabamaSophomoreOutfieldDacula, GA
* Lindsay SchutzlerTennesseeSeniorShortstopMonterey, CA
*Anjelica SeldenUCLAJuniorPitcherVacaville, CA
*Amber SmithIllinois StateJuniorPitcherFairfield, CA
Alex SuttonCaliforniaSeniorOutfieldMorgan Hill, CA
*Angela TincherVirginia TechJuniorPitcherEagle Rock, VA
*Emily TurnerLSUSeniorPitcherChula Vista, CA
Desiree WilliamsTexasJuniorShortstopTucson, AZ
*Tammy WilliamsNorthwesternSophomoreShortstopRoscoe, MO
*Veronica WootsonFlorida StateSeniorInfieldFontana, CA

*2006 NFCA All-Americans



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