Feb. 19, 2007
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Another stellar weekend effort in the circle has allowed Tennessee Lady Vol senior pitcher the opportunity to retain her title as Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week for the second consecutive evaluation period according to a Monday release by the league office.
The 6-3 lefthander continued her amazing start to the 2007 campaign by helping UT to a perfect 5-0 run through the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. The Salinas, Calif., native went 4-0 in the circle with a 0.00 ERA, three complete game shutouts and an incredible 56 strikeouts over just 22 innings of work. That performance upped Abbott's season K total to 100 over just eight appearances while permitting opponents to hit at a miniscule .029 clip overall. The three-time All-American allowed only two hits total and no runs during her four appearances at the event, while registering her 18th and 19th career no-hitters in victories over Florida International (8-0, 5 inn.) and Cal State Northridge (9-0) with 12 and 19 K's, respectively. Abbott punched out 17 in a complete game, one-hit blanking of Illinois (5-0), and struck out the side 14 times in 22 innings of work during the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic to up her season total of striking out the side to 25 occurrences in 39 total innings. She also averaged 17.8 strikeouts-per-seven innings during the weekend.
With 146 career triumphs, Abbott now stands just six victories from breaking the NCAA Division I career victory record held by former Southern Miss hurler Courtney Blades of 151 wins. She trails former Texas pitcher Cat Osterman's national strikeout mark by 449 K's after her 56-strikeout effort in Las Vegas.
The weekly conference award is the 14th of Abbott's career after she received the Pitcher of the Week honor four times during her freshman season, on five occasions in 2005, three times last year and on Feb. 12th of this campaign.
The No. 1 Lady Vols will next take to the diamond at 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Feb. 21, in a single contest versus Cal State Fullerton before venturing on to the prestigious Palm Springs Classic in Cathedral City, Calif., over Feb. 22-24. Periodic updates will be provided on the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (box #6).