Feb. 28, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - From 2004-2007, Monica Abbott established herself as arguably the greatest pitcher in history of NCAA softball, all while proudly donning the Tennessee Orange and White. On March 23, the University of Tennessee will honor Abbott with a jersey retirement before UT's game against Texas A&M at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
"Monica Abbott is one of a kind," Co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "She is the type of player and pitcher that comes along once every 15 years. She was instrumental in putting Tennessee on the map and establishing us as a credible, strong softball program. This honor is extremely deserving and we are very very happy for Monica and her family."
Abbott will be the first Tennessee legend to be honored following the implementation of a new process for jersey retirement. Earlier today, UT announced that Abbott and fellow Tennessee greats Candace Parker (women's basketball) and Dale Ellis (men's basketball) will be honored with jersey retirements. For more information on the criteria and nomination process for jersey retirement, click HERE.
The March 23 game between UT and Texas A&M is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start and will be televised on ESPNU.
Tickets are available at UTTix.com and the first 750 fans will receive a Monica Abbott commemorative poster.
During her illustrious career at Rocky Top from 2004-07, Abbott was an incredible force in the circle and her career numbers reflect her dominance. She posted an incredible 189-34 record, a 0.79 ERA, 112 shutouts, 2,440 strikeouts, 23 no-hitters, six perfect games and 125 games with 10 or more strikeouts. She is the NCAA Division I record holder for wins, shutouts, strikeouts, starts (206), innings pitched (1,448) and appearances (253). She led all NCAA Division I softball players in wins in all four seasons with the Lady Vols.
The Salinas, Calif., native was a four-time first team All-American and All-SEC selection and earned SEC Pitcher of the Year distinction in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Abbott won the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year, the Honda Award for Softball and the Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year awards in 2007, and she led Tennessee to three consecutive College World Series appearances from 2005-07, earning 10 wins in CWS games as well as three CWS All-Tournament selections. Abbott also holds almost every significant career and single-season Tennessee softball pitching record.
She achieved incredible feats during her UT career, including becoming the first pitcher in NCAA Division I history to record 500 strikeouts in all four seasons.
As a member of the U.S. National Team, Abbott proudly represented the United States in a multitude of international competitions, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics when the Red, White and Blue took silver in softball's final appearance in the Olympic games. She won gold in the II World Cup of Softball, ISF World Championships and Japan Cup in 2006, the III World Cup of Softball, Canada Cup and Pan American Games in 2007 and the KFC World Cup of Softball and Canada Cup in 2009.
Abbott continues to shine in the professional ranks earning NPF Pitcher of the Year honors in 2011 and 2012 and Japan Pro League MVP accolades in 2010, 2011 and 2012. She led the Washington Glory to the 2007 NPF title and the Chicago Bandits, with whom she recently re-signed, to the league championship in 2011. Pitching for Toyota Motor Corporation, Abbott has also led her team to Japan Pro League titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
|Monica Abbott's TENNESSEE CAREER|