March 21, 2007

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee senior pitcher Monica Abbott has been chosen as the CAREacter "Star Athlete of the Week" for her efforts both on and off the diamond to benefit the University of Tennessee and the surrounding community.

The coaches from each school and specific sport will select one student athlete as their school's "Star Athlete of the Week" based on these five criteria. As a reward for their accomplishments, these students will be recognized by the local media and presented with a T-shirt and a letter acknowledging them as the "Star Athlete of the Week."

The CAREacter Program is based on a five-point star system that includes the basic traits of a true champion, whether on or off the field. Those traits are attitude, character, grades, community service and performance.

Abbott has set a remarkable pace through the first 30 games of her senior campaign. Currently averaging a career-best 15.6 strikeouts per seven innings, the Salinas, Calif., native heads the Southeastern Conference in victories (22) and strikeouts (319) while posting a miniscule ERA of 0.34 after allowing only seven earned runs in 143.1 innings of work. The 6-3 lefthander has already broken the NCAA Division I career marks for victories and shutouts during the 2007 season and stands just 231 K's from surpassing former Texas pitcher Cat Osterman's national record for strikeouts (2,265). Abbott has struck out the side a staggering 66 times this year, has K'ed at least one hitter in 139 of her 143 frames of work and posted the fourth-longest consecutive shutout inning skein in NCAA history at 96.1 straight frames from Feb. 10 to March 11, 2007. She has been chosen as the SEC Pitcher of the Week on three separate occasions and swept the NFCA and USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honors back on Feb. 20 after registering a 4-0 weekend with a 0.00 ERA, three shutouts, two no-hitters and 56 K's in 22 innings as UT rolled to the title at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.

No. 1 Tennessee will continue its conference slate on Wednesday by hosting South Carolina in a two-game mid-week set starting at 4:30 p.m. ET. Live stats will be available through on Gametracker, and periodic updates will be provided to the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (box #6). The second match-up will be broadcast live on The Sports Animal (99.1, 99.3 FM, 990 AM, or on Yahoo Sports through the Lady Vol website) with the "Voice of the Lady Vols" Mickey Dearstone on the call starting at approximately 6:30 p.m.





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