April 9, 2007
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The sixth perfect game of her illustrious career, during a 10-0 (five inn.) win at Georgia, two wins over old nemesis UGA in Athens and 20 more strikeouts in 13 innings of work have landed senior pitcher Monica Abbott her fourth selection as the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week in 2007.
The Salinas, Calif., native currently sits just 102 K's from the historic achievement of breaking the NCAA Division I strikeout record currently held by former Texas All-American pitcher Cat Osterman. Granted one more chance as a senior to expunge some bad memories against the Bulldogs in Athens, Ga., at the Georgia Softball Stadium, Abbott responded strongly by posting a 2-0 record with a 0.54 ERA and a save. That performance upped her season totals to a staggering SEC-best record of 32-1 with a league-leading 0.41 earned run average. The 6-3 lefthander currently guides NCAA Division I softball in strikeouts with 448 in 207.1 innings of work and even maintains an outside chance of breaking not only the national career K record, but the NCAA single-season mark of 663 strikeouts established by former Southern Miss hurler Courtney Blades in 2000.
Abbott is currently registering a K-per-seven inning ratio of 15.1 to remain well above her career average of 11.7. She currently guides the SEC in ERA, strikeouts, solo shutouts (20), starts (29), complete games (26) and opposing batting average (.082). Abbott registered the fourth-longest shutout streak of all-time at 96.1 frames from Feb. 10-March 11, 2007, and has also struck out the side a staggering 84 times this year. Previous NCAA Division I marks which have fallen during her senior campaign include the career victory mark of 151 triumphs once held by Southern Miss' Courtney Blades, the career shutout record of 94 blankings formerly held by California pitcher Michele Granger and the mark for career appearances (215) also recorded by Blades. Abbott is currently listed among the NCAA Division I career top four in starts (183 -- fourth), complete games (159 - second) and innings pitched (1,297.0 - third).
The weekly conference award is the 16th 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 and 19th as well as March 6th of this campaign.
The No. 1 Lady Vols continue their 2007 regular-season slate by serving as host to the Memphis Lady Tigers at Tyson Park on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET. Live stats will be available through Gametracker at utladyvols.com, while periodic updates will be provided on the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (box #6).