Former Lady Vol Standout Monica Abbott
May 4, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director & Jon Coffield, Director of Marketing, Tennessee Diamonds
ALCOA, Tenn. - In a move sure to thrill Tennessee Lady Vol softball fans, the expansion Tennessee Diamonds of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) League and General Manager Sarah Fekete announced a blockbuster trade on Tuesday that will bring standout pitcher Monica Abbott and catcher Shannon Doepking back to the Knoxville area for the squad's upcoming 2010 campaign.
In exchange, the Diamonds traded the pitcher/catcher combo of Cat Osterman and Megan Willis to the USSSA Pride and will play the 2010 season with the team in Orlando, Florida.
"Our organization is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Monica and Shannon back to East Tennessee," Tennessee Diamonds General Manager Sarah Fekete said. "They were both outstanding players at UT and are going to make a significant impact for the Diamonds."
A four-time Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American at Tennessee, Abbott established numerous national collegiate pitching standards that won't soon be broken, including records for career strikeouts (2,440), innings pitched (1448.0), victories (189) and solo shutouts (112). During her senior campaign the 6-3 lefthander won the 2007 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year trophy and was named the 2006-2007 Roy F. Kramer SEC Female Athlete of the Year. The Salinas, Calif., native also won the prestigious Honda Award for Softball after registering a national-best 50-5 overall record with a 0.68 ERA and 29 shutouts to go along with a NCAA Division I single-season record 724 strikeouts. The Women's Sports Foundation also chose the hurler as its "Team Sport Athlete of the Year." Abbott led her team to the 2007 Women's College World Series (WCWS), a runner-up national finish, and the 2007 Southeastern Conference regular-season title.
One of the top catchers in the nation during her time at Rocky Top, Doepking threw out almost 40% of all base runners that attempted to steal against her in her four-year career. The Acton, Calif., product was chosen during her senior campaign as both first team All-Southeastern Conference and second team All-South Region after hitting .315 (52-of-165) with 13 doubles, four home runs and 47 RBIs. Doepking started 256 contests at UT, helped lead the Big Orange to three consecutive WCWS berths from 2005-07, a SEC Tournament (2006) and regular-season championship (2007) and 246 victories during her four years at Tennessee. She currently ranks eighth in Lady Vol history in games played (266) and walks (85), ninth in career RBIs (141) and 10th in home runs (18).
The Diamonds open their season with an exhibition game June 1 and first regular season game June 9 at the Alcoa Softball Complex in Blount County. For ticket information visit www.npfdiamonds.com or call 1-877-849-5327.