May 23, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - For the second consecutive season, Tennessee Lady Vol senior pitcher Monica Abbott has been named among the three remaining finalists for the prestigious USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award according to a Wednesday release from the Amateur Softball Association (ASA), the national governing body of softball in the United States. The final three players will travel to Oklahoma City, Okla., for the announcement of the winner at the 2007 NCAA Women's College World Series.
The USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award, in its sixth year, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by NCAA Division I collegiate softball players across the country. A replica of the award will be placed on permanent display in the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, along with photos of the winner. An additional replica of the award will be presented to the player's academic institution at a sporting event in the fall.
The NCAA Division I career leader in wins, shutouts, games played and strikeouts as well as a four-time All-SEC selection and three-time SEC Pitcher of the Year, Abbott is currently registering a K-per-seven inning ratio of 14.6 to remain well above her career average of 11.7. The 6-3 lefthander currently guides the SEC in ERA (0.60), strikeouts (629), solo shutouts (24), starts (43), complete games (37) and opposing batting average (.102). Abbott registered the fourth-longest shutout streak of all-time at 96.1 frames from Feb. 10-March 11, 2007. She is currently listed among the NCAA Division I career top two in starts (197 -- first), complete games (170 - second) and innings pitched (1,391.2 - second). Abbott is the only pitcher in history to strikeout 500 or more during all four years of her collegiate career and 600 or more twice. At 44-3 in 2007 has gone over 40 triumphs during each campaign of her time spent in the Orange & White. With 629 K's, she is just 34 strikeouts from equaling the NCAA Division I single-season K mark currently held by former Southern Miss hurler Courtney Blades of 663 K's set in 2000.
No. 1-ranked and national fifth-seed Tennessee will open the NCAA Knoxville Super Regionals on Friday night at 8 p.m. ET at Tyson Park against the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine with a berth in the annual Women's College World Series on the line. The best-of-three series will conclude on Saturday with games scheduled for 4 p.m. & (if necessary) 6:30 p.m. ET. All games will be disseminated live on ESPNU with a radio broadcast via The Sports Animal (99.1, 99.3 FM, 990 AM, utladyvols.com by Yahoo Sports).
The three finalists for the 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, listed in alphabetical order, are:
|Monica Abbott||Tennessee||Senior||Pitcher||Salinas, Calif.|
|Kaitlin Cochran||Arizona State||Sophomore||Outfielder||Yorba Linda, Calif.|
|Samantha Ricketts||Oklahoma||Sophomore||First Base||San Jose, Calif.|