May 29, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Tennessee senior pitcher Monica Abbott has been chosen among a group of four finalists for the prestigious Honda Sports Award for Softball according to a Tuesday afternoon release. Katie Burkhart and Kaitlin Cochran of Arizona State and Arizona's Caitlin Lowe round out the quartet of nominees. American Honda will donate $1,000 to the women's athletic department fund of each nominee's university. The winner's program will receive $5,000.
The eventual recipient after nationwide balloting will become a candidate for The Honda-Broderick Cup awarded annually to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.
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. With 649 K's in 2007, she is just 14 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. The 6-3 lefthander currently guides the SEC in ERA (0.65), strikeouts (649), solo shutouts (25), starts (46), complete games (39) and opposing batting average (.106). 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 (200 -- first), complete games (172 - second) and innings pitched (1,404.0 - 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. With a 46-3 record in 2007, she has gone over 40 triumphs during each campaign of her time spent in the Orange & White.
No. 1 Tennessee (59-6) will open its road at the Women's College World Series against No. 7 Texas A&M at 7 p.m. ET, on Thursday, May 31, a the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla. The match-up will be broadcast live on the ESPN national television network in high definition as well as on radio with the "Voice of the Lady Vols" Mickey Dearstone doing play-by-play on The Sports Animal at 99.1 or 99.3 FM or 990 AM (Yahoo Sports via utladyvols.com).
|2006-2007 Softball Honda Sports Award Nominees:|
|Monica Abbott||University of Tennessee|
|Katie Burkhart||Arizona State University|
|Kaitlin Cochran||Arizona State University|
|Caitlin Lowe||University of Arizona|