EAST MEADOW, N.Y. – Former Tennessee Lady Vol softball player and current U.S. National Team and Washington Glory (National Pro Fastpitch--NPF) pitcher Monica Abbott has been selected as one of seven finalists for the prestigious Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswoman of the Year award in the “Team Sport” category.
To vote for Monica Abbott, please visit www.sportswomanvote.com. Consideration of athletes is based on athletic achievements between the dates of August 1, 2006 - July 31, 2007. Voting closes on August 31, 2007, at midnight.
Each year, the sports community honors two champion female athletes, one individual sport athlete and one team sport athlete, for their outstanding performances over the course of that year. Past honorees include Michelle Kwan, Lisa Leslie, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Martina Navratilova, Sheryl Swoopes, Melanie Troxel and Serena and Venus Williams. This year, nominations were received from the U.S. national governing bodies, international federations, professional leagues, Women’s Sports Foundation members and the public.
Award recipients will be announced on Monday, October 16, 2007, and will be honored at the Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
In her senior season with the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer softball team, Abbott won the 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year trophy in May and was named the 2006-2007 Roy F. Kramer SEC Female Athlete of the Year in June. Also in June, the Salinas, Calif., native 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 during her senior season. Abbott led her team to the 2007 Women's College World Series, a runner-up national finish, and the 2007 Southeastern Conference regular-season title. She ended the 2007 season having set new NCAA Division I career records for wins (189), strikeouts (2,440), shutouts (112), appearances (253) and innings pitched (1448.0). Abbott is also the Lady Vols' first four-time NFCA First-Team Softball All-American, as well as being a three-time Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year winner and four-time All-SEC pick. As a member of the U.S. national team, she has found similar success. Throughout the month of July, which saw Team USA win three gold medals, Abbott led the way for the pitching staff. She posted a team-best 6-0 record in seven appearances. She allowed only one run in 13 hits and 26.2 innings pitched. Abbott was third on the team with 46 strikeouts and allowed no extra base hits. She was also the only pitcher on the staff who allowed no walks during her appearances. Abbott closed out national team play at the Pan Am Games in Brazil, hurling a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts over five innings against Canada to secure the gold for Team USA, the program’s sixth-consecutive Pan American gold medal.
Other nominees in addition to Abbott in the “Team Sport” category for 2007 include: WNBA all-star Lauren Jackson (basketball), World Championship gold medalist Sandra Kiriasis (bobsled), Northwestern All-American Kristen Kjellman (lacrosse), U.S. National Team player Kristine Lilly (soccer), Reigning Most Valuable Player at the World Championship of Wheelchair Basketball Danielle Peers (wheelchair basketball), Women’s World Champion Kelly Scott (curling) and Canadian National Team member Hayley Wickenheiser (ice hockey).