Monica Abbott
Pitcher
2008


Monica Abbott Softball Olympian Team USA 2008 Pitcher Monica Cecilia Abbott (born July 28, 1985) pitched for the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers softball team from 2004 to 2007. In 2008, Abbott participated in the Beijing Olympics with Team USA.

During her senior season in college, she set the record for the most strikeouts in a Division I softball season and became the NCAA Division I Softball all-time leader in career wins, strikeouts, shutouts, innings pitched, games started and games pitched. She was the recipient of the 2007 Honda Sports Award for the Top Collegiate Softball Player in the country and was named the 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. She was also named the 2007 Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year.

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Monica Abbott interviewed on The Fastpitch TV Show
Produced By Gary Leland


Monica Answers My 10 Questions

Q. How old were you when you started playing softball?

A. I started playing softball/tee ball at 6 yrs old

Q. Was there anyone special in your life that helped you become a great player?

A. Of course!! lots of people. My mom caught for me, my dad, my coaches Keith Berg and Kenny Gardner. My College coaches Ralph & Karen Weekly and Marty McDaniel and National team coach Chuck D’Arcy. It’s hard not to go on and on and on but those are a few.

Q. How do you get ready for a game?

A. Just relax and talk with teammates.

Q. What do you like to do when you are not involved with softball?

A. well sleep and shopping!… But my life revolves around the game so if I’m not playing I’m probably teaching or talking about the game. But in my time away from the game I try to spend with my family & friends.

Q. What factors do you feel have influenced you the most to become the player and you are today?

A. I think I’ve been influenced by a lot of different things, but a lot of my development as a player has to be attributed to my coaches and teammates. Everyday I wake up wanting to be the Best that I can be, and that’s why I came up with my slogan- Live2BringIt

Q. Do you have any routines are superstitions that you implement regularly?

A. I never step on the chalk line running out to the mound in between innings.

Q. What is your favorite softball memory?

A. There’s way too many! Yea a big strikeout, perfect game, or big win is always memorable but in the end it’s the teammates and the feeling of never giving up as a collective unit that is most memorable because it’s a shared attitude. It’s powerful.

Q. How much value do you place on mental training? Do you have any advice for others in this area?

A. Mental training is huge. The brain is so powerful. I believe in seeing yourself doing something before you actually do it– or visualization. It’s a way of seeing your dreams and goals before you actually achieve them.
My advice for others is that: –“Visualization, like practice is a daily thing not a once in a while thing.”

Q. If you could do anything else in the world as a profession, what would it be and why?

A. Be a MLB pitcher. Or a baseball sports reporter.

Q. What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your playing and/or coaching career?

A. The greatest obstacle is the daily challenge of trying to be better than I was yesterday. Live2BringIt.


Monica pitched for the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers softball team from 2004-2007. In 2008, Abbott participated in the Beijing Olympics with United States women’s national softball team. On May 4, 2010, she and catcher Shannon Doepking were traded by the Florida Pride to the Tennessee Diamonds in exchange for pitcher Cat Osterman and catcher Megan Willis.

During her senior season in college, she set the record for the most strikeouts in a Division I softball season and became the NCAA Division I Softball all-time leader in career wins, strikeouts, shutouts, innings pitched, games started and games pitched. She was the recipient of the 2007 Honda Sports Award for the sTop Collegiate Softball Player in the country and was named the 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. She was also named the 2007 Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year.

Early life

Abbott was born in Washington D.C. and attended North Salinas High School from 1999 to 2003; her parents are Bruce and Julie Abbott, and her siblings are Jessica (born 1984), Jared (born 1988) and twins Bina and Gina (born 1991).

College career

Abbott pitched for the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers softball team from 2004-2007.
500 Strikeouts in a Season for the Fourth Time
On April 21, in Abbott’s 33rd game started of the season, Abbott struck out her 500th batter of the season, thus becoming the first pitcher in NCAA Division I history to record 500 strikeouts in all four years of her collegiate career. Before Abbott started her collegiate career, only two pitchers had ever reached the 500-strikeout mark in any season Courtney Blades, and Cat Osterman. During Abbott’s career from 2004 to 2007, Alicia Hollowell, Brooke Mitchell, Taryne Mowatt, Angela Tincher (twice) and Cat Osterman (twice more) would end up surpassing the 500-strikeout mark as well.

Collegiate National Player of the Year awards

Abbott finished her college career with significant season awards as the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and the winner of the Honda Award for Top Collegiate Softball Player.

On October 16, 2007, Abbott won the Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year award for Team Sports athletes.

Post-Collegiate Career

After the conclusion of her senior season, Abbott went on to find success at both the professional and international levels.

2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China
Abbott was selected for the final 15-person Olympic squad as one of three pitchers. On August 11, 2008, Abbott made her Olympic debut for Team USA, pitching the final inning (in relief of starter Jennie Finch) of a 5-inning no-hit victory by Team USA over Venezuela. On August 18, 2008, Abbott pitched 5 perfect innings, striking out 8, as Team USA defeated the Netherland 8-0 to extend its Olympic winning streak to 20 games. In its first six matches of the Beijing games, the USA pitching staff (Finch, Osterman, Abbott) had allowed a total of one hit. Team USA finished with a silver medal, losing to Japan in the championship game, which was started by Osterman and finished by Abbott.

2009
On February 2, 2009, Abbott announced her signing with Toyota Motor Corporation on a six-month contract to play professional softball in Japan.

High School Awards

* 2000 North Salinas High School MVP
* 2000 North Salinas High School Freshman of the Year
* 2000 All League Pitcher of the Year
* 2000 All County Pitcher of the Year
* 2000 All Central Coast Section Co-Pitcher of the Year
* 2001 North Salinas High School MVP
* 2001 North Salinas High School Sophomore of the Year
* 2001 All League Player of the Year
* 2001 All County Player of the Year
* 2001 All Central Coast Section Player of the Year
* 2002 North Salinas High School Junior of the Year
* 2002 Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Player of the Year
* 2002 San Jose Mercury Player of the Year
* 2002 All League MVP
* 2002 All County MVP
* 2002 All Central Coast Section MVP
* 2003 North Salinas High School MVP
* 2003 North Salinas High School Player of the Year
* 2003 Canada Cup 18-Under MVP
* 2003 Large School State Player of the Year
* 2003 All League MVP
* 2003 All League Pitcher of the Year
* 2003 All Central Coast Section MVP
* 2003 All Central Coast Section Pitcher of the Year
* 2003 All County MVP
* 2003 Cal-Hi Softball Athlete of the Year

Collegiate Awards

* 2004 Louisville Slugger/NFCA First Team All-American
* 2004 SEC Freshman of the Year
* 2004 SEC Pitcher of the Year
* 2004 All-SEC First Team
* 2005 Louisville Slugger/NFCA First Team All-American
* 2005 SEC Co-Pitcher of the Year
* 2005 All-SEC First Team
* 2005 WCWS All-Tournament Team
* 2006 Louisville Slugger/NFCA First Team All-American
* 2006 All-SEC Second Team
* 2006 WCWS All-Tournament Team
* 2007 Louisville Slugger/NFCA First Team All-American
* 2007 SEC Pitcher of the Year
* 2007 All-SEC First Team
* 2007 WCWS All-Tournament Team
* 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year
* 2007 [[Honda Award]] – Top Collegiate Softball Player
* 2007 Women’s Sports Foundation Sportsman of the Year
* 2007 Roy F. Kramer SEC Female Athlete of the Year

University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers

Single Game Accomplishments

* 2nd highest 7-inning strikeout total of alltime (20), set on March 26 of her freshman year vs Liberty University
* 6 games of at least 17 strikeouts in a 7-inning game, a mark only accomplished 20 times in NCAA Division I history (including Abbott’s performances)

Season Accomplishments

* 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year
* Only Player with more than one 50-win season in a career (2)
* Only Player with four seasons of 40+ wins in a career
* Only Player with four 500-strikeout seasons (and two 600-strikeout seasons) in a collegiate career
* Most strikeouts in a season (2007) – 724
* Most games pitched in a season (2005) – 69
* Most wins and most strikeouts in a season by a freshman (2004) – 45 wins and 582 strikeouts

Career Accomplishments

* 2,440 career NCAA Division I Softball career strikeouts list|NCAA Division I strikeouts (1st alltime)
* 189 career NCAA Division I Softball career wins list|NCAA Division I wins (1st alltime)
* 112 career shutouts (1st alltime)
* 253 career games pitched (1st alltime)
* 206 career games started (1st alltime)
* 1448 career innings pitched (1st alltime)
* 178 career complete games (2nd alltime)
* 11.80 career strikeouts per 7 innings (3rd alltime)
* .848 career win percentage (10th alltime)
* 16 career saves (tied-8th alltime)
* 23 career NCAA Division I no-hitters
* 6 career NCAA Division I perfect games