Oklahoma City---Tennessee’s Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif.) has been selected as the USA Softball National Player of the Week for the week of January 12-18. The current Southeastern Conference Player of the Week is off to a remarkable start to her senior season that includes a perfect 9-0 record and the top ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll for a second consecutive week.
This past weekend at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., she went 4-0 in the circle with a 0.00 ERA that included three complete game shutouts and a whopping 56 strikeouts in just 22 innings of work. She has now amassed 100 strikeouts in just eight appearances while holding opponents to a miniscule .029 batting average.
“Thanks to USA Softball for giving me this wonderful honor,” Tennessee senior pitcher Monica Abbott said. “I am extremely excited about how well our team has been playing so far this year, and I look forward to seeing what this group can do throughout the rest of the season. Our team’s having a lot of fun playing softball right now. This honor belongs not just to me, but to our entire team. These awards are just a reflection of the amazing effort shown by everyone in practice and on the field each day.”
In the four games she appeared in at the Desert Classic she allowed only two hits. She tossed her 18th and 19th career no-hitters in victories over Florida International (8-0 in 5 innings) and Cal State Northridge (9-0) that included 12 and 19 strikeouts respectively. Against Illinois she allowed only one hit while striking out 17 in a complete game effort. She struck out the side 14-times in 22 innings of work this past weekend for an average of 17.8 strikeouts per seven innings.
"Monica had a phenomenal week, one of the best weeks I've ever seen a pitcher have in my coaching career," Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly said. "She was in total command of her pitches and has really elevated her game to begin her senior season. This is a great honor for both Monica and our entire program."
This marks the fourth time since 2004 that Abbott has been selected as the USA Softball National Player of the Year.