The Women’s Sports Foundation will present USA Softball National Team member and former University of Tennessee standout Monica Abbott with its 2007 Sportswoman of the Year Award tonight at its 28th Annual Salute to Women in Sports gala at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
Abbott was chosen by more than 9,400 voters, a record number of votes, who logged on to SportsWomanVote.com. The University of Tennessee pitcher set a number of records in her senior season, making her eligible for Sportswoman of the Year Award, which is determined on career-defining or extraordinary athletic performance over the past year. In her last season as a Lady Volunteer, Abbott registered a national-best 50-5 record, a 0.68 ERA, 29 shutouts and 724 strikeouts, the most ever in a single NCAA Division I season of softball.
Not only did Abbott lead Tennessee to a third consecutive Women’s College World Series, but she also ended her collegiate career with records for wins (189), strikeouts (2,440), shutouts (112), appearances (253) and innings pitched (1,448.0). She won the Honda Award for softball and was named 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and 2006-2007 Roy F. Kramer SEC Female Athlete of the Year.
As a member of the U.S. National Women’s Softball Team in 2007, her pitching arm helped the team earn three gold medals. She posted a team-best 6-0 record in seven appearances and was the only pitcher 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.
“Just to be named a finalist for this prestigious award is an honor; winning the award goes beyond words,” said Abbott. “Now being in the same company with amazing athletes such as Mia Hamm, Bonnie Blair and Cat Osterman is something I will cherish for the rest of my life,” said Abbott. “It’s always humbling to be recognized for your achievements and being named the Sportswoman of the Year by the Women's Sports Foundation is one of the honors that you really remember.”
In its 28th year, the Women’s Sports Foundation Annual Salute to Women in Sports is a celebration of women’s sports and recognizes the achievements of all female athletes from myriad sports. Annually, the Foundation crowns two Sportswomen of the Year—one each in Team and Individual categories—and names the Billie Jean King Contribution Award and Wilma Rudolph Courage Award winners. This year’s award winners are: Lorena Ochoa, Individual Sportswoman of the Year; Monica Abbott, Team Sportswoman of the Year; Michelle Kwan, Billie Jean King Contribution Award winner; and the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Team, Wilma Rudolph Courage Award winner. Presented by Advanta Corp., ESPN and Gatorade, this Awards Dinner annually nets more than $1 million for the Foundation and its programs.
About the Women’s Sports Foundation
Founded in 1974 by Billie Jean King, the Women’s Sports Foundation is a national charitable educational organization seeking to advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity. The Foundation’s Participation, Education, Advocacy, Research and Leadership Programs are made possible by gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information, please call (800) 227-3988 or visit our Web site at www.WomensSportsFoundation.org.