Monica Abbott is generally considered the greatest player in the history of college softball. And it was clear from her earliest years that she had the skills that would lead her to greatness.
Her high school career was incredible. She went to Salinas High School in California, where in the three seasons spent there, the softball scoreboards showed that her average was 300 or more strikeouts per season. She was the master at making elite high school batters look average in the process. In her junior season, she pitched no less than seven perfect games.
She was just as dominant in her senior season, when she continued to embarrass great batters. As a result, she was recruited by a large number of universities, and eventually she chose the University of Tennessee, which was known for having an up and coming softball programme, even though the university did not have the image of many of the larger schools.
Her softball career continued to flourish at Tennessee. Despite the greater competition from her peers, she continued to dominate. In her very first college game, she threw a no-hitter, and the scoreboards showed that her team won 8 to nothing against Saint Mary’s. She upstaged herself in the third game, as she threw a perfect game. This first season was a defining one for her. She broke a number of first year female softball records and as a result, at the end of the year she was included in the top ten finalists in the award for the USA Softball
College Player of the Year.
This level of success would only be described as staggering, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it continued throughout her entire college career. She set a large number of career and single season records, not only at her university, but in fact in all of the NCAA. Her college career stats look like this: 189 wins, 2440 strikeouts, 113 shutouts, 1448.0 pitched innings, 253 appearances. All of these are NCAA records. In addition, her career boasted 23 no-hitters and 6 perfect games.
Justifiably, she received the Honda Award in 2007. This annual award is given to the nation’s top college softball athlete. In addition, in 2007 she was named USA Softball Player of the year.
Abbott continued to play the game she loves after UT, and she went on to have a fantastic post college amateur career. Amongst her most outstanding appearances was a stint primarily in the in the Pan American Games. She was a gold medal winner with the American women in 2007.
With an amazing career that has seen her break numerous records and make countless fans, there can be few doubts that Monica Abbott truly was the best all-time SEC Softball Player.
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