Softball season seemed never ending when in the middle of an eight-game stretch in the span of a week or less. However, it never failed to go by in the blink of an eye. Now that I take in the sport of softball via box scores and the occasional home game, this first season of being in the stands instead of on the field flew by. Certain players and teams have made the most of it – Tennessee’s Monica Abbott is one of them.
Abbott became the NCAA's career strikeouts leader Sunday, overtaking Olympian and former Texas star, Cat Osterman. Abbott tied Osterman last weekend at 2,265 strikeouts. She struck out 11 in a doubleheader Sunday against Alabama, giving her the all-division NCAA record of 2,276.
Abbott broke Osterman's record in a 9-2 win in the first game of the doubleheader, victories that helped Tennessee earn its first Southeastern Conference regular-season title.
I know and have seen elite softball pitchers toss a lot of innings during their collegiate careers, but 2,276 strikeouts? That’s just plain absurdity.
The senior from Salinas, Calif., also broke the NCAA career victory record this season in March when she won her 152nd game, passing the mark set by Southern Mississippi's Courtney Blades in 2000. With a 40-2 record this season, Abbott has 179 victories.
Congratulations to Monica on a phenomenal career at Tennessee.