Game On! Sports Girl Talk Chats with Pro Pitcher & Olympian Monica Abbott

(2nd in the series)

Monica AbbottGame On! Sports Girl Talk had the honor of interviewing Chicago Bandit Monica Abbott. Before getting to the Q&A, here is brief look at Monica’s bio.

Abbott spent her collegiate career at the University of Tennessee (2004-2007) where she set multiple career and NCAA records. She currently holds the NCAA single season records for victories (189), strikeouts (2,440), shutouts (112), appearances (253) and innings pitched (1,488.0). In addition, she was voted the 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, a three-time SEC Pitcher of the Year and the first softball All-American in Tennessee’s history. Abbott finished her stellar collegiate career with 23 no-hitters and 6 perfect games.

Drafted by the Washington Glory in 2007, in her first game in the NPF she struck out 18 batters and pitched a complete game. The Glory eventually went on to win the 2007 Cowles Cup Championship with Abbott being named Playoff MVP.

Prior to joining the Bandits, Abbott spent time with the USSSA Pride and Tennessee Diamonds. Signing with the Bandits as a free agent in February 2011, she enjoyed another successful year. Just one of her many accomplishments included pitching perfect game against the Akron Racers on August 4. While in Sulphur, La. for the 2011 Championship Series she pitched all but four innings, helping the Bandits secure their second NPF Championship. Abbott was awarded 2011 NPF Co-Pitcher of the Year with Cat Osterman of the USSSA Pride for her accomplishments.

Abbott’s favorite food is BBQ Chicken.

And here is the conversation:

Q: When were you first introduced to the sport of softball?

A: I started playing softball because my older sister wanted to play. We started in our local recreation league, tee ball etc.

Q: What made you fall in love with softball as opposed to other activities/sports that you were involved in?

A: I really liked softball because I could make new friends and it was fun. I could cheer, hit and throw. I wasn’t very good at first but as I got a little better it made me like it even more. I kept wanting to get better and better and better….

Q: Growing up, what were some other activities/sports in which you participated that helped shape you as a softball player and an athlete?

A: I played a lot of basketball, I was a Daisy/Girl Scout, YMCA activities, and I also took piano lessons.

Q: Who were some of your role models growing up and why?

A: I really looked up to my parents, but I am super grateful to be able to have witnessed my grandfather’s work ethic. He would build all kinds of things, even rock walls. When things weren’t right, he would continue to work to make them better and he never gave up on a project or a task until it was completed. I’m proud to say that I got a front row seat to observe loyalty, dedication, and perseverance.

Q: What is your favorite thing about getting to play in the NPF?

A: My favorite thing about playing in the NPF is that it is EXCITING softball. The NPF allows an avenue for softball players to be real professional athletes. The best thing is the Athletes almost get to show off a bit, and it’s always exciting. Whether it’s a Megan Wiggins diving catch, an Alisa Goler homerun or Pitching a perfect game. There’s something  “sportscenter-ish” happening every game.

Q: What sort of workout routine do you use to prepare for the season?

A: I’m big on working out and feel that it makes a big difference in my play. I really like challenging cardio (Cycle, Stairs, Hills, Sprinting) and anything that will challenge balance (think bosu ball) and lower body strength (lunges, squats, step ups).

Q: What do you do before a game to either pump yourself up, or mentally prepare?

A: I like to sit and be very calm before I warm up for the game. Once, I put on up my AbbottPro Cleats and step on the field, its game time.  While I tie my cleats, that’s my moment where I tell myself- “Time to Bring IT Monica!”

Q: What are some of your goals for the 2012 season?

A: My goal for the 2012 season is to bring Chicago Bandits a Championship!

Q: What is your favorite memory from your years playing softball?

A: I have a lot, but top two are:

1. Olympic Games- throwing 1st ever perfect game; Opening Ceremonies

2. Breaking the NCAA Career Strikout Record

Q: Do you have any advice for young girls who dream of playing pro softball someday?

Work on being the best YOU can be! That’s all that matters, and Live for the moment that you can really Bring IT!

If there are additional questions you would like us to ask Abbott, please let us know. Always welcome your feedback.

photo credit: recubejim via photopin cc

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barb Lazarus is the owner and founder of Game On! Sports Camps 4 Girls, multi-week summer sports day and overnight camps just for girls. (www.gameonsportscamp.com) With a mission that includes empowerment through exposure to and development in a multitude of sports, girls of all athletic abilities, grades preschool through 10th, experience hours of pure fun with the opportunity to grow as an athlete and a person.

Barb graduated with a B.A. from the University of Michigan (1982) and a J.D. from Loyola School of Law (1985), after which she served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago office. She went on to grow her own thriving media relations business for over 12 years before shedding her corporate clothing to pursue her dream – Game On!  – and the chance to give back to girls sports. Barb is also the author of Game On! Sports Girl Talk, www.gameonsportscamp.com/blog, a blog addressing issues relating to the participation of young girls in sports and fitness, and a proud partner of the Women Talk Sports Network and Pretty Tough Media.

Barb is the proud mother of two, a lifelong athlete, and just plain passionate about sports & fitness for young girls as well as contributing to the fan base of women’s pro and collegiate sports.

 

 

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