UT duo to represent U.S.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. A pair of Tennessee Lady Vols have been tabbed by USA Softball to represent their country this summer in several high-profile international competitions throughout the world.

Pitcher Monica Abbott is one of 18 players selected to the prestigious U.S. National Team roster tha t will participate in the first-ever World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City over July 14-18 as well as in the Japan Cup in Yokohama, Japan beginning July 26. Shortstop Lindsay Schutzler has been chosen to the 16-member U.S. Elite Team that will represent the Red, White & Blue beginning July 2 at th e Canada Cup in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada and the Inter-Continental Cu p in Madrid, Spain, July 20-28.

''We are very excited for Monica and Lindsay and for the University of Tennessee,'' said Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly. ''Each of them possesses a tremendous work ethic along with a great attitude and love of the game. Both have pushed themselves all year to get to the next level. Both were exceptional in our postseason schedule and were critical to our team=92s success in Oklahoma City at the Women's College World Series. Karen (Co-Head Coach Weekly) and I wish them both the best of luck as they continue to climb the U.S. National Team ladder and pursue their Olympic dreams.''

Both players served vital roles for the Lady Vols during UT's record-settin g run to the Women=92s College World Series in 2005. A first-team Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American, Abbott led the nation in victories (50), solo shutouts (34) and strikeouts (603) while registering a miniscule earned run average of 0.52. The 6-3 lefthander from Salinas, Calif., was at her best on the brightest stage by recording an 8-2 record with 79 K=92s in 70 innings of work (0.40 ERA). Abbott posted six consecutive shutouts in NCAA Tournament play and eight overall in 10 appearances. Among her personal highlights were consecutive 2-0 and 6-0 blankings of No. 4 Stanford in NCAA Super Regional action, and a 1-0 shutout of No. 3 Arizona in UT's WCWS opener. She staved off elimination for the Orange & White by hurling a complete-game four-hitter against No. 8 Alabama. She also threw 11 innings of scoreless work against No. 1 and eventual national champion Michigan before Tonya Callahan's two-run blast over the left field wall at 1:30 a.m. local time won the game for the Lady Vols. For her efforts in Oklahoma City, Abbott was one of three Lady Vols selected to the WCWS All-Tournament Team.

Among the Southeastern Conference leaders in batting average (.396) throughout the season, Schutzler, a Monterey, Calif., native and second-tea m Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American established a new league record for hits in a single-season with 107 while guiding the way in the SEC with 72 runs scored and 36 stolen bases. As one of the leaders of the nation's bes t defense (.982) from her shortstop position, Schutzler also proved her mettl e in the NCAA Tournament by hitting .387 while fielding her position flawlessly over 10 contests. The sophomore went 6-for-9 during NCAA Regiona l action in Knoxville including a 3-for-3 effort in the first match-up agains t the College of Charleston and a 2-for-3, two-RBI performance in the 2-0 region-clinching win over C of C. Her crucial, two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning provided the difference. She also went 3-6 combined in two match ups against No. 4 Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., and hit 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored against No. 8 Alabama in the WCWS.

The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governin g Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation's largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a networ k of 88 local associations. As the National Governing Body, the ASA is responsible for identifying, selecting and training male and female athlete s to compete in World, Pan American and Olympic competitions. In addition to those duties, the ASA conducts the only recognized National Championship competitions in the United States.

The 2005 Women's National Team Roster:

Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif./ Tennessee*)
Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, Calif./ Fresno State)
Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif./ Washington)
Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif./ Arizona)
Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz./ UCLA)
Amanda Freed (Cypress, Calif./ UCLA)
Vicky Galindo (Union City, Calif./ California-Berkeley)
Alicia Hollowell (Suisun, Calif./ Arizona*)
Lovie Jung (Fountain Valley, Calif./ Arizona)
Kelly Kretschman (Indian Harbour Beach, Fla./ Alabama)
Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif./ Arizona*)
Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif./ Stanford)
Stacey Nuveman (La Verne, Calif./ UCLA)
Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas/ Texas*)
Jamie Southern (Clovis, Calif./ Fresno State)v Jenny Topping (Whittier, Calif./ Cal State Fullerton)v Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif./ UCLA)
Kellie Wilkerson (Jacksonville, Fla./ Mississippi State)

The 2005 Women's Elite Team Roster:

Kaleo Eldredge (Kahului, Hawaii/ California-Berkeley)
Leigh Ann Ellis (Barboursville, West Virginia/ Uni. of South Florida)
Samantha Findlay (Lockport, Ill./ Michigan*)
Jocelyn Forest (Santa Maria, Calif./ California-Berkeley)
Nicole Giordano (Saugus, Calif./ Arizona)
Tiffany Haas (Santa Ana, Calif./ Michigan*)
Lauren Lappin (Anaheim, Calif./ Stanford*)
Jessica Merchant (Wayland, Mich./ Michigan)
Catalina Morris (Sonoita, Ariz./ Stanford*)
Marissa Nichols (Alta Loma, Calif./ UNLV*)
Gina Oaks (Alta Loma, Calif./ Cal State Fullerton)
Jennie Ritter (Dexter, Mich./ Michigan*)
Heather Scaglione (San Diego, Calif./ Oklahoma)
Lindsay Schutzler, Monterey, Calif./ Tennessee*)
Dana Sorensen (San Diego, Calif./ Stanford)
Mackenzie Vandergeest (Thousand Oaks, Calif./ Arizona)
*Indicates still in college

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