Softball star Monica Abbott signs league’s first $1 million deal

United States pitcher Monica Abbott celebrates after winning 7-0 against Japan during a Women's Softball World Championship final game in Caracas, Friday, July 2, 2010. US won the gold medal. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

(WTNH)–She’s one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the sport, and on Thursday, Monica Abbott broke yet another record.

The Olympic star and former Tennessee standout just signed a $1 million deal to pitch with the Scrap Yard Dawgs, a Houston-area team with the National Pro Fastpitch League. reports that Abbott’s contract is the richest for an active female athlete, and that it is believed to be the most lucrative paid by an American sports franchise to a female athlete.

“I think it’s a proud moment for National Pro Fastpitch,” league commissioner Cheri Kempf told “But I think it goes further than that. I think it’s a proud moment for women in professional sports in this country. I feel glad that it’s happening in the league. I’m glad that we’re going to lead the way, in some respects.”

Abbott said she was honored to carry the torch for other female athletes.

“When you grow up playing a game, you just play for the love of the sport. You watch baseball and you watch other athletes, and you don’t realize that softball, you have to have another job besides that to support yourself as an adult,” Abbott said. “But a record-breaking deal like this that the Scrap Yard Dawgs came up with, this allows the sport to really have credibility for female athletes.”

Abbott holds nearly every NCAA pitching record. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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