KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Tennessee softball will host the 2020 USA Softball Women's National Team in an exhibition game on April 8 at 7 p.m. (ET) at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium as a part of Team USA's "Stand Beside Her" Tour, announced co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly along with USA Softball on Wednesday. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Fans will have an opportunity to see the Lady Vols take on Team USA as the Red, White and Blue's Olympic squad prepares for Tokyo 2020. Spectators will also have a chance to welcome back legendary Lady Vol Monica Abbott (2004-07), who holds the NCAA record in career strikeouts (2,440), innings pitched (1,448.0), victories (189) and starts (206). Abbott, who owns nearly every UT pitching record and is a four-time All-American and the 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, will also make her second appearance at the Olympics this summer.
"Ralph and I are extremely excited for the opportunity to host Team USA at Sherri Parker Lee stadium on the "Stand Beside Her" tour," Karen Weekly said. "It is even more special because our very own Monica Abbott is coming home to Rocky Top and representing our country in the 2020 Olympic Games. We couldn't be prouder of her and everything she has accomplished in her career. We are grateful to the Visit Knoxville Sports Commission and the University of Tennessee for working together to make this possible."
Visit Knoxville, the official Convention and Visitors Bureau for Knoxville and Knox County that liaised the opportunity, believes the Team USA visit will positively impact the local community.
"We are excited to bring Team USA to Knoxville," said Senior Director of the Visit Knoxville Sports Commission, Chad Culver. "The opportunity to see these athletes compete in an Olympic year against the Lady Vols will be great for our community. We appreciate our partners in Tennessee Athletics for working with us to host this exhibition game."
Abbott expressed equal enthusiasm about her impending return to Big Orange Country: "I'm so excited to be back on Rocky Top with Team USA," said Abbott. "The University of Tennessee is rich with Team USA ties and has many connections to the USA Softball program. I can't wait to be back representing Vol Nation and USA!"
The "Stand Beside Her" tour evokes a powerful message of unity aimed to inspire communities to stand beside HER – the members of the WNT, America and the future generation of female athletes.
Additional stops for the "Stand Beside Her" tour will be announced at a later date. For more information on the "Stand Beside Her" tour, please visit StandBesideHerTour.com.