HOUSTON, May 5 (UPI) -- Softball meant hard cash this week for Monica Abbott.
Abbott, signed a six-year, $1 million contract this week with the Scrap Yard Dawgs, according to ESPN. The 30-year-old becomes the first player in league history to sign a million-dollar contract.
"The contract is believed to be the most lucrative paid by an individual American professional franchise to an active female athlete in team sports," ESPNW's Graham Hays reported.
"I think it's a proud moment for National Pro Fastpitch," league Commissioner Cheri Kempf said, according to ESPN. "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."
Hopefully it’s the start of new platforms in salary advertising and sponsorship across the league and the athletes https://t.co/VbCQUhIW7E— Monica Abbott (@monicaabbott) May 5, 2016
Abbott took to Twitter Thursday to comment on the deal.
"Anything can happen! This proves it! #monicamakeshistory#BreakingBarriers," Abbott tweeted.
"Hopefully it's the start of new platforms in salary advertising and sponsorship across the league and the athletes," Abbott tweeted.
The Houston-Area team is the newest expansion team of National Pro Fastpitch.
The deal pays Abbott $20,000 each season, with bonuses in place, due to the $150,000 salary cap for each team.
"In my mind, it represents an opportunity for the younger players in our game," Abbott told ESPN. "The pro league, it's continued to grow year in and year out. And even with my Bandits teammates, we were constantly talking about creating a future for the next generation. For me, that's what I see in this deal. I see opportunities for other athletes, for the college girls coming in [to the league], for the college freshmen, for the 12-year-olds. I see opportunities for them to only be a professional softball player. To not have to have another career, another job."
"Hopefully it just raises the bar of our sport."
Abbott is a three-time NPF champion, the reigning NPF Championship MVP, a 2008 Olympic silver medalist, and the 2007 NCAA national softball player of the year. She also three the Olympics' first perfect game and holds NCAA records for strikeouts, shutouts, games pitched, and victories. Abbott's pitch has been clocked at 77 mph.
Last season, while pitching for the Chicago Bandits, Abbott led NPF with a 0.31 ERA in 90.1 innings pitched. Her 149 strikeouts were second in the league, behind Cat Osterman.