Monica Abbott helped secure the United States silver medals at the Beijing 2008 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

American two-time Olympic medallist Monica Abbott who is considered to be one of the greatest pitchers in the history of softball has called time on her 20-year playing career.

The 37-year-old left-handed pitcher, who played a key role in the American teams that claimed Olympic silver at Beijing 2008 and Tokyo 2020, took to social media to announce her retirement from the sport.

"For 20 years, I have lived the dream, playing softball at the highest levels and representing my country," Abbott wrote on Instagram.

"But the day has come where I know that I can do more for the game I love off the field than on. It’s been the most incredible journey."

Abbott boasts a 6-0 record on the Olympic stage with 63 combined strikeouts, starring as a rookie at Beijing 2008 before returning as a veteran at Tokyo 2020.

As well as her Olympic silvers, Abbott claimed World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s Softball World Cup golds in 2006, 2010, 2018, 2022 and Pan American Games titles in 2007 and 2019.

Abbott also helped the US win gold at the Birmingham 2022 World Games.

The two-time Olympian enjoyed an impressive domestic playing career, competing in both the US and Japan.

In the US, Abbott won five National Pro Fastpitch titles and five most valuable player (MVP) awards, becoming the first woman in American team sports history to sign a million-dollar contract

In Japan, Abbott played 14 years for Toyota Red Terriers, leading the team to league titles in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, while winning MVP awards in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2018

"When I started and I was pitching, I had this signature motion and movements that kind of helped me become the athlete I am today," said Abbott.

"But it's really cool to see how it’s helped the game evolve and how people pitch off the mound and how they use their body to become a good athlete at the softball arena."

Abbott was last year elected to the WBSC Athletes' Commission, becoming the women’s softball athlete representative on the organisation’s Executive Board.

"I’m not sure what’s next for me, but I do know that it will be softball related," added Abbott.