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Valley / Ventura County Sports | Softball Notebook

Abeles Adds Final Chapter to Harvard Record Book

May 20, 2000|PAIGE A. LEECH

NORMAN, Okla. — You wouldn't have guessed it by her performance in the Oklahoma softball regional, but shortstop Deborah Abeles of Harvard is a hero by Crimson standards.

Abeles, a 1996 graduate of Flintridge Prep, finished her four-year career with six Harvard records.

"Deborah is a phenomenal player," Coach Jenny Allard said. "She came in and stepped up the level of competition within the program."

Abeles promised Allard that the Crimson would win an Ivy League title before she was finished and she didn't disappoint. Harvard won two.

A career .382 hitter, Abeles broke a bone just below her right wrist while batting on April 15.

She missed seven games and was expected to be out for the season. But she returned after two weeks, led Harvard to a title and was selected the Ivy League's player of the year.

"She's that type of kid where she knows her presence is important," Allard said. "It's her senior year and she wants to play. She's just sucked it up and played."

Despite her sparkling career at Harvard, the English and pre-medicine major went hitless in five at-bats in the Crimson's two regional losses, and made two errors in four chances.

Abeles set school records with 71 hits, 53 runs batted in and 10 home runs last season.

She also set career marks with 195 hits, 123 RBIs and 21 home runs.

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Northridge's 2-1 loss to Oklahoma on Friday dropped the Matadors to .500 this season, the second-worst finish in the program's history.

The Matadors finished 4-19 in 1978, their first season.

But that's probably not the worst that can be said about Northridge, which was eliminated from a regional in two games for the third time in four seasons.

The Matadors have won only one of their last 11 playoff games.

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Northridge reserve Chastity Johnson, a senior outfielder, sat in street clothes in the stands during the game on Friday.

Coach Janet Sherman had no comment on Johnson's status.

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Brooke Rutschman, a sophomore from Camarillo, scored the go-ahead run for Oregon State on Parisa Plant's single to center field in the fifth inning of the Beavers' 4-1 victory over Arkansas.

Plant, a Chatsworth graduate, is two for five and has scored twice in the regional.

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Meaghan Finnerty and Elizabeth Pierce were the only Matadors with multiple hits in the regional.

Finnerty went three for five and Pierce had two hits.

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