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Abeles Powers Softball Past Eagles

By Richard B. Tenorio

Unperturbed by the rain and the Boston College offense, the Harvard softball team (19-15-1) stayed focused and defeated the Eagles, 6-4, yesterday at Soldier's Field.

"It wasn't our best game, but we were more determined," said junior pitcher Tasha Cupp, who improved to 13-7. "Both the team and myself were determined to play through the rain. It's very easy to get flustered [in such conditions]--we did that last weekend."

Freshman Deborah Abeles' three-run homer in the first inning provided confidence.

"It took a little pressure off of everyone," senior Melissa Kreuder said. "After that, we were able to play the game our way and not force things."

Abeles homered after senior Katina Lee singled and junior Jenny Franzese reached on an error.

"At the moment of contact [when Abeles hit the ball], we realized it was going to go out," Kreuder said. "It was definitely a shot--it cleared the wall by a ton."

"The pitch was pretty meaty," Abeles said. "It was a little inside and at waist level. I don't know if [BC pitcher Alexis Beckman] missed the spot."

BC (23-8) scored a run in the second on a sacrifice fly to right field, but Harvard scored an inning later to make it 4-1.

In the fifth, Ann Marie Ambros sacrificed home another Eagle run. BC tied the game in the sixth on an error and a single.

Harvard reclaimed the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. After freshman Ghia Godfree singled with one out, pinchrunner Jamie Stark stole second. Sophomore Tara LaSovage singled in the go-ahead run, and Kreuder doubled to drive her in.

"The sixth inning was the toughest for me, but the offense came back and picked us right up," Cupp said.

In the seventh, it was the defense's turn to spark the team. Ambros hit a shot to centerfield that looked like a triple, but Franzese kept the ball in the infield and made the relay throw to Abeles for the out.

"We knew we had to come out well defensively; B.C. is a good hitting team," Kreuder said. "We also were prepared in the box offensively. We came out ready to attack, and we took advantage of our opportunities."

"Harvard had solid hitting; the top two, three, and four spots [Franzese, Abeles, and sophomore Terri Teller] were all strong," Beckman said. "Cupp had a nice rise ball."

Cupp pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on seven hits. She walked two and struck out five.

"I learned from previous experience that a fastball was not going to work well in the rain," Cupp said. "The spins don't work well in the rain either."

Cupp, who throws a fastball, riseball, screwball, curve and changeup, used more changeups versus the Eagles.

Beckman (10-3) also pitched a complete game, allowing three runs. She threw mostly drop-curves against Harvard.

"I tried to keep it low and outside," Beckman said. "I also tried to keep the ball dry, which is difficult to do in the rain."

On Saturday, Harvard hosts Princeton at Soldier's Field.

"Princeton is always ready to go," Kreuder said. "They have good hitters and are tough defensively." B.C.  4 Harvard  6

HARVARD, 6-4 at Soldier's Field           R  H  E BC  010  012  0--  --  4  7  2 Harvard  301  002  0--  --  6  8  1

HR: BC--None; Harvard--Abeles. 2B: BC--Ambros, Beckman, Thompson; Harvard--Kreuder. E: BC--None; Harvard--Abeles.

WP: Cupp (13-7); LP:Beckman (10-3)

HARVARD, 6-4 at Soldier's Field           R  H  E BC  010  012  0--  --  4  7  2 Harvard  301  002  0--  --  6  8  1

HR: BC--None; Harvard--Abeles. 2B: BC--Ambros, Beckman, Thompson; Harvard--Kreuder. E: BC--None; Harvard--Abeles.

WP: Cupp (13-7); LP:Beckman (10-3)

HR: BC--None; Harvard--Abeles. 2B: BC--Ambros, Beckman, Thompson; Harvard--Kreuder. E: BC--None; Harvard--Abeles.

WP: Cupp (13-7); LP:Beckman (10-3)

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