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Dickmann Wins Twice as CSUN Nears World Series Berth

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Her record is not as good as in previous seasons and her earned-run average is the highest of her collegiate career.

But Cal State Northridge senior pitcher Debbie Dickmann still can dominate opponents.

As evidence, there’s the first day of the NCAA Division II softball Midwest regional Saturday.

In two games, Dickmann struck out 19 and gave up two hits to put Northridge within a victory of reaching the Division II championships for the ninth time in 10 years.

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Dickmann allowed two hits and struck out 10 in a 1-0 victory over Southern Illinois Edwardsville, then came back 2 1/2 hours later to beat Nebraska Omaha, 3-0, on a no-hitter with nine strikeouts.

“My arm felt great,” Dickmann (25-7) said. “My body feels tired now, but I feel like I could go out there right now and throw another game, and it wouldn’t bother my arm.”

Northridge (48-19) will play the winner of a noon game between Nebraska Omaha and Augustana at 2 p.m. CDT today.

A victory would clinch the regional title for the Lady Matadors and send them to the Division II World Series in Midland, Mich., from Friday through Sunday.

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A loss would force a second game at 4 p.m., with the winner taking the regional title.

“We’re in a great position,” Northridge Coach Gary Torgeson said. “It’s going to be awfully tough for a team to win three games in a row tomorrow.”

Against Edwardsville, Dickmann gave up a leadoff triple to Stephanie Montgomery, then retired 19 batters in a row--the first four on strikeouts--before giving up a single to Jennifer Thompson with one out in the seventh.

Northridge got the only run Dickmann needed in the first. Lisa Erickson singled, stole second, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Anna Getherall and scored on Erin McGuire’s groundout.

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Dickmann came within a hit batter of a perfect game in the victory over Nebraska Omaha, which defeated Augustana, 2-0, in the tournament’s opening game.

Dickmann had retired the first 10 batters before plunking Amy Phalen in the fourth.

“I wasn’t really thinking about the no-hitter then,” said Dickmann, who entered the regional with an 0.72 ERA. “But I do remember thinking, ‘There goes my perfect game.’ ”

Two superb defensive plays helped preserve the no-hitter.

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In the sixth, first baseman Danielle Wood fielded a textbook-perfect bunt by Sherri Novak and threw her out. An inning later, shortstop Getherall flagged down a ground ball to her left and threw out Jackie Hansen to end the game.

Northridge got nine hits off Omaha pitcher Amy Boyd (16-6), including sophomore Leilani Artis’ first collegiate home run, which gave Northridge a 1-0 lead in the third.


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