Olympic silver medalist Monica Abbott headlines Salinas Valley Hall of Fame selections

It seems only fitting that on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, headlining the 2022 Salinas Valley Sports Hall of Fame list is former North Salinas High softball pitcher Monica Abbott.

A two-time Olympic silver medalist and arguably the greatest pitcher in the world over the last 20 years, Abbott is one of 11 new inductees, as well as one team that will be inducted on August 27 at the Salinas Storm House.

Abbott, who hurled North Salinas to a pair of Central Coast Section Division I softball titles, still holds NCAA records while at the University of Tennessee for strikeouts and wins, guiding them to three World Series appearances.

Joining Abbott will include former Tennessee teammate and Notre Dame multi-sport athlete Lindsay Schutzler, and former North Salinas three-sport standout and Cal pitcher Jennifer Deering.

Also being honored will be former Alisal and Major League Soccer forward David Estrada, multi–Central Coast Section track and field champion Susan Springer of Salinas, and judo legend Ferd Tihista.

Among former coaches or athletic directors being inducted are Palma’s Steve Clayton, Alisal’s Terry Espinoza and Notre Dame’s Terri Sonniksen. The trio will be joined by former wrestling coach and official Matt Alvarado, and sportswriter/author Alan Shipnuck.

The 1976 Salinas American Little League softball all-star world championship team of Kristie Sullivan, Tina Hester, Sandy Fuerte, Karre Melchisedech, Leslie Deaton, Hopi Cota, Renita Gachete, Debbie Cortez, Charlene Armstrong, Robin Aman, Stella Garcia, Diana Alvarez, Teresa Ortiz and Clara Mejia, as well as coaches Stan Silva, Fred Dilbeck and Kathy Silva is being inducted.

For tickets to the event, which has been on hold for two years because of the pandemic, go to www.salinasvalleysportshalloffame.com

Contributed by local news sources

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