Megumi Hackett: Proud to be a Viking

When a spring downpour drenched the field at Erv Lind Stadium on Sunday, it wasn’t just the Portland State softball team’s doubleheader that was rained out. Four seniors were left without a Senior Day tribute. Megumi Hackett was one of them.

“It’s was kind of rough,” she says. “It was an abrupt way to end after four years.” Four years that have elevated Hackett to a place in Viking softball history.

“She’s the best second baseman ever to come through this program,” says head softball coach Teri Mariani.

The 22-year-old Hackett will graduate in June with an administration of justice degree. And although she has plans to continue her schooling, after four years of hard work in the classroom and on the diamond, she is ready to take a little break.

“I’m going to relax a lot and look for a real job,” Hackett says. “Put my foot into the real world.”

Hackett started out as a business major (she wanted to be an accountant), but criminal justice was just too interesting for her to pass up. After volunteering for her practicum and capstone at the House of Umoja, a Northeast Portland safe place that promotes healthy development in gang-threatened youth, Hackett has focused her sights on a career working with juvenile offenders, and most likely some more schooling for herself.

“I would love to do a master’s program,” Hackett says. “Eventually I will.”

This season, Hackett started all 48 games the Vikings played. Her .978 fielding percentage was tops for all PSU infielders, and she was second on the team with a .318 batting average. The five foot two inch tall Hackett also led the team in hits and stole three bases.

Hackett played shortstop during her North Medford High School days, and she won Oregon Player of the Year as a junior. That was the same year she led the Black Tornado to the state championship. When she arrived at PSU, though, the coaching staff decided they wanted her to play second base. Why? “I don’t know,” says Hackett. “That’s where they thought I’d be best. Not a lot of mental mistakes at a mental position, I guess.”

In the little free time she has, Hackett likes to go bowling, hang out, relax and rent movies. Her favorites? “Love and Basketball” and “Se7en.” “And I’m a Morris Chesnut fan,” she says. “He’s my husband, he just doesn’t know it yet.”

Hackett, whose nickname Gumi (goo-mee) is reminiscent of her favorite treats (gummi bears), likes to eat just about everything under the sun, saying, “Salad’s great, but I love food that’s bad for me.” However, a few dishes stand out above the rest. “When (my boyfriend) Eric makes me grits, eggs, sausage and toast, yeah.” For dinner? “Shrimp and rice.”

Hackett has enjoyed her time as a Viking. She appreciates the trust her coaches have for the team. “Teri is an awesome coach. In Vegas, she gave us time to go out and do things, have fun and then come back to the business at hand. I’m glad I chose to come here. If I had to make the same decision again, I’d choose PSU again.”