Portland State had to say goodbye to a true Viking legend at the end of this year’s softball season as head coach Teri Mariani decided to call it quits after 29 years on the Vikings bench. Mariani compiled 663 career victories in her tenure with Portland State, the only school she coached at. Those wins are the high water mark for any coach at Portland State.
Unfortunately, the Viks did little to make Mariani’s last year memorable. The Vikings lost more than just a coach this year, going 17-28 overall. However, in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference the Viks showed signs of life, rallying to an 11-8 mark. Among other positive improvements, the Vikings bashed a record 27 homers during the year, eclipsing the previous mark of 20 set last season.
Freshman outfielder Laura Segall led the team in batting average with a .301 percentage. Senior Kayla Lewis led the team with 9 homers and 28 RBI but struggled otherwise at the plate, batting only .218. Junior right-hander Michelle Hext anchored the pitching staff along with multitalented freshman righty Mandy Hill, who also played first base and smashed 4 homers with 15 RBI. Hext went 8-9 with a 1.49 ERA on the year and suffered from poor run support. Hill was 5-5 with an ERA of 3.
The search now begins for a new head coach. As many have reminded those less informed, there is no replacing Mariani and the intangibles she brings. But the Viks must do their best now or suffer through another 17-28 year.