Softball faces do-or-die weekend

Portland State softball is riding one of the best winning streaks in program history—and it could not come at a more critical time.

Portland State softball is riding one of the best winning streaks in program history—and it could not come at a more critical time.

The Vikings hold a 10-game winning streak and face an all-important road trip this weekend as they travel to Colorado for six games over three days. Portland State plays Northern Colorado in a pair of doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday in Greeley before traveling to Fort Collins on Monday for a non-conference doubleheader with Colorado State.

With identical 9-3 conference records, Portland State (23-15 overall) and Northern Colorado (13-31) are tied for first place in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference’s Mountain Division standings. The outcome of this four-game series is likely to decide which squad will earn the division pennant and hosting rights of next month’s PCSC Championship Series.

After this weekend, all that will remain of Portland State’s conference schedule is a four-game series with Weber State (3-9 PCSC) on May 7–8 in Portland.

The Vikings’ dime of consecutive wins is the team’s best since moving up to the Division-I level in 1999 and the second-best in program history. The only PSU squad with a better streak was the 1991 Vikings, who earned 12-straight wins.

Portland State is coming off Tuesday’s two-game sweep of non-conference opponent North Dakota. The Vikings began the day with a 5-0 victory that marked their fourth consecutive shutout win before wrapping up the evening with a 3-1 victory. Prior to that, PSU earned series sweeps over both Seattle and Idaho State.

Portland State has not lost since April 10, when they dropped three of four games to visiting Utah Valley in the opening weekend of their conference schedule.

During their streak the Vikings have put up notable numbers on both sides of the ball, hitting .374 as a team and with four batters above .400 at the plate. In last weekend’s series against Seattle, the Vikings outhit the Redhawks 44-14, including a season-high 15 hits in the first game and 28 over the entire first day.

From the pitchingcircle, the Viking tossers have racked up a 1.62 ERA over the past 10 games while holding their opponents to .185 at the plate.

Portland State sophomore pitcher Anna Bertrand earned this week’s Mountain Division Player of the Week honor for her performance over the weekend. Bertrand gave up just five hits in two complete-game shutouts. On the season, she has held opposing batters to a league-best .211 average.

With Bertrand’s selection, the Vikings have now won nine weekly honors this season. However, Portland State will face a Bears team that’s earning plenty of conference accolades of its own. Northern Colorado sophomore infielder Melanie Buol was named this week’s divisional Player of the Week for hitting .583 with two home runs and six RBIs in last weekend’s series split at Utah Valley. Buol is hitting .400 in league play and .214 on the season.

Also, a concern for the Vikings is UNC senior pitcher Kelli Henderson, who is a potent threat on both sides of the ball. Henderson leads the Bears with a .394 overall batting average with four home runs and a team-leading 28 RBIs. She is hitting .523 in conference games and also leads her squad in the pitching circle, with a 4.77 overall ERA and a conference-best 131 strikeouts.

Portland State leads the entire PCSC with a .345 batting average in conference games and Northern Colorado ranks second with a .343 average.

Senior shortstop Arielle Wiser—who went .500 in last weekend’s series in Seattle—is hitting .463 in conference play and .350 overall on the season. Junior catcher Lacey Holm leads the Vikings with a .370 overall batting average and 30 RBIs.

The first pitch of Portland State’s doubleheaders with Northern Colorado are set to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Monday’s doubleheader with Colorado State (7-36) is scheduled to start at noon.

Live stats and audio from all six games will be available at, with former head coach Teri Mariani providing the play-by-play commentary. ?