The Portland State softball team had a tough time in its first invite of the 2002 season, going 1-4 in the UNLV tournament. The Vikings’ one win came against Kent State in the second day of the tournament.
Portland State opened up the tournament on a rough note by getting shut out 1-0 by Central Michigan. The Vikings’ second game of the day came against the Cal Poly Mustangs who proved too much for the Vikings. Portland State scored early with a homer from sophomore Nichole Ivie, putting PSU up 3-0 in the top of the first. Unfortunately the three early runs were all that the Viks could muster. The Mustangs came back at the Vikings scoring five of their six runs in the fourth inning. Three of the Mustang runs came off of Viking errors, wining 6-3.
After dropping their first two games the Vikings were thirsty for a win, and they got it. The Vikings came from a two-game skid to beat Kent State 4-2. Kent State took an early lead of 1-0 in the top of the fourth, but couldn’t hang on for long. The Vikings rallied for four runs in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Kara Ray, in the line-up for ill shortstop Vanessa Applegate, knocked in two runs with her big double capping the four run rally that put the Viks up for good.
Junior Morgan Seibert allowed only one earned run and had nine strikeouts in her second start of the year against Kent State.
Next up for the Vikings was UC Riverside. The Highlanders can thank the Vikings for the win. PSU committed three errors in the seventh to let the Highlanders sneak in a pair of runs. Down 3-0, Portland State tried to get something going in the bottom of the seventh. With the bases loaded and no one out, the Vikings were able to manufacture two runs but left the tying run at third to close out the game 3-2.
Portland State wrapped up its final day of play against Cal, one of the top ranked teams in the nation. The Bears jumped on the Vikings early, with a five run second inning and were just too much for the Viks to handle.
“There is a reason they are ranked so high,” Mariani said. “We made a couple of physical and mental errors and a good team will make you pay for that.”
Portland State will finish up its two-week rest and head to Cal State Fullerton this Friday for the Worth Invitational.