Softball heads for better weather in San Diego

The Vikings (8-14, 0-0 Pacific Coast Softball Conference) had a busy final week in March, and junior shortstop Erin Stokey played a huge role as the team won four of eight games over the break.

“Erin had a great week,” said head coach Teri Mariani.

Stokey had three home runs, including her second career grand slam, knocked in 11 runs in the eight games and took home the Pacific Coast Softball Conference Player of the Week honors.

“She’s our leading hitter,” Mariani said.

The Vikings opened the break in Reno, Nev., and lost a pair of games to Nevada on Sunday, March 23. Senior Nichole Ivey, a pitcher Mariani converted to first base this year, hit home runs in each of the games and drove in four runs for the day.

“This is a key year for Nichole. She pitched her first three years here,” Mariani said. “She’s doing a great job at first base now, and playing every day has allowed her to focus on her hitting.”

After losing 6-5 and 11-3, the Vikings stormed back the next day and swept a second doubleheader from Nevada. Using a 13-strikeout complete game from senior Morgan Seibert, Portland State edged the Wolf Pack 6-5. In the nightcap, Portland State took an 8-0 lead after two innings and ran away with a 12-4 mercy-rule, six-inning win. Stokey slammed two homers, including the grand slam, and had seven RBIs in the game. Freshman right-hander Michelle Hext picked up the win.

Two days later, the Viking’s offensive juggernaut came to a halt in a major way as the Vikings, after traveling from Reno to Stockton, Calif., lost 8-0 and 3-0 to Pacific. They were the 19th and 20th games of the Vikings’ season without the comforts of a single home game.

Last Saturday, the Vikings finally got a chance to play host on the home turf at Erv Lind Field when Seattle University came to town. The Vikings laid a pair of beatings, 3-2 and 7-3, on the Division II Red Hawks. Sophomore catcher Rose Rutledge singled home junior Annie Peccia in extra innings, to take the first game. Stokey hit a three-run shot in the first inning of the second game, and freshman outfielder Tiffany McHenry went 3-4 with an RBI.

This week’s rainstorms have not made for good softball weather for the Portland State Vikings. Luckily, as the team heads south this weekend for its first conference games of the season, the forecast in San Diego calls for sunny skies and warm spring temperatures.

Gloomy skies covered Portland on Tuesday, as there was a rained-out Vikings softball doubleheader against 19th-ranked Oregon. The games will be made up, weather willing, April 16, at 2 p.m. Now the Vikings’ next home game will be a doubleheader against Washington on Thursday, April 10, one day after the Vikings play a doubleheader against the Ducks in Eugene.

The Vikings begin their PCSC schedule with four games against the University of San Diego this weekend. Following San Diego, the Vikings play a doubleheader against Oregon next Wednesday, before the next home stand against Washington and Sacramento State. Next Thursday’s doubleheader starts at 2 p.m. Erv Lind Field is one block south of N.E. 57th and Halsey. All games are free to students.