Softball teams drop all six games at Worth Invitational

The Portland State softball team has lost seven games in a row after a winless weekend at the Worth Invitational at Cal State-Fullerton.

The Vikings lost four close, low-scoring contests, two in extra innings, before being routed twice by two highly ranked teams on Sunday.

“We had four games that were really frustrating. We played great defense but we just couldn’t get the hits at the proper time,” Portland State coach Teri Mariani said.

“We should have won all four of those games, no question. We had no errors in those games and that’s a big change from last year when we really started out ugly. This year we really wanted to improve on that.”

In Friday’s first game, Viking sophomore Morgan Seibert pitched well against Pacific University, throwing a complete game three-hitter and giving up only one run.

The only weakness in Seibert’s game was her allowance of six walks. The winning run was scored in the bottom of the fifth by a Pacific player who had earned a base on balls from Seibert.

The Portland State offense, though, could not provide a shred of run support and the Vikings lost 1-0. The first four spots in the batting order did not manage a single hit in the game.

Nichole Ivie pitched the second game against New Mexico on Friday, and was on a roll, going more than seven innings and only giving up four hits. In the bottom of the eighth, Seibert came on in relief with two runners on, but walked the next two batters, sending home the winning run to end the game 1-0.

“Our pitching and defense are really doing great. They’re allowing us the opportunity to win games. We just haven’t figured out the bats yet,” Mariani said.Saturday, the Vikings again had success on the mound that they couldn’t match at the plate. In the day’s first game, Seibert pitched a complete game one-hitter against Long Beach State, and the Vikings lost 2-1. Seibert paid dearly for her few mistakes, as the six walks, the sole base hit she allowed, and a few wild pitches led to both of Long Beach’s runs.

“Against Long Beach State, we had the bases loaded at the end of the game, and we had our last two batters go down looking,” Mariani said.

In the next game, Ivie was once again brilliant on the mound for eight innings, giving up only one earned run in the game, but it was not enough to stop San Jose State from beating the Vikings 3-1.

The Worth Invitational utilizes international rules that allow each team a base runner at second to start each extra inning.

“That rule is a good one for tournaments, because in softball you could really go on forever with nobody scoring and nobody wants an 18 or 20-inning game.

Sometimes it works to your disadvantage because you don’t get to choose who goes on base, but in a tournament it helps to keep things moving,” Mariani said.The Vikings had an opportunity to come back on San Jose State, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, but Kiauna Anderson struck out, for the first time this season, to end the game.

Sunday, No. 4 California shut the Vikings out 7-0, allowing the Vikings only three hits in the game. Seibert took the loss, against Jocelyn Forest, a California pitcher who, like her team, has not lost a game this season.

Later, the Vikings dropped the final game of the weekend to the tournament’s host, Cal State-Fullerton, 9-1.

“We actually swung the bat better on Sunday. We hit better against pitchers that were three times as good as the ones we faced on Saturday. They were very solid teams. I hope it means that our bats are coming around because we swung better against those tougher teams,” Mariani said.

“I think this weekend told us a little about where we are. I think it says something about us that we could get only three or four hits and still be in a game.

Realistically, in four games this weekend and two last weekend, we were only one swing of the bat away from winning every one of them,” Mariani said.

“Pacific, Long beach, New Mexico: they’re all either ranked teams or they have gotten votes. They’re definitely not roll-over teams and we’re right there with them,” Mariani said.

An anemic offense has plagued the Vikings so far this year, a result of losing much of the power of last year’s lineup to graduation.

“Our team doesn’t have a lot of power hitters. I did, though expect them to be getting on base a little more than they are,” Mariani said.

Mariani is optimistic about her team’s chances in this weekend’s University of San Diego Tournament.

“Our goal for this one is to come back with a winning record. These are all teams we are very capable of beating. Hopefully this will be our come-out week,” Mariani said.