The Portland State women’s softball team won one and lost two at the Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament in Hawaii over the weekend. The team shut out the East Carolina University Pirates in the first game on Friday, then came out on the losing end of a shutout versus the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine in the second game of the evening’s doubleheader.
The Portland State women’s softball team won one and lost two at the Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament in Hawaii over the weekend. The team shut out the East Carolina University Pirates in the first game on Friday, then came out on the losing end of a shutout versus the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine in the second game of the evening’s doubleheader. The Vikings followed it up with a second loss to Hawaii on Saturday before bad weather caused the cancellation of the weekend’s final two games. Once again, Portland State enjoyed periods of tremendous success at the plate that were offset by stretches of inconsistency.
“I know we lost some games, but overall it was a positive weekend,” head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “I think that these games are getting us prepared for conference [matchups].”
The Vikings’ 9-0 victory over East Carolina was achieved in an uncharacteristic manner for the squad. After weeks of home runs, Portland State got the win without sending a single pitch over the fence, instead relying on clean hits to advance runners.
“It was a little bit of everything,” Echo-Hawk said. “It was a whole team effort.”
On the mound, Viking pitcher Anna Bertrand demonstrated a return to the form that the team has come to expect from her, allowing just two hits and two walks in five innings.
“She’s faced a lot of tough competition, but to have her come and stay positive with herself—it was a step in the right direction,” Echo-Hawk said.
Bertrand and the Viking defense let the Pirates advance to second base only once after the third inning, and didn’t give up a hit until the fourth. Both teams remained scoreless through the first two innings until freshman catcher Lauran Bliss and junior third baseman Crysta Conn both registered singles in the bottom of the third, leading to a sacrifice fly from senior second baseman Carly McEachran that sent Bliss across the plate. After a double by sophomore shortstop Alicia Fine allowed Conn to score, designated player Brittany Hendrickson laced a single up the middle to drive in two more runs and give the Vikings a 4-0 lead.
The Vikings then exploded for another five runs in the fourth inning, capped by a three-RBI double from Hendrickson. The Pirates were unable to make anything happen in the fifth, giving the Vikings the victory. Hendrickson recorded five RBIs overall in the game, the second weekend in a row she has done so.
“[Hendrickson’s] in the zone,” Echo-Hawk said. “She’s seeing the ball well. She’s back to being in that form where it looks effortless. It’s nice to have her feeling good.”
Portland State failed to build on that momentum, however, when they faced Hawaii later that night. The Rainbow Wahine put together four runs in the first inning on their home field and tacked on three more in the second to build the 7-0 lead that would be the final score. Freshman pitcher Karyn Wright recovered from the early onslaught to throw four scoreless
innings with only five hits for the remainder of the game, but the Viking offense could not come up with the run support they needed to foster a comeback. Portland State dropped another to Hawaii the next day by a score of 8-3.
“I think the biggest thing is we have to be consistent,” Echo-Hawk said. “You look at our nonconference schedule and it’s one of the toughest around. The key is that we stay confident.”
The Vikings have one final weekend of nonconference play before launching into the team’s first-ever Big Sky campaign. They’ll head to Idaho to compete in the Springhill Suites Invitational hosted by Boise State University. Portland State will open up the weekend against the Utah State University Aggies on Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by a game against the Boise State Mustangs at 3 p.m. The Vikings will then take on both teams a second time on Sunday to close out the tournament. Live scores and stats can be found by visiting