Viks softball cages Redhawks

Portland State softball could not be hitting a hot streak at a better time.

Portland State softball could not be hitting a hot streak at a better time.

The Vikings swept a four-game series with Seattle University over the weekend to extend PSU’s winning streak to a season-high eight games and put the Green Machine in a tie for first place in the division standings.

PSU defeated the Redhawks 9-6 and 8-0 on Friday before returning to Seattle’s Logan Field on Saturday for a 10-0 win in five innings and a 2-0 shutout in the series finale.

The Vikings (21-15, 9-3 PCSC) are now in a tie with Northern Colorado for first place in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference’s Mountain Division standings.

“It was a key weekend for us. We needed to come out of here with four wins,” head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said in a media statement. “The kids rose to the occasion all weekend, and especially [on Saturday]. It was the final home game for [Seattle’s] seniors, so we knew we had to bring everything we had…I was really happy with our performance all weekend long.”

The weekend began with the Vikings busting out a season-high 15 hits in the series opener with Seattle (9-30, 5-8 PCSC). Senior shortstop Arielle Wiser led PSU at the plate by going 5-of-5 with two RBIs and senior Nichole Latham ruled the pitching circle with 10 strikeouts in a complete-game effort.

PSU continued the offensive surge in Game 2 by knocking out 13 more hits, with four Vikings tallying multi-hit performances. Sophomore infielder Carly McEachran—last week’s Mountain Division Player of the Week—continued her hot streak with a run, an RBI and a stolen base off two hits in four at bats.

Sophomore pitcher Anna Bertrand earned the win after holding the Redhawks to only three hits. In a complete-game effort that saw her deliver just 80 pitches, Bertrand struck out four and walked one.

PSU’s bats barely had time to cool overnight as the Vikings continued to hit well on Saturday, with four Vikings batting 1.000 in Game 3 before the Redhawks were run-ruled in the fifth inning. McEachran went 3-of-3 from the leadoff position with two runs and an RBI, while Wiser and junior catcher Lacey Holm each went 2-of-2 for a combined five RBIs. Senior Susan Winningham came in to pinch hit in the fourth and earned a hit and a run from her sole appearance at the plate.

From the circle, Latham gave up one hit over three innings to earn the win and advance her season record 12-7 to before Echo-Hawk handed over pitching duties to junior Karmen Holladay. In just her second appearance of the season at pitcher, Holladay gave up just two more hits to secure the shutout victory.

PSU’s bats were held to just four hits in Game 4, but the Vikings were able to rely on Bertrand to shut down Seattle’s attempts to spoil the series sweep. Bertrand (9-8) gave up only two hits and struck out four to earn her second complete-game shutout of the weekend. PSU secured the win with runs in the bottom of the second and fourth innings, with freshman Crysta Conn crossing the plate on each.

PSU out-hit the Redhawks .386 to .154 over the course of the weekend.

Wiser finished the weekend batting .500 with three runs and three RBIs, and is now batting .347 on the season. Holm, who leads the Vikings with a .373 batting average, finished with four hits for four RBIs.

McEachran totaled six hits in 13 at bats for five runs and three RBIs. She is now hitting .293 with a team-leading .545 slugging percentage.

The Vikings return to the field at noon today to host North Dakota (12-30) in a non-conference doubleheader at Erv Lind Stadium before continuing league play at Northern Colorado on Saturday and Sunday. ?