PSU Softball drops last series of the season

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The PSU Vikings Softball team ended its 2017 season with a 4–2 loss to Sacramento State on Saturday, May 6. Steve Olson/PSU Vanguard

The Portland State Vikings Softball team ended its season Saturday, May 6 with a 4–2 loss to the Sacramento State Hornets. Along with the defeat, the Vikings lost the series 2–1 and missed the chance to win their second series of the season. However, the Vikings did achieve one series win this season against Northern Colorado. PSU finished the season 9–36 overall, and 7–14 in the Big Sky Conference.

Saturday’s game was the final for five PSU seniors on the Vikings roster. Each senior received a ceremonial pitch from their parents before the game started.

The game’s first three innings began defensively with both teams sending their pitches out toward the field. Despite consistent batting, neither team could bring a runner to home plate. The Hornets had four runners left on base while the Vikings had three.

The game’s momentum began to change in the fourth inning when Viking pitcher Alyssa Burk gave up a three–run homer to Hornets player Marissa Maligad. From there on out the Vikings struggled to catch up and settle the game.

The main play of the game came in the top of the fifth inning when Viking Shae Nelson fielded a line drive, tagging the runner at third and throwing to first base for the double–play. Burk ended the fifth on a strikeout.

PSU got on the board during the bottom of the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly to left field, cutting the Hornets’ lead to 2.

The Vikings gave up another run in top of the sixth inning to let the Hornets extend their lead to 4–1. The Vikings answered back in the bottom of the sixth inning, narrowing the Hornets’ lead to 4–2. Shortly after, a Hornets throwing error to first base let Viking Kaela Morrow score from third base. 

In the top of the seventh inning the Vikings experienced a slight set back due to injury. A timeout was called after PSU pitcher Alyssa Burk was struck by the ball and seen doubled over holding her arm. Burk would, however, return to the mound to finish the game for the Vikings.

The Vikings kept the Hornets off of the board in the final inning but couldn’t score. In the end, PSU fell short 4–2.

The Vikings finished the game with 2 runs from 9 hits. Burk pitched for the Vikings the entire game for her eighth time in the season. With this most recent loss, Burk’s pitching record dropped to 5–16 on the season.

The Hornets made the most of their playing opportunities after scoring 4 runs off of only 6 hits and 1 error. Sacramento used a combination of Taylor Tessier and Danielle Sperry for pitching. Tessier earned the Hornet win, pitching the first four innings and improving her record to 7–12. With Saturday’s win, the Hornets finished their season 20–26–1, and 10–10 in the Big Sky Conference.

With Saturday’s loss, the Vikings were eliminated from the Big Sky Conference tournament and their softball season is now over. The Hornets’ win qualified their move toward 3rd seed in the Big Sky Conference tournament and will face 6th seeded Idaho State in their first round matchup.   

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