This month, Portland State’s softball team is preparing for the spring season. They’ve played four exhibition games so far and have two more to go. This is the first year that the softball team will be competing in the Big Sky Conference, as it’s the first year the conference is sponsoring a softball championship, though this is not the first time the Vikings softball team has played for a championship title.
Batter up: One of Portland State’s softball players makes contact during a preseason game earlier this month. The Vikings are preparing for the first year in which softball will be part of Big Sky Conference.
The players in this season’s team are no strangers to victory, and neither is their coach. They did well in the 2011-12 season, claiming the team’s third total and second consecutive championship victory in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference. Portland State was also awarded Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Pitcher in the 2012 PCSC Championship Series.
Last year’s team even broke a five-year slump at the NCAA tournament: During the 2012 season they scored PSU’s first win in the tournament since 2006, before being knocked out of the running by Brigham Young University.
“I think getting our first win last year kind of said a lot, and proved something to the kids that are on the team. The great thing about it is we return all but three people. So they have that experience, they know what it’s like to be there and actually win a game…This last year, winning a game, will just add to our confidence and our experience level and will hopefully carry over into this season,” head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said before fall term.
With a veteran team at her disposal, things should be looking up as she moves her team into the 2012–13 season. The Vikings softball team’s next game will be on Oct. 27, in Corvallis, against Oregon State University.
“I think that, because we have been so successful the last couple of years, we’re always going to be the team to beat, and every team is going to play their best against us,” Echo-Hawk said. “I think we got a good show of that last year, just with the different teams, with Weber [State University] playing really well against us as well as [the University of] Northern Colorado, and I think it’s just going to be the same this year. We’re going to be that team, and we’ve got to make sure we step up every single game.”