While the Portland State softball team’s offense has struggled to produce runs, its defense has been solid enough to keep the Vikings in close competition. Behind the precise pitching of junior Morgan Seibert, the Vikings are still one of the best teams in the conference.
Seibert is the Vikings’ top pitcher and in only her junior year is on pace to set numerous records for Portland State’s softball program.
In her sophomore year, Morgan had 215 strikeouts, the second most since Deb Fitzhugh in 1982. Also during that season she set the Viking season record for appearances (41), starts (35) and complete games (34). Her freshman year wasn’t a season to brush off either, with 153 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.69 with five shutouts.
Seibert has been an athlete all her life. Growing up in Marysville, Wash., Morgan played a variety of sports. Once she reached high school Morgan turned her focus to volleyball and softball. She excelled, earning All-Conference honors for both sports. Morgan also picked up a two-time player of the year award for softball.
At Pilchuk High School, Morgan was an excellent student as well as athlete, earning leadership and scholarship awards for her achievements both on and off the field.
The Pilchuk softball squad was a good team, according to Morgan, but it really didn’t prepare her for college ball. When high school softball season was over, Morgan and most of her high school teammates would play summer ball. This is where she got most of her taste of college play.
“Our summer ball coaches prepared us for college, especially our attitudes,” Seibert said.
Seibert loves to play all sports, but softball always attracted her the most. The 20-year-old pitcher has been playing on the diamond since she was seven.
“Softball always brought more competitiveness,” she said. “And I’m very competitive.”
Consistently present to support Seibert through her games are her parents Denny and Teresa. They come to every home game and root for their daughter. Morgan’s dad also has a role in one of her numerous pre-game rituals. She likes to have her dad tell her good luck. She also puts the ball wrapper in the inside of her left sock, always wears her number 10 necklace and writes a number 10 in the dirt during the lineups.
“My parents are the best parents you could ask for,” Seibert said. “They have done anything and everything so my sister (former Viking Shevaun) and I could accomplish our goals.”
Having her sister already involved with Portland State athletics, Morgan got a chance to meet a lot of the players and coaches. Familiarity was a big reason she decided on becoming a Viking, and head coach Teri Mariani is like a mom to her players, Seibert explained.
“She is a great coach,” Seibert said. “She cares a lot about her players. When my grandma died Teri was the first person I went to see.”
Seibert is a business major with her focus in advertising and marketing. She would like to attend graduate school upon graduation and hopefully earn her master’s here at PSU. She hopes to stay involved in some aspect of sports.
“I don’t like sitting behind a desk,” she said.
This season the right-hander has shut down countless batters. She is currently on pace to break the career strikeout record of 549 held by Fitzhugh. In her recent appearances on the mound, Seibert has put away 10 or more batters consecutively.
The current season has been a tough one for Seibert and the rest of the Vikings. With a problem of inconsistency and trouble manufacturing runs, the Vikings have seen several games stolen from them.
“The season has been a bitter-sweet type of year,” Seibert said.
Although they have lost some close games they should have won, this season the team is competing much better.
“We’ve competed with all of the teams. A couple of years ago we wouldn’t even have been competing with these teams,” Seibert added.
Even with her success on the mound and inching closer to more PSU records, the competitor feels she needs to put forth more.
“I always feel like there was something more I could have done,” she said.
Seibert hopes to continue to play softball after the college career is over. She thinks she will probably join some of the local women’s leagues.
“I want to continue being part of a team sport. I’m so competitive, I can’t sit back and do nothing,” Seibert said.