PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland State’s softball team will host Weber State this weekend in its final home series of the season, looking to secure the No. 2 seed at next week’s Big Sky Tournament.
The three-game series begins with a double header on Friday, beginning at 1 pm and then a single game on Saturday at noon. Depending on the weather, schedule changes may occur. For updates, check goviks.com.
Weather permitting, all three games will air on ESPN+. Live Stats will also be available at goviks.com.
After a 2-1 weekend against Idaho State, the Vikings entered the regular-season finale ranked second in the Big Sky standings, holding the program’s best record since 2012 (26-16).
Weber State clinched its sixth consecutive regular-season title last weekend, claiming the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament. The Vikings will need a sweep of the Wildcats this weekend in order to secure the No. 2 seed. Sacramento State (25-23, 9-6 BSC) is just one game behind Portland State in the battle for the two-seed and will face a 3-37 Southern Utah squad this weekend.
LAST TIME OUT
A potent offense yielded 35 runs and a batting average of .370 to help the Vikings to two victories over Idaho State last weekend. After an 11-1 run-rule victory in the series opener, the Vikings dropped game two, 8-5. PSU secured the series with a thrilling 19-15 victory on Saturday, marking the highest-scoring game in program history.
The Vikings will honor their lone senior, Jenny Martin following Saturday’s series finale. Additionally, members of the 2020 senior class (Ashley Doyle, darian Lindsey, Riley Casper, Jessica Flanagan, Alexis Morrison and Alexxis Ponce) will be recognized during the ceremony after their senior seasons were cut short by COVID-19.
KEYS TO VICTORY
The Vikings are…
- 9-1 at home
- 20-1 when holding their opponents to less than three runs
- 23-3 when surrendering four runs or less
- 20-4 when they score the first run of the game
- 12-3 when they score in the first inning
- 21-1 when leading after four innings
- 15-4 when recording eight hits or more
The Vikings combined for seven home runs against Idaho State, nearly a quarter of the team’s season total of 29. Junior emily johansen accounted for four of those, while three other Vikings recorded one. pattynn lopez and Logan Riggenbach lead the offense with eight blasts each, while Johansen has seven. Mariah Rodriguez has two on the year, recording one in two of the last three series.
SPEED ON THE BASES
With 54 stolen bases each, the Vikings are tied with Idaho State for the most in the conference. Olivia Dean is tied for first in the conference with 19, while Maddie Thompson ranks third with 15.
Olivia Dean has reached base in 16-straight games, a streak dating back to March 16. The redshirt junior has recorded a hit in ten of those games and has tallied at least one hit in seven of her last nine appearances.
emily johansen (9 games)
Kiara McCrea (6 games)
Logan Riggenbach (4 games)
alexa cepeda (3 games)
RIGGENBACH ON A ROLL
sophomore outfielder Logan Riggenbach leads the Vikings in six offensive categories (hits, doubles, RBIs, home runs, total bases, and slugging percentage). She enters the final series with the highest batting average in the Big Sky (.394) while hitting .518 against conference opponents. With ten multi-hit games this season, Riggenbach has recorded at least one home run in four of the five conference series, while hitting .440 with runners in scoring position.
OWNING THE CIRCLE
Olivia Grey’s impressive season continues as she heads into Friday with a 17-6 (.739) record. The right-hander has tossed 17 complete games, including four shutouts, while holding her opponents to a .195 average at the plate. She leads the conference in strikeouts (197) and ranks second with a 2.04 ERA.
Averaging 8.76 strikeouts per game, Gray has a chance to break the program’s Division I era single-season strikeout record by the end of the season. Anna Bertrand holds the current record at 229. Gray currently ranks sixth in the record book with 197. Grey’s strikeout ratio of 8.77 also sits second behind Bertrand who holds the single-season record at 9.25.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Olivia Gray – Gray picked up back-to-back Pitcher of the week honors after going 5-0 during the season’s opening two weeks. She picked up her third weekly honor after leading the Vikings to a pair of wins at the UO/OSU Invitational.
maddie thompson – Thompson earned the first Player of the Week nod of his career during week one after hitting .619 and leading the nation in hits (13) at the Lynn Russell Miller Classic.
Logan Riggenbach – Riggenbach notched her first Player of the Week honor in April after hitting .714 over four games, leading the Vikings to a 3-1 record against Warner Pacific and Montana.
emily johansen – Johansen landed her first Player of the Week honor after slamming four home runs and going 5-for-9 at the plate against Idaho State this past weekend.
The Vikings were picked second in the 2022 Big Sky Preseason Coaches Poll released on Jan. 31. Totaling 28 points and two first-place votes, PSU was chosen below defending regular-season Champion Weber State, who received 34 points and four first-place vote.
Five of the Viking’s 16 losses have come against ranked opponents this season (No. 24 Arizona State, No. 20 Louisiana, No.11 Oregon, and No.24 Oregon State). On March 12, the Vikings ended an eleven-year drought, beating No. 24/23 Oregon State 6-1 to clinch the program’s first victory over a ranked opponent since 2011.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Weber State locked in its sixth-straight regular-season title last weekend after sweeping Sacramento State. They enter the weekend with an impressive 35-10 record while sitting 13-1 in conference action. Northern Colorado handed the Wildcats their lone Big Sky loss 7-4 on April 22. The Wildcats rank first in the conference with a .306 team batting average. Their 2.93 team ERA also ranks first in the Big Sky, as redshirt senior Arissa Henderson leads the pitching staff with a 2.04 ERA.
The Vikings lead the all-time series 23-16 after taking two of the four matchups from the Wildcats last season. Portland State pulled off a 2-1 win over WSU last season in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky tournament.