Softball Splits Doublheader Against Portland State

By SAM WALDORF

The Montana Griz split its doubleheader against Portland State (15-32, 7-10 BSC) on Saturday, losing the first game 11-9 in nine innings, and winning the second game 3-2.

Montana (16-30, 8-9 BSC) is in fifth place in the Big Sky Conference, right behind Northern Colorado (17-22-1, 9-7 BSC) who went 2-1 against the top team in the conference, Idaho State, this weekend.

“We played like a team who knew they had something on the line,” head coach Jamie Pinkerton said. “Win or lose, we are getting valuable experience playing with something on the line.”

Game 1: Portland State 11, Montana 9

The Griz didn’t score a run in the first three innings of the game, but were able to score nine runs in the last four innings of the game, including six runs in the top of the seventh inning to send the game into extra innings.

It wasn’t enough as Montana was out hit 18 to 10 by Portland State, who scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, winning the game 11-9.

The Vikings scored the first runs of the game is the bottom of the first, scoring two runs on a home run by Brit Hendrickson. Portland State added two more runs in the bottom of the third inning, making its lead 4-0, when Aubrey Nitschelm hit a two-run shot down the left field line.

Montana would score its first run of the game in the top of the fourth, after Delene Colburn doubled to left center, bringing home Lexie Brenneis.

The Vikings would score two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, making the score 6-1, but the Griz added one more in the top of the fifth inning after Katie Jo Waletzko scored an unearned run.

keyboardThe game continued to go back and forth, before Montana found themselves down 9-3, with only three outsremaining.

The Grizzlies offense exploded for six runs in the top of the seventh inning, with three different Grizzlies finishing the inning with an RBI. Brenneis hit a two-RBI single up the middle, Colburn hit an RBI-double to left center, and Ashlyn Lyons hit a two-RBI single to center field.

The game would go all the way to nine innings, when Hendrickson hit her second home run of the game, a two-run shot over the right field fence, clinching the victory for the Vikings.

“I am so proud of them,” Pinkerton said. “This team fights, and they play with moxie, and they are learning what it means to play important games on the road.”
Carli Riordan was credited with the loss for Montana, allowing four earned runs in five innings pitched. Riordan (4-12) finished the game with three strikeouts.

Karyn Wright (3-7) got the win for the Vikings, allowing no runs in two innings pitched.

Game 2: Montana 3, Portland State 2

Once again, Portland State scored the first runs of the game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. But these were the last runs the Vikings would score; Montana’s Meggie Reitz would slow them down for the rest of the game.

Reitz picked up the win for the Griz, allowing only two runs in seven innings pitched. Reitz (5-4) finished the game with three strikeouts.

The Griz wouldn’t get on the board until the top of the fifth inning, when Madison Saacke hit a two-run home run, evening the game up. Montana then scored one more run in the top of the seventh to clinch the victory, when Colburn ripped one over the fence.

Looking Forward:

Montana will face Portland State on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. MT.