GRAND FORKS, N.D. --- The University of North Dakota softball team fell 5-1 and 1-0 to Portland State in the Big Sky double-header home opener today.
UND battled but ran into one of the conferences top pitchers in senior Anna Bertrand who was on top of her game, pitching two complete games allowing just one run. Bertrand gave up just five hits and four walks while collecting 14 strikeouts in the two games.
PSU 5, UND 1
In game one, North Dakota fell to second ranked Portland State 5-1.
“There was a good energy today,” head coach Eric Oakley said. “This was the number two seed in the conference and we gave them two really good games.”
North Dakota took an early lead in the second inning after Courtney Gonzales (Costa Mesa, Calif.) doubled to left center. Taylor Donnelly (Lakeville, Minn.) pinch ran for Gonzales and Donnelly advanced to third on a wild pitch. Hannah Tometich (Aberdeen, Wash.) was walked and Donnelly scored on an error by third base.
The Vikings answered back in the third after scoring two runs. They advanced their lead to two after scoring another run in the top of the fourth.
Portland State advanced their lead to four in the seventh, making it a 5-1 game.
UND attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh but wasn’t able to generate any runs.
Junior Amanda Johnson (Ashby, Minn.) was walked, as was Brittany Baker. Sophomore Lexa Twist (Winnipeg, Manitoba) pinch ran for baker and Elizabeth Cudney (Montague, Mich.) pinch hit for H. Tometich. Cudney fouled out and left two runners on base.
Portland State’s Anna Bertrand was credited with the win allowing just one run.
UND fell to 10-28 overall and 2-8 in conference play.
“We did what we needed to do on defense today, considering last weekend we gave up 41 runs and today we only gave up 7. Offensively, we needed to make better adjustments at the plate and we just didn’t do it.”
PSU 1, UND 0
In the second game of the day, UND put up a fight but was unable to get the win in a 0-1 loss to Portland State.
The game remained scoreless for the first four innings of the game, due to excellent fielding by North Dakota.
In the top of the second, Portland State had the bases loaded when Michelle Frank (Chaska, Minn.) managed to strike out Carly McEachran to keep the game tied at zero.
UND had a strong, defensive third inning when both Amanda Johnson (Ashby, Minn.) and Nicole Babrowski (Oak Lawn, Ill.) made incredible catches when the Vikings flied out to right field and lined out to center field.
Portland State scored the only run of the game in the top of the fifth.
UND held Portland State to one run, but wasn’t able to get the bats going resulting in the loss.
Frank had a great game, allowing only one run out of the ten hits in the game.
With this loss, UND fell to 10-29 overall and 2-9 in conference play.
“We needed to hit better today,” head coach Eric Oakley said. “Both of our pitchers gave us a chance to win, especially Michelle, she pitched a great game.”
UND will conclude its season tomorrow playing in its final home game at 12 p.m. in the three-game series finale against the Vikings.