GRAND FORKS, N.D. --- The University of North Dakota softball team got off to a great start as it used energy gained from celebrating its senior day, but a strong Portland State team secured the three-game sweep this weekend with a 11-2 win Saturday afternoon at Apollo Field.
Senior Michelle Frank (Chaska, Minn.) pitched around a two-out walk in the top of the first inning to get off to a quick start with a strikeout and two infield pop-outs to send the Vikings down quietly in the top of the first inning.
Seniors Brittany Baker (Buenna Park, Calif.) and Cami Bennett (Grants Pass, Ore.), along with junior D Jantzer (Grants Pass, Ore.), got UND off to a quick start with three consecutive infield singles to lead off UND’s half of the top frame and load the bases with nobody out.
Junior Caralyn Chewning (Willamina, Ore.) took advantage with the first hard-hit ball of the game as she sent a single through the middle to score the game’s first two runs. Senior Kenna Olsen (Issaquah, Wash.) recorded the game’s first out with a grounder to second base but advanced the runners to second and third.
Yesterday’s star for the Vikings, pitcher Anna Bertrand, would settle in and get herself and PSU out of trouble with consecutive strikeouts to get out of the inning trailing by just a 2-0 score. Bertrand pitched two complete games yesterday, not allowing an earned run.
PSU, who is still fighting for an opportunity at BSC regular-season championship, quickly answered back. The Vikings combined two hit-by-pitches and four hits to record four runs and take a two-run lead of its own after its second set of at-bats.
Bertrand would retire the next nine UND batters until Hannah Tometich (Aberdeen, Wash.) singled to left field with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning. Emma Gronseth would add a two-out walk as UND would threaten in the inning but it would leave a pair of runners on base.
The Vikings would take a commanding 9-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning as Brittany Hendrickson hit a grand-slam home run and PSU totaled five runs off four hits and one defensive error. Hendrickson concluded the game 3-for-4 with five RBI and the one run scored.
Bertrand exited the game for the first time all weekend in the sixth inning as Raya Johnson concluded the final two innings in the circle.
Notes: UND concludes its season with a 10-30 record…UND had 10 home games canceled due to the unusual inclement weather in the Midwest and 12 total games canceled on the season…Playing in its final home game at UND was seniors Brittany Baker, Cami Bennett, Michelle Frank, Emma Gronseth, Kenna Olsen and Abby Jo Thometich…The Grand Forks Heralds’ Marilyn Hagerty threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game.