Vikings look to stay warm at Littlewood Classic

PORTLAND, Ore. – After the best opening weekend in program history, the Portland State softball team is poised to add to its winning streak in Tempe, Arizona this weekend. UTEP, Illinois State, No. 23 Arizona State and Cal await the Vikings at the Littlewood Classic.

LITTLEWOOD CLASSIC PROGRAM

Live Statistics | Live Steam vs. ASU

Game 1: vs. Cal – Feb. 18 (1 p.m. PT)

Game 2: vs. No. 23 ASU – Feb. 18 (6:00 p.m. PT)

Match 3: vs. UTEP – February 19 (8 a.m. PT)

Game 4: vs. Cal – February 19 (10:30 a.m. PT)

Game 5: vs. Illinois State – Feb. 20 (7 a.m. PT)

HISTORY AGAINST OPPONENTS

California: The Bears hold a 20-2 advantage in a streak dating back to 1978. The Vikings haven’t won over Cal since 1979. The Bears won 8-3 in the last game on Feb. 9, 2014.

No. 23 Arizona State: The Vikings are yet to claim a victory over the Sun Devils, who lead the series 15-0. Friday’s game will mark the third straight season the programs have faced off. Last season, the 13th-ranked Sun Devils beat the Vikings in five innings with an 8-0 win on Feb. 27.

UTEP: After meeting three times in 2018, UTEP hold a slim 4-3 lead over the Vikings. The Miners have won four straight, the last on Feb. 25 (8-4). A Vikings win on Saturday would be the first victory over UTEP since 2015.

State of Illinois: The Vikings will face the Redbirds for the first time in program history on Sunday.


LAST TIME OUT

Portland State began their 2022 campaign beating their opponents 48-13. The 48 points were the most to start a season in program history. The Vikings finished the weekend 4-1, earning wins over Utah Valley, UC Riverside and Pacific (California). In their second meeting with Pacific, PSU suffered its lone loss as the Tigers cruised to a 6-5 victory in eight innings.


IGNITION ON ALL CYLINDERS

The Vikings were solid in all aspects of the game last weekend. In five games, Portland State had 58 hits and 70 total bases, continuing its offensive dominance from last year. Their average of .387 leads the Big Sky and ranks 12th among all DI schools. The Vikings had double-digit hits in four of five games, including a season-high 16 in Game 1 of the season against Utah Valley.

The Vikings proved their speed on the base paths, placing first in the Big Sky after going 9 for 9 on stolen bases.

PSU’s defense was rock solid over the weekend, recording just one error in 31 innings of action. Their .991 field percentage ranks atop the Big Sky and 15th nationally.


OLIVIA GRAY – OWNER OF THE CIRCLE

Olivia Gray, who led the Vikings to a Big Sky championship last season, picked up where she left off in 2021. The junior right-hander was named Big Sky co-pitcher of the week following her 3-0 weekend at the Lynn Russell Miller Classic. Gray struck out 16 in 15.1 innings of work, holding her opponents to an average of .196 at the plate. In her first full-game performance of the season, the Woodland, Washington native allowed just six hits as she led the Vikings to a 7-1 win over UC Riverside.


MADDIE THOMPSON – LEADING THE NATION

Maddie Thompson was named Big Sky Player of the Week on Tuesday after a stellar start to her second campaign. The second baseman had .619 in five games and led the nation in hits (13) after going 4-for-5 in two separate outings. Thompson scored a team-high ten runs and ranks atop the Big Sky with four stolen bases.


KIARA MCCREA – BIG DEBUT

It took a freshman outfielder Kiara McCrea only two games to engrave his name in the Vikings record books. The Hillsboro, Ore., native became the first Viking since 2015 to score 6 RBIs in a game in the Vikings’ 14-3 victory over Pacific, Calif., on Friday. McCrea went 4 for 4 with two doubles against the Tigers. She finished the weekend with .368 with nine RBIs, a team high.


PRESEASON SURVEY

The Vikings were picked second in the Big Sky 2022 preseason coaches poll released Jan. 31. Totaling 28 points and two first-place votes, PSU was chosen below defending regular-season champion Weber State, which received 34 points and four first-place votes.

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