OREM — Tiffany Mills and Cassie Herrera's complete-game pitching gems were spoiled by Portland State Saturday afternoon in Pacific Coast Softball Conference action at Wolverine Field as the Vikings won both games in their final at bats. PSU (13-14, 3-1 PCSC) took Game 1 3-2 in eight innings and Game 2 1-0.
The first game headed for extras tied at two-all and Portland State's Becca Bliss drove home the winning run with a one-out double to right in the last of the eighth. PSU then won the second game with a leadoff walk-off homer by Karmen Holladay in the seventh.
"You can't win, when you don't score. Today came down to adjustments and making plays. Portland State did both of them and we didn't do either," UVU head coach Todd Fairbourne said. "Herrera and Mills pitched their guts out. They definitely pitched well enough for us to win."
In Game 1, Amanda Perez broke a scoreless tie and got the Wolverines (20-10-1, 1-3 PCSC) into the hit column in the top of the third inning with a solo shot over the right centerfield wall. The home run was the fourth on the year for Perez and put UVU ahead 1-0.
Portland State looked to respond in the bottom half of the third, putting runners on second and third with just one out. But Mills got PSU's Alicia Fine to fly out to shallow centerfield then got Crysta Conn to pop out to first to get out of the jam.
The Wolverines extended their lead in the fourth, when Krystin Jachim cranked her third home run of the year to left field. The solo blast gave UVU a 2-0 advantage on just two hits in the ballgame to that point.
Mills looked to be cruising through the bottom of the fourth after retiring the first two batters on a ground out and a strikeout. But a dropped fly ball off the bat of PSU's Carly McEachran kept the inning alive for the Vikings. The error proved to be costly as McEachran came in to score on Kayla Norrie's single up the middle in the next at bat.
After Norrie advanced to third on a wild pitch, Jenna Krogh dropped a single just beyond third base to drive in the tying run. Mills struck out the next hitter to end the inning, but the damage had been done with the game now tied at 2-2.
After neither team scored in the fifth, Jamie North doubled for UVU to start the top of the sixth. But the Wolverines failed to capitalize on the scoring opportunity as the next three batters went down in order.
Mills continued her strong pitching performance late into the game, forcing a two-out groundout to strand a Viking runner on third in the fifth, going 1-2-3 in the sixth, and limiting PSU to just one base runner in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings.
The Wolverines threatened in the top of the eighth when North reached base on an infield single and PSU's Anna Bertrand hit Uresti to put runners on first and second with two away. Betrand then managed to get out of the jam by retiring Jachim via a ground out to end the threat.
The Vikings' Alexa Morales led off the last of the eighth with a single and after being bunted into scoring position came around to score the winning run on Bliss' walk-off double. The run was the only earned one that Mills gave up in the contest.
Betrand picked up the win for PSU, while Mills (10-7) was the tough luck loser.
Bertrand also pitched the second game for Portland State and her and Herrera both pitched brilliantly. The two held their respective opponents scoreless until the seventh inning, when the Vikings managed to score the lone run of the contest.
Portland State had only mustered one hit off of Herrera into the fifth inning. In the fifth, the Vikings threatened with back-to-back singles by Fine and McEachran but Herrera got out of the jam by retiring the next two batters.
Herrera then allowed a leadoff hit in the sixth but the freshman mowed down the next three Viking hitters to keep the game tied at zero going to the seventh inning.
Bertrand then retired the Wolverine offense in order in the top of the seventh to set up the game winner that was hit by PSU's Holladay to start the bottom of the frame.
PSU's ace Bertrand allowed just two hits and improved to 11-7 with the win, while Herrera gave up just five hits and one run but suffered the loss (6-2).
The Wolverines will continue their 12-game homestand at Wolverine Field next week with six more contests. UVU will host in-state rival Utah State Tuesday at 4 p.m., No. 16 Hawaii Wednesday at 5 p.m. and Northern Colorado for a four-game PCSC series next weekend.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www. WolverineGreen.com.