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The Gaels host Portland State this weekend for the best-of-three PCSC Championship Series at Cottrell Field
The Gaels host Portland State this weekend for the best-of-three PCSC Championship Series at...
SB | Gaels Battle Portland State for PCSC Title This Weekend
Release: Monday 05/09/2012 
by SMC Athletics
MORAGA, Calif. - The Pacific Coast Softball Conference Title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament is on the line this weekend as the Gaels host Portland State at Cottrell Field for what will be an exciting weekend of softball. After clinching the Coastal Division Title with a four-game sweep of LMU, Saint Mary's has a shot to make it to their second NCAA Tournament in three years.

The Gaels and Vikings, the PCSC Mountain Division Champions, will square off in the best-of-three PCSC Championship Series on May 11-12. Game one will be on Friday, May 11 at 3 p.m. at Cottrell Field. The following day, the two teams will play at 12 p.m. and then again at approximately 2 p.m. if necessary.

Tickets for the weekend will be $5 for general admission and $3 for children (12 and under), seniors (65 and over) and SMC/PSU students with valid student ID.

Live stats will be available for all games this weekend and can be found on the softball schedule page. Fans can also follow the Gaels on Twitter @SMCGaels for in-game updates throughout the weekend.

Saint Mary's enters the series with a 26-21 overall record and a program-best 15-4 mark in PCSC play. The Gaels clinched the Coastal Division title on April 29 for the second time in three years when they swept preseason favorite Loyola Marymount for the first time in school history. The Gaels will be seeking just their second ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.

SMC finished the regular season first in the conference in batting average after hitting .293 for the season and .309 in PCSC play. After going 7-for-14 in the LMU series, senior left fielder Michelle Mounts improved her batting average another 11 points and is now hitting a team-best .397 (58-for-146) for the season. Mounts also leads the Gaels with 38 runs scored, 13 doubles, a .637 slugging percentage and a .480 on base percentage.

Saint Mary's also has three other players hitting over .300 this season including senior shortstop Rebecca Sabatini (.372), senior right fielder Nicole Arce (.342), and sophomore center fielder Brittany Sabatini (.323). R. Sabatini continues to have a tremendous final season as a Gael, which includes breaking the SMC single season RBI record last weekend with 39. B. Sabatini has a team-high nine home runs this season, which places her second all-time in a single season at Saint Mary's. After having just 21 at bats in her first three seasons as a Gael, Arce has exploded in her final season with the .342 average (39-for-114), five home runs and 22 RBI as well as hitting a team-best .400 in PCSC play.

The two SMC starting pitchers also continue to have a solid year on the mound. Junior Jessica Lemmon was named the PCSC Coastal Division Pitcher of the Week for the fourth time this season following the LMU series in which she went 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA including her first career complete game one-hitter. Lemmon has gone 13-10 this season with a 2.90 ERA, while she was 7-3 in PCSC play with a Coastal Division-best 1.68 ERA. With two wins in the LMU series, senior Britany Linton is now tied for first all-time at Saint Mary's with 46 career wins. Linton is 11-7 overall this season with a 3.80 ERA but went a perfect 7-0 in conference play with a 2.44 ERA.

Portland State enters the weekend with a 25-23 overall record and the Vikings went 15-5 in PCSC play to capture the Mountain Division Title for the third straight season. PSU swept Weber State in the final regular season series two weeks ago to claim the Division and earn a spot in the post season. Last season, the Vikings defeated Loyola Marymount in the PCSC Championship Series to advance to the program's third NCAA Tournament.

PSU is hitting .257 as a team this season with 52 doubles, seven triples and 24 home runs. Alicia Fine leads the Vikings with a .372 average, 11 doubles and 31 RBI this season. Jenna Krough (.344) and Karmen Holladay (.319) are also hitting over .300 for Portland State, while Holladay leads the team with 10 home runs this season.

On the mound, the Vikings have a staff ERA of 2.54 with the majority of innings going to junior Anna Bertand who has had a great year for Portland State. Bertrand is 20-11 this season with a 1.73 ERA and has won a PCSC record eight Mountain Division Pitcher of the Week awards this season. Bertrand has pitched 230.0 innings this season, compared to PSU's other pitcher, Raya Johnson (4-9, 4.03 ERA), who has thrown just 81.2 innings.

The Gaels are 15-26 all-time against Portland State. The two teams met once earlier this season in Moraga in the PCSC Crossover Tournament when Saint Mary's earned a 2-1 win in a pitchers duel between Lemmon and Bertrand.

The two teams played in the inaugural PCSC Championship Series in 2010 when the Gaels defeated the Vikings two games to one to earn the program's first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.