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by: , RAUCH

Softball: Portland State remains in the hunt for the Pacific Coast Softball Conference title, but the Vikings need a big weekend and some help.

Saint Mary's (11-5) took a one-game lead with four games remaining when it swept San Diego last weekend. Loyola Marymount and Sacramento State are 10-6; PSU is 9-7 after splitting four weekend games against Loyola.

On both Saturday and Sunday, each team plays doubleheaders, with PSU at Santa Clara (5-11), Loyola Marymount at Saint Mary's, and Sac State at San Diego (3-13).

Mandy Hill tossed two shutouts in 3-0 and 2-0 victories over Loyola, but the Lions rallied each day to win the nightcaps 5-0 and 1-0 behind their ace, Melissa Dykema.

Hill leads the Vikings (26-26) in RBIs (31) and is tied with Jackie Heide and Jana Rae Slayton for the team lead in home runs (four). Slayton is first in batting (.344) and hits (53). Jamee Rauch leads in doubles (13) and triples (four).

• Defending NCAA Division III champion Linfield clinched the Northwest Conference title last weekend. The No. 3-ranked Wildcats are 35-3, 24-2 in the NWC.

Baseball: The Portland Pilots (18-25, 3-12 West Coast Conference) took one of three at San Francisco last weekend. Art Ronick (4-5) took a shutout into the ninth inning as UP won the middle game 5-2. Portland is idle until May 6, when it plays host to Washington.