TEMPE, Ariz.-Lela Work pitched a three-hitter but Boise State softball dropped its season opener 2-1 against Portland State Friday, at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The Broncos outhit the Vikings 6-3, but left seven runners on base.
Two of the three hits Work surrendered to the Vikings (1-1) were home runs off the bat of Carly McEachran. Portland State took an early lead on McEachran's homer in the first and used the second to break a tie in the sixth.
Boise State leaned on the familiar combination of Tara Glover and Devon Bridges to tie the game in the third inning. Glover laced a single up the middle for her first hit of the season before being moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Bridges came to the plate with two outs and sent the first pitch back up the middle into right center, bringing Glover home for the first run of the season.
The game remained tied into the sixth inning when McEachran came up with two outs and deposited her second home run of the game over the left-field fence. McEachran also homered in the Vikings' season-opening loss Thursday, against San Jose State.
Work went all seven innings for the fifth complete game of her career in just her 14th start. The senior struck out eight and did not issue a walk. She fanned four-straight Vikings early on, striking out the side in the second inning, including her 200th-career punch out. It is the 100th complete game by a Bronco pitcher in program history.
Holly Bourke tallied the Broncos' first hit of the season, ripping a triple down the line just inside first base with two outs in the first inning. She was stranded 60 feet away. The Broncos also left a runner on third in the sixth and a runner on second in the second, third and fifth innings.
Glover added a singled in the fifth inning for her 45th-career multi-hit game, her 30th as a Bronco. She also stole her first bag of the season in the fifth. Bridges and Glover are currently on four-game hitting streaks dating back to last season.
Freshmen Ashley Palmer, Rose Saenz and Makenna Weir all started in the first game of their collegiate careers. Saenz was 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk and made two assists from her third-base post. Sarah Barnes, also a freshman, made her collegiate debut in a pinch-hitting role in the sixth inning. Fellow newcomer junior Brittany McCray started behind the plate in her first game as a Bronco. McCray was 1-for-3 with a single.
Boise State will be back in action Saturday, with a doubleheader at the Kajikawa Classic. The Broncos take on Northwestern at 11:30 a.m. (MT) and Stephen F. Austin at 4:30 p.m. (MT), both games will be played at the Tempe Sports Complex.