Bats Come Alive, Broncos Take Two

TEMPE, Ariz.- Boise State softball came from behind to win two games Saturday, at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The Broncos (2-1) defeated Northwestern 11-3 in their first game and topped Stephen F. Austin 8-4 in the nightcap.

Bats Come Alive, Support Patton in First Win
Boise State pounded out 12 hits, including back-to-back home runs from freshmen Ashley Palmer and Sarah Barnes, in an 11-3 win against Northwestern Saturday, at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

The offense came in support of Rebecca Patton's first start as a Bronco. Patton, a redshirt junior transfer from Cal Poly, went the distance to pick up her first win since March 10, 2012. She allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits.

With the Broncos (1-1) clinging to a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning, Palmer stepped to the plate with a runner at first and one away. She unloaded on a 1-0 pitch, driving it to deep left center for the Broncos first home run of the season. Barnes dug into the box next and on a 1-0 pitch blasted her first home run to left field, giving Boise State a 5-1 advantage.

For Palmer-a native of nearby Peoria, Ariz.-and Barnes, the home runs were their first-career hits. They are the first Broncos to homer for their first-career hits in school history.

Boise State continued to pour it on in the fifth, capped by Holly Bourke's second hit of the inning to drive in two runs. Bourke finished the game 3-for-5 with three runs driven in and one run scored. The six-run fifth also included an RBI single by Ashley Collier and three Northwestern errors.

Devon Bridges scorched a home run to straightaway center to lead off the sixth inning, making the score 9-1. It was Bridges' 31st-career home run, now six shy of the Boise State career record. Her bomb was also the 200th in program history, coming in the 222nd game.

Northwestern (0-4) mounted a rally in the sixth inning. Two outs away from a run-rule loss, the Wildcats strung together three hits to score a run. A ground out put two runners in scoring position, but Makenna Weir squashed the threat when she snagged a line drive down the third-base line to end the inning. The one run was enough to keep the game going into the seventh though.

Boise State used the final inning to keep their offense in high gear. With two outs Tara Glover ripped a single to right field, extending her hitting streak to five games. Bourke collected her third hit and RBI, and Bridges -who is also riding a five-game hitting streak-drove her in with a sharp single to left.

Northwestern led off the seventh with a home run to provide the final 11-3 margin.

The Wildcats struck first with a run in the second inning. A two-out error was followed by a walk and a single, plating one. Patton stranded runners at second and third to limit the damage.

The Bronco hurler did not walk another batter in the game and struck out four over her seven innings.

Boise State got on the board in the fourth inning. Barnes drew a one-out walk and Brittany McCray's first of two doubles in game drove her in to tie the game. Later in the inning Weir reached on an error, allowing McCray to score the go-ahead run. It was the Broncos' first lead of the season and they never looked back.

The Broncos' 11 runs are the most in a game since also scoring 11 April 22, 2012, at Colorado State.

Early Offense Paces Bronco Win
Boise State scored eight runs in the first three innings and cruised to an 8-4 win Saturday, against Stephen F. Austin at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Tara Glover collected three hits to support Kenzie Cole's complete-game performance in the circle.

The Ladyjacks (2-3) scored two runs in the top of the first inning as two bases on balls came around to score on a double, the lone hit in the inning.

Boise State (2-1) answered immediately with two runs in the bottom of the frame. The first three Broncos reached to load the bases with nobody out. An error brought in the first run and Holly Bourke tied the game when she tagged up from third base on a foul out in deep left field.

The bottom of the second inning saw the Broncos push four runs across. Jordan Kreiger started the inning with an infield single. A sacrifice bunt was mishandled to put two runners on for the top of the order. Tara Glover's second hit of the game drove in the go-ahead run and Devon Bridges busted the game open with a two-run single back up the middle. Bourke also scored her second run of the game on a bases-loaded walk.

Ashley Collier started another two-run inning in the third with a double to the fence down the left-field line. Collier and Bridges both scored in the frame.

Glover went 3-for-4 at the plate, her 10th game as a Bronco with at least three hits.

After the two-run first Cole settled in and retired seven-straight batters. A leadoff bloop single in the fourth broke the string, but the sophomore pitcher fielded a comebacker from the ensuing batter and struck out the next two to remain in control. She finished with four strikeouts and three walks, allowing just five hits.

Stephen F. Austin did not go down without a fight, scoring two runs in the seventh inning. Cole and the Bronco defense shut the door to pick up their second win of the day.

Boise State's 19 runs in the two games Saturday, are the most on a single date since also scoring 19 runs in a doubleheader against Louisiana Tech April 9, 2011, in Boise.

The Broncos finish their first tournament with a doubleheader Sunday. They take on No. 5/6 Oregon at 8:30 a.m. (MT) at the Tempe Sports Complex and No. 4/4 Arizona State at Farrington Stadium.

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