Home Run Derby Breaks Out, Broncos Split
Feb. 14, 2014
LAS VEGAS -
Home runs were the story of day one at the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas. Boise State split two games Friday, as all four Bronco runs and eight of their opponents' 13 runs were scored via homers.
Ashley Palmer pounded a two-run homer in the top of the first inning against Chattanooga and Rebecca Patton did the rest in the circle as Boise State (2-5) won its first game of the weekend, 2-1. Tara Glover's two-run blast in the second game was not enough to overcome four long balls from Cal State Northridge in a 12-2, five-inning loss.
Patton Makes Palmer's Blast Stand Against Chattanooga
Already staked to a two-run lead, Patton came out working fast in the first inning. She allowed a leadoff single, but it was erased two batters later on a caught stealing making it the first of five frames in which she would face the minimum.
After working around a leadoff walk in the third inning, Patton surrendered a home run to start the bottom of the fourth. That was the last hit the senior allowed. Her second walk came with two outs in the fourth, but a fly out stranded that runner. It would be the final Chattanooga batter to reach base.
Patton retired the final 10 Mocs she faced, including a five-pitch fifth inning. The two hits are the fewest she has allowed in a seven-inning game in her career.
Chattanooga went to the bullpen immediately after Palmer's home run. Reliever Katie Henderson held Boise State in check for the final six-and-a-third innings, giving up just one hit and issuing four walks.
The Bronco offense used the free passes to set up opportunities in the middle innings. Through steals and sacrifices, they advanced a runner to third base in the third and fourth innings but could not cash in.
Northridge Builds Early Lead in Run-Rule Victory
Boise State starter Kenzie Cole limited the damage to just the two runs in the first inning, stranding two runners in the frame. Northridge jumped on Cole again in the second with a leadoff home run. Shaky defense allowed the Matadors to add two more runs in the inning without getting a ball out of the infield, making it 5-0.
Another error extended the third inning and a two-out, two-run double chased Cole from the game. Mackenzie McGill came on in relief and allowed a home run to the first batter she faced, giving the Matadors a 9-0 advantage.
Glover's two-run blast in the third inning cut the deficit to 9-2, but the Matadors scored once in the fourth and twice in the fifth to ensure the run-rule victory. The home run to left center was Glover's first of the season.
Glover went 2-for-3, including the homer, to bounce back from her first hitless game of the season against Chattanooga. Whyte and Palmer supplied the other two hits of the game for Boise State, both singling in the first inning.
The Broncos return to action Saturday, with games against UTEP (9 a.m. PT) and No. 22/24 Minnesota (3:45 p.m. PT).
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