Offense Fuels Win in Nightcap, Broncos Split

SAN ANTONIO-Boise State softball split two games Saturday, at the UTSA Classic, losing to Iowa State 9-4 before beating UTSA 9-6. The Broncos had 21 hits on the day, after totaling just seven in two games Friday.

All nine Broncos in the order against UTSA recorded a hit, including three from Tara Glover as Boise State rebounded from a seventh-inning loss against Iowa State.

Cyclone Rally Dooms Broncos
Iowa State scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning to come from behind and defeat Boise State 9-4. The Cyclones tied the game on a bases-loaded infield single and added five two-out runs to take and pad the lead.

Iowa State struck first with two runs off Bronco starter Kenzie Cole in the first inning. Two walks and a single loaded the bases and with two outs a two-run double put the Cyclones on the board first. It is the seventh time in the first eight games Boise State allowed its opponent to score in the first inning.

The Broncos manufactured a run in each the second and third innings to tie the game. Mackenzie Whyte singled to start the second inning, was sacrificed to second and took third on a passed ball. Ashley Palmer came to the plate with two outs and Whyte 60 feet away. Palmer initially struck out, but an illegal pitch call kept her at bat alive and brought home the Broncos' first run in 11 innings.

The next inning saw Sarah Barnes start things off with a walk. She took second on a wild pitch and was driven home by fellow freshman Makenna Weir's single to left center.

The game remained tied until the top of the fifth inning when Iowa State's Erica Miller led off the frame with a home run to right center.

Boise State came right back with two runs in the bottom of the inning, started again by Barnes. This time the freshman doubled. An unsuccessful fielder's choice and an infield single loaded the bases. Barnes came in to score on a passed ball and Weir later scored on a Devon Bridges sacrifice fly, giving the Broncos a 4-3 lead.

That score stuck until the fateful seventh inning. Two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases with an out mixed in. I chopper back up the middle glanced off of Cole's glove and everyone was safe, including the tying run across the plate.

With two outs Miller returned to the dish and ripped a two-run double to right center for the Cyclone lead. The next batter torched  a three-run home run to provide the final score of 9-4.

Cole exited the game after the home run, one out shy of the complete game. All nine runs were earned on 13 hits. She struck out two and walked five.

Whyte, who batted in the cleanup spot for the first time in her career, went 2-for-3 with a double.

Hit Parade Helps Broncos Rebound Against UTSA
All nine batters in the Bronco order recorded a hit, including four multi-hit performances, as Boise State won its nightcap against UTSA, 9-6. The Broncos racked up 14 hits, led by three from Tara Glover.

Glover doubled to start the game and went on to get a base hit in each of the first three innings. She had an RBI double in the second for her fourth-career game with two doubles. They were her first extra-base hits of the season. A single in the third also scored a run.

Boise State scored in the top of the first inning as a single by Devon Bridges drove in Glover. It is the first game this season Boise State has scored first and when the Broncos held UTSA without a run in the first, it marked just the second time this season they shutout their opponent in the opening frame.

Bridges had the hardest hit of the game, a deep home run to left field in the sixth inning. The Broncos went on to score two more runs in the sixth, thanks in part to a pair of UTSA errors. The inning also saw freshman Rose Saenz snap a 0-for-17 slump with an RBI single to left. Another run scored on the play as the left fielder mishandled the ball.

The sixth inning made the score 9-1 as Boise State pushed the game into run-rule territory. UTSA responded with five runs in the sixth to not only extend the game but also put a little pressure on the Broncos.

Rebecca Patton made the start in the circle for Boise State. Patton retired 10 of the first 12 batters. She faced the minimum through three innings after the only base runner of the first three frames was retired trying to stretch a single to a double.

Patton allowed one run in the fourth and worked around a two-out double in the fifth. She could not finish the sixth, giving up a walk and two singles. The final batter she faced reached on an error that allowed two runs to score.

Lela Work entered the game in relief for the second time on the day and third time in the tournament. Work gave up a three-run home run to the first batter she faced, but retired the next five to close out the victory.

Freshman Makenna Weir enjoyed a strong performance at and behind the plate. Weir started a two-out rally in the second inning, delivered another hit in the third and drove in a run with a groundout in the fifth. She also made four putouts, three assists and kept numerous balls in front of her on defense as catcher.

Freshman Kayla Clausen made her first-career start, playing left field and batting eighth. Clausen singled twice for her first-career multi-hit game and came around to score for the first time.

Boise State wraps up its stay in San Antonio Sunday with a 9 a.m. (CT) game against Rutgers. The Broncos beat the Scarlet Knights 3-1 Friday, in the tournament opener.

» «