Broncos Dominate Southern Utah and UTEP
Feb. 19, 2017
LAS VEGAS – Boise State’s offense erupted for 25 runs on Sunday at the DeMarini Classic in Las Vegas and defeated Southern Utah 9-1 and UTEP 16-7. The pair of convincing wins moves Boise State to 5-2 on the season and gives them a perfect 4-0 record on the weekend.
“It’s been the best weekend since I’ve been here,” head coach Cindy Ball said. “It’s all about momentum. We’re going to go back to keeping it simple and sticking to the plan, and working hard to get better. Even though we did go 4-0 there are still a lot of things that we learned from the weekend. Our eight freshman are learning a lot and seeing a lot, so that’s good.”
Makenzie Sullivan and Corey Hendrickson combined for six home runs and 14 RBIs to lead the prolific day for the Bronco hitters. Sullivan went 6-for-8 and Hendrickson finished the day 4-for-6, including her second walk-off home run of the weekend that gave Boise State the 9-1 lead over Southern Utah in the bottom of the fifth to enact the mercy rule in the first game
“They stuck to the plan,” Ball said on Sullivan and Hendrickson. “They waited for the right pitches at the right time and they stuck with it. Usually after the first home run you get into swinging big, but I was really proud of them that they stayed within themselves.”
Christina Washington (2-1) secured her second win of the season and did not give up an earned run in what was a dominant performance in the circle against the Thunderbirds.
“It’s very calming having her on the mound because her emotions stay the same and she keeps us in the game. You can count on her to roll us a ground ball, it’s a good feeling as a coach to have her on the mound.”
Game 1 | Boise State 9, Southern Utah 1
Washington (2-1) struck out four and gave up just four hits en route to her second win of the season.
The game started with Tatiana Sorokina reaching base via a single to the pitcher. She eventually would advance to third after the following two Broncos retired advancing her, but Sullivan left no doubt with her two-run blast that gave Boise State an early 2-0 lead. Kora Wade made it a 3-0 game after she got on thanks to a bunt single, and then stole second and advanced to third on a wild throw. The very next pitch she took on a wild pitch to increase the lead.
Southern Utah scored their lone unearned run of the game in the top of the third when Samantha Guerra reached on an error and later scored on a wild pitch to cut into the Bronco lead and make it a 3-1 game.
The knockout punch was delivered in the bottom of the fifth when Cervantes singled to right field. Sullivan doubled to right next, bringing Cervantes to third. Hendrickson showed her power and went to the opposite field on her walk-off homer, giving Boise State the decisive 9-1 shortened victory.
Sullivan finished the game 3-for-3 at the plate with five RBIs, Cassidy Edwards went 2-for-2 and Cervantes tallied two hits herself. Sorokina, Hendrickson and Wade had one hit apiece.
Game 2 | Boise State 16, UTEP 7
It didn’t take long for the Broncos to get on the board, as they jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Cervantes singled to center and scored Serrano and Sorokina to make it 2-0, and eventually Cervantes would score on a throwing error to move the lead to 3-0. Hendrickson homered to center field three batters later and made it a 5-0 game.
Boise State tacked on four more runs in the second with three-straight singles from Serrano, Cervantes and Sullivan to start the top half of the inning. Serrano scored on a passed ball and Hendrickson was able to drive the ball over the right field fence for a three-run home run, making it a 9-0 Bronco lead.
The eight runs was all the Blue and Orange would need, but the Miners proved resilient in the third and fourth innings. The Broncos tacked on a run in the top of the third to make it a 10-0 game, but UTEP scored two runs in the third and five in the fourth to cut into the margin.
At the beginning of the fifth the Broncos led just 11-7, but Boise State added three more insurance runs thanks to a three-run home run from Sullivan that scored Cervantes and Serrano, pushing the lead back to 14-7.
The last two runs came in the seventh inning when Cervantes hit a solo home run and Edwards doubled to right field to score Sullivan – who reached on a double two batters earlier.
Cervantes was sensational in the second game, going 5-for-5 with four RBIs. Serrano excelled, as well, tallying three hits to join Hendrickson and Sullivan who also recorded three apiece.
Rainey Dyreson started the game for Boise State and was responsible for two of UTEP’s runs, and was eventually replaced in the third with Veronica Lynch who also gave up two runs. Kelsey Broadus settled in nicely and pitched the final four innings, giving up three runs on three hits.
Boise State will return to action next weekend when they travel to Charleston, S.C. for the Willie Jewell’s Invitational from Feb. 23-25.
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