Steady Pitching, Clutch Hitting Give Broncos Sweep
RIVERSIDE, Calif.-Boise State softball won a pair of tight games Saturday, at the Amy S. Harrison Classic in Riverside, Calif. The Broncos (7-6) scored a run on two hits in a 1-0 victory against San Diego in the opener before rallying for a 4-2 victory against host UC Riverside later.
Devon Bridges scored the only run against the Toreros and drove in the tying and go-ahead runs against the Highlanders. Three Bronco pitchers combined to allow just two runs in 14 innings without issuing a walk.
Broncos Scrap for 1-0 Win Against San Diego
Patton scattered seven hits, all singles, across the full seven innings, allowing one in each frame. She did not walk a batter while striking out six. The only time the Toreros put multiple runners on base was when a dropped third strike followed a single. Patton used two pop outs to escape the one-out jam and went on to deliver the Broncos' first shutout of the season. It is her first shutout since Feb. 11, 2012, against Texas Tech while she was at Cal Poly, as she improves her record on the season to 5-2.
Boise State was without a hit until the fourth inning when Devon Bridges led off with a bloop single beyond the reach of the shortstop. A walk to Mackenzie Whyte gave the Broncos a runner in scoring position. With one out freshman Sarah Barnes singled to left field and Bridges was waved around, scoring the first- and ultimately only- run of the game.
The Broncos drew five walks in the game to put runners on base in five of the six innings they came to the plate as both teams had ample opportunity to produce on offense. Just three Toreros combined for their seven hits.
Seventh-Inning Rally Sparks Win Over UC Riverside
Sarah Barnes led off the seventh with a base hit, but a line drive and fielder's choice meant Boise State still had just a runner at first with two away. Jordan Kreiger singled to keep the inning alive and turn the lineup over to the top of the order. Tara Glover, whose speed always puts pressure on the defense, reached on an error by the shortstop and loaded the bases.
Holly Bourke singled to put the Broncos on the board, but they remained down one with the bases still loaded for Bridges. The junior continued to be Boise State's biggest run producer as she singled to bring in two and put the Broncos on top. Bridges now has 14 runs driven in on the season, twice that of the Broncos' second-leading RBI contributor (Glover, seven).
Two walks followed Bridges, including a bases-loaded free pass to Makenna Weir to push another run across and provide the final margin.
Lela Work started the game in the circle and lasted four innings allowing two runs on four hits. Work struck out two and had a stretch of retiring eight straight batters. She allowed one run on two hits in the first inning, sat the Highlanders down in order in the second in third and gave up another run on two more hits in the fourth.
Kenzie Cole entered the game in the fifth inning in the circle, in time for the third turn through the UC Riverside order. Cole picked up two quick outs before a single and an error put runners at first and second. She registered a strike out to end the fifth and pitched a perfect sixth to keep the Broncos within striking distance headed to the last inning.
After Boise State's offense erupted and took the lead, Cole slammed the door with another three-up, three-down inning to secure her second win of the season.
Weir, who did not play in the first game, went 1-for-3 at the plate against the Highlanders in addition to the RBI walk to run her hitting streak to five games. The freshman has also reached base safely in the last eight games she has appeared in.
Boise State will close its stay at the Amy S. Harrison Classic with a rematch against San Diego Sunday, at 9 a.m. (PT).
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