Washington's Perfect Game Paces Broncos
Feb. 25, 2017
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Senior pitcher Christina Washington threw the first perfect game in Boise State softball history in Saturday's opening 8-0, five-inning win over Maryland Eastern Shore, highlighting a sweep that included a 12-0 win over South Carolina State. And yes, Washington's teammates waited until after the game to alert her of her perfect outing.
"I didn't even realize it until Cass [Edwards] told me after the game was over. It was great how the team could score all those runs in the fifth inning and end the game right there," Washington said. "I'm sure they were all thinking it, but I wasn't aware of it. They didn't say anything until the game was over."
Boise State (11-2) finished the Willie Jewell's Invitational a perfect 6-0 and extended its winning streak to 10 games. The Broncos return to Boise to host the Springhill Suites Classic Friday-Sunday (March 3-5) at Dona Larsen Park. The Broncos open play Friday at 3:30 p.m. against Cal State Northridge, while the field also consists of Weber State and Santa Clara.
"The thing to pay attention to in Christina's performance is no strikeouts but just 41 pitches. She was really efficient and pitched to her defense," said Boise State head coach Cindy Ball. "I'm really pleased to see how our defense is gelling together. They're really getting into a groove as Christina's pitched quite a bit. She really defends her position well too."
Washington's perfect game, which doubled as her second shutout of the season, brought her record to 5-1. Her performance also marked the third no-hitter in program history and first since Kenzie Cole and Aubray Zell combined for one in a 7-1 win over Cal Poly in Cathedral City, Calif. back on Feb. 24, 2012.
Fellow senior Jenna Bassler earned the win against South Carolina State, her first of the season, allowing just two hits over four innings.
Offensively, senior Tatiana Sorokina had six hits over the two games including a 4-for-5, three-RBI performance against South Carolina State in which she came up just a double short of hitting for the cycle. Makenzie Sullivan and Kora Wade each had four hits on the day, as both players had a pair of hits in each contest.
"They're continuing to keep it simple. We still have a lot of things to work on. We're a young team and the season is still young," Ball said. "We'll dial in on our baserunning this week and situational hitting, and stick to plan of pitching and defense. Giving up only six runs this weekend is a credit to how hard our pitching staff is working. It's good to see everyone having some success and influence in the game, and to see some younger players get some at-bats and take advantage of that."
Boise State 8, Maryland Eastern Shore 0 (5): Bronco starter Christina Washington was perfect through five innings of work against Maryland Eastern Shore when her offense finished it off for her with a seven-run bottom of the fifth to seal the 8-0 victory.
The Bronco defense was perfect as all 15 MDES batters put the ball in play, while only one batter was able to get the ball into the outfield, as Allison Anderson flew out to right to end the top of the fourth. The perfect game, the first by a Boise State pitcher, is also the third no-hitter in the program's history.
"It gives me a lot of confidence. As long as I approach things the right way, they'll always make the plays and everyone did really well together as a team," Washington said.
At the plate, the Broncos struck for a run in the opening frame as Kora Wade's one-out sacrifice fly scored Tatiana Sorokina. The Bronco bats were up and down until the fifth, when they loaded the bases with one out, setting up Corey Hendrickson's two-run single to right-center that scored Rebekah Cervantes and Makenzie Sullivan. Boise State capitalized on a Hawk error as Cassidy Edwards reached on an error, scoring Wade to make it 4-0. Two batters later, Shaelee Pearson delivered a two-out RBI single to plate Edwards, followed by a single from Sorokina to load the bases, and bases-loaded walks to Izzy Serrano and Cervantes before Sullivan's RBI single scored Sorokina with the game-ending run.
Pearson, Sorokina, Sullivan and Wade each had a pair of hits in the contest, while Sorokina scored twice.
Boise State 12, South Carolina State 0: Senior Tatiana Sorokina went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and came up just a double short of hitting for the cycle to lead a Bronco offense that banged out 17 hits in the 12-0 win over South Carolina State.
"She's outworking her best game and the next day she comes out stronger," Ball said about Sorokina's efforts. "Her hard work is paying off, and she understands that her job is to show us the pitcher and lead us offensively. How strong she's playing defensively is helping her confidence, it's opened up her game and that's good to see."
The Broncos opened the scoring in the fourth on Makenzie Sullivan's leadoff homer, and got a second run when Cassidy Edwards bunted aboard and came all the way around when South Carolina State catcher Deanna Sullivan's throw to first went down the right-field line.
Sorokina led off the fifth with a triple and came in on Izzy Serrano's sacrifice fly, and it was in the sixth that the Broncos blew it open, scoring four runs. Kora Wade's leadoff single was followed by an RBI double from Kaitlyn Shreves and run-scoring singles from Edwards and Karlee Johnson. Three batters later, Isabelle Butler brought Johnson in with an RBI groundout.
The Broncos added five in the seventh, an outburst that began when Sullivan reached on a two-base error in right field and came in on Bri Ambrose's double to left. Micaela Leal followed with an RBI single, and after Cassidy Edwards reached on a fielder's choice and Shaelee Pearson singled, Sorokina hit a three-run shot to right to make it 7-0.
Edwards, Johnson, Sullivan and Wade had two hits apiece for the Broncos, with Edwards scoring three times.
"If someone leads, others will follow. The moment someone leads it, the other follow," Ball said about the Broncos' big innings. "The biggest thing is putting the game in motion. South Carolina State played a different defense against us, something we haven't seen before, and our slappers made good adjustments."
Jenna Bassler picked up her first win of the season by going four innings, allowing just two hits with a pair of strikeouts. Bassler got out of a couple of runner-in-scoring-position situations over the first two innings as well as in the fifth, as the Bronco defense caught a Bulldog runner too far off third base after a groundout to get the third out of the frame. Veronica Lynch, Leal and Kelsey Broadus combined to hold the Bulldogs scoreless over the final three frames.
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