Broncos Drop Home Opener To Weber State
March 6, 2015
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State came back from one four-run deficit Friday but could not overcome a second as the Broncos fell, 10-7, to Weber State in their home opener at Dona Larson Park.
The Broncos (7-14) continue the SpringHill Suites Invitational at Dona Larsen Park Saturday with two games, first facing Saint Mary's at 1 p.m. then closing with Montana at 3:15 p.m.
Boise State scored four times in the bottom of the third to draw level with Weber State at 5-5 but the Wildcats dealt a four-run counter-punch their ensuing time up which the Broncos could not answer. The contest itself featured six home runs as each team accounted for three.
Despite the power from Kayla Clausen, Shaelee Pearson and Makenzie Sullivan for the Broncos, all three home runs were solo shots, while Weber State's home runs from Molly Horne, Kristin Kubo and Alyson Kulp combined to bring in seven runs for the Wildcats, with Horne and Kubo's shot each being of the three-run variety.
Kulp and Horne accounted for the critical damage done to the Broncos in that four-run fourth for Weber State (10-7), as Kulp led off the frame with a solo shot to left-center, putting the Wildcats back in front at 6-5. After singles from Malia Campos and Aubrey Whitmer sandwiched a pop out, Horne sent a towering shot to left to make it 9-5. That shot also knocked Bronco starter Rachel Rodriguez from the game, as Rodriguez fell to 3-7 on the year after giving up nine runs (eight earned) on 10 hits.
The Broncos could only manage solo shots from Clausen and Pearson the rest of the way, despite putting runners on second and third with two out in the fifth and getting a one-out double from Devon Bridges in the seventh.
Pearson, in addition to hitting the first home run of her collegiate career, went 3-for-3 with two runs scored to pace the Broncos while Clausen also scored twice and drove in a pair of runs.
Boise State fell behind from the start when Weber State, after making the first two outs of the top half of the first, posted four runs off of Bronco starter Rachel Rodriguez thanks mainly to Kubo's three-run homer.
After the teams traded runs through the top half of the third, the Broncos staged their own rally to even the score at 5-5. Singles from Pearson and Jordan Kreiger started the inning, and the two moved up a bag on Ashley Palmer's ground out to second then scored as Clausen's bouncer toward second bounced under the glove of Wildcat second baseman McKinley Brinkerhoff, making it 5-3.
A passed ball got Clausen to third and she scored on Bridges' ground out. Sullivan then smashed Sierra Whitmer's first offering the other way to right-center for her team-leading fourth home run of the season to tie it up.
The momentum didn't last long, though, as Kulp's leadoff homer started Weber State's game-deciding rally.
The closest the Broncos would get to threatening the rest of the way was in the fifth, when Teauna Hughes just missed a two-run opposite-field home run, instead settling for a double when the ball hit the top half of the left-field fence. The double moved Sullivan to third with two out, but Weber State would bring in reliever Kirtlyn Bohling who struck out Lindsey Nicholson to end the inning.
Bohling picked up the win for Weber State, allowing just a run on two hits over the final 2.1 innings. Wildcat starter MaCauley Flint lasted just one-plus inning before being lifted for Whitmer, who gave up five runs (two earned) on seven hits over 3.2 innings.
Bronco pitcher Nicole Wilson pitched well in relief of Rodriguez, coming on after Horne's three-run homer and allowing just one run on three hits over the final 3.2 innings.
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