Broncos Win Game One, Game Two Suspended
March 8, 2014
BOISE, Idaho -
Boise State won in its last at bat for the second time in as many days in a 6-5 victory against Valparaiso, Saturday, at Dona Larsen Park on the second day of the SpringHill Suites Invitational I. In the final game of the day, Boise State (9-10) and Indiana made it to the top of the fifth inning before umpires suspended the contest due to darkness.
The Hoosiers lead 3-0 with a runner on first and one out in the top of the fifth of a game that will be resumed Sunday, the final day of the tournament. Games will begin at 10 a.m. (MT) at Dona Larsen Park, starting with the end of the suspended game.
Brittany McCray was 2-for-3 with a home run in the first game. Ashley Palmer was 1-for-3 and hit a game-winning two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning. Rebecca Patton (9-5) earned the win in relief against the Crusaders.
Broncos Beat Valparaiso in Last At Bat
Boise State led 3-0 after three innings. The Broncos scored a run in the first inning on one hit and three walks, including a bases-loaded free pass. Brittany McCray led off the second inning with her first home run of the season. With two outs in the second, Mackenzie Whyte doubled in a run.
The Broncos carried the 3-0 advantage into the fifth inning thanks to some strong defense. Twice Boise State cut down a run at the plate in the early innings. Valparaiso tried to score from second on a single to center, but Tara Glover’s throw home beat the runner and ended the second inning. With runners at second and third in the fourth inning, the Crusaders tried to score on a ground ball to second base. Instead, Jordan Kreiger fired home in time to retire the lead runner.
In the fifth, Valparaiso loaded the bases on two walks and a single against Bronco starter Mackenzie McGill, forcing the Broncos to go to the bullpen. Rebecca Patton took over in the circle and walked in a run and allowed a single before getting the first out of the inning. An error in the next at bat drove in the tying run, but Patton buckled down to get the next two hitters, leave the bases loaded and keep the game tied.
Valparaiso took a two-run lead in the sixth inning with a two-out, two-run home run. It was the first homer Patton allowed since Feb. 22, after keeping the ball in the yard during her previous four starts. Valparaiso’s five unanswered runs staked the Crusaders to a 5-3 advantage headed to the bottom of the sixth.
McCray led off the home half of the inning with a double for her second extra-base hit of the game. Makenna Weir drew a walk in a pinch-hit appearance and the Broncos had the tying run on base. After a pair of infield flies the Broncos still had runners at first and second with two outs. Whyte drew a walk to load the bases and bring up Devon Bridges.
Bridges had been walked twice already in the game. Valparaiso worked around the Bronco slugger once again and ended up walking her on five pitches to push a run across. Palmer made them pay with a single to left center to chase in two more runs and put the Broncos on top.
McGill pitched four-plus innings, keeping the Crusaders off the scoreboard in the first four frames before allowing the first three batters of the fifth to reach. Those three runners all scored, two of which were earned. McGill allowed three hits, struck out two and issued six walks.
Patton worked the final three innings, allowing two runs on three this and a walk. She struck out four, including back-to-back looking strikeouts to end the game and seal the win.
Bronco hitters drew 10 walks in the game, including the three from Bridges and two by Sarah Barnes. McCray and Whyte each enjoyed two-hit games. Palmer’s big sixth-inning base hit was the only other hit for the Broncos, who finished with five to Valparaiso’s six.
Saturday Finale Suspended
Indiana scored three times in the top of the fourth inning to put the game’s first runs on the board. Indiana had a runner on first base with one out in the fifth against Bronco starter Rebecca Patton when umpires halted the game.
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