Patton Tosses Shutout against Valparaiso

March 9, 2014

Indiana Box Score | Valparaiso Box Score

BOISE, Idaho -

Rebecca Patton turned in her first shutout of the season as Boise State defeated Valparaiso 7-0, Sunday, at Dona Larsen Park. The Broncos wrapped up the final day of the SpringHill Suites Invitational I with a 5-4 loss against Indiana in the continuation of a game that was suspended Saturday night, and the win against the Crusaders. An originally-scheduled game against Weber State was canceled early in the day at the threat of bad weather.

Boise State (10-11) finished its first weekend at home with a 3-1 mark. Mackenzie Whyte led the charge, going 7-for-12 at the plate with three doubles, four runs, four RBI and four walks. Patton (10-6) earned the decision in all four games, going 3-1 with a 2.62 earned run average in 24 innings with 20 strikeouts and just seven walks.

The Broncos will continue their first homestand of the season with the SpringHill Suites Invitational II March 14-16, at Dona Larsen Park. Boise State is scheduled to play six games, two on each day of the tournament.

Bronco Comeback Falls Short in Continued Game with Hoosiers
Boise State and Indiana started the final day of the tournament by picking up where Saturday left off. The Broncos and Hoosiers continued their game that was suspended due to darkness in the fifth inning the night before. Indiana held a 3-0 lead at the time and added to it immediately before Boise State fell one run short.

Indiana scored two runs in the fifth inning, stretching its lead to 5-0. The Broncos went down in order in the bottom of the inning and Indiana put two in scoring position in the sixth, threatening to blow the game open. Instead, Patton pitched out of the jam and passed the momentum to the offense.

Jordan Kreiger singled, Whyte doubled and Devon Bridges was intentionally walked to load the bases for Ashley Palmer with one out. After fighting off two foul balls, Palmer singled up the middle to drive in two runs. The Broncos could not keep the rally going, stranding two.

Patton worked a perfect seventh inning to bring up the bottom of the seventh inning with the Broncos trailing 5-2. Libbie Jimenez pinch hit and drew a walk to lead off the inning. Sarah Barnes was also called upon to pinch hit. She wasted little time making an impact, lofting a 2-1 pitch high to left. The left fielder chased it back to the track before it sailed over the fence for Barnes' first home run of the season, bringing the Broncos within one with the top of the order due up and nobody out. A walk was all Boise State could get going after the home run and a strikeout ended the game, a 5-4 loss.

Patton Tosses Shutout in Big Win Over Valparaiso
Patton became the fastest Bronco to reach 10 wins in a season in school history, with a dominating performance. She struck out a season-high eight and walked three in her seven innings. Patton allowed just two hits through the first six innings. The first three Valparaiso batters singled in the seventh to load the bases with nobody out. The next batter chopped a ground ball back to the circle where Patton fielded it and started a double play getting force outs at home and first. The next batter grounded out to first and Patton had the shutout.

Boise State scored once in the first to take an early lead and added to it with four runs in the second inning. Devon Bridges put the Broncos on the board in the first, scoring Jordan Kreiger with a sacrifice fly to center. Whyte had the big hit in the second, a two-run double to right center with two outs. Ashley Palmer laced a base hit up the middle to send Whyte around. The first run of the inning came in after an errant throw on an infield single by Libbie Jimenez.

The big lead was more than enough for Patton. She allowed a pair of base runners in the third, but got out of the inning with a looking strikeout. That started a streak of retiring 10 out of 11 Crusaders.

Meanwhile the Broncos added to their advantage with two runs in the fourth. Kreiger led things off with a single that bounced off the bag at third base and Kreiger followed with a single of her own. Palmer drew a walk to load the bases for Bridges. A grand slam would have pushed the Broncos into run-rule territory, instead Bridges did not see anything good and walked for the fifth time on the weekend, pushing in a run. The second run in the inning came on a sacrifice fly by Barnes.

The Broncos had chances to end the game early in the fifth and sixth innings, leaving runners in scoring position in both frames.

Kreiger, Whyte and Jimenez each recorded a multi-hit game, the first such outing of Jimenez' young career. Kreiger scored three times. Barnes finished without registering an official at bat, but drew three walks in addition to her sacrifice fly. Bridges was also 0-for-0 with a walk, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice fly.

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