BOISE, Idaho-Boise State split two games on the second day of the SpringHill Suites Invitational Saturday, at Dona Larsen Park. The Broncos (11-15), dropped their first game against Idaho State 6-4, before taking a 2-1 decision over Portland State. Each season series was evened at one win apiece.
Tara Glover tied the school record with four hits in the meeting with the Bengals (8-13). Glover had three singles and a double to become the third Bronco with two four-hit games in her career. Devon Bridges drove in three runs on the day. Bridges' two-run single in the third inning against the Vikings (6-19) was all the offense Boise State needed as Rebecca Patton delivered a three-hitter in the circle for the win.
Home Runs Fuel Bengal Win
Amanda Fitzsimmons hit two home runs and had an RBI double in the first four innings as Idaho State jumped out to a 5-2 lead in Boise State's first game of the day. The Bengals scored in each of the first five innings and held on for the 6-4 win. The Broncos won Friday's meeting between the Gem State schools 8-0 in five innings.
Bois State used RBI singles from Glover and Bridges in the third inning to get within one at 3-2. The Broncos had a chance to do more damage but left the bases loaded.
In the next inning Fitzsimmons hit a two-run shot to extend the Bengal lead to three runs. She led off the game with a home run and drove in another run with a double in the second. Idaho State added another run in the fifth before the Broncos could respond.
Ashley Palmer dropped a single into right field to score a run in the bottom of the fifth and cut the deficit to three again at 6-3.
In the sixth inning Glover doubled for her school-record-tying fourth hit of the game and set the Broncos up with a runner in scoring position and one out. With two away Holly Bourke roped a double of her own to trade places with Glover. However, for the fifth time in the game the Broncos left at least two runners on base.
Fitzsimmons also pitched in relief. She picked up the win in five innings of work, allowing two runs on eight hits. She closed the door in the seventh with a perfect inning.
In addition to Glover's 4-for-4 day, Bourke reached base all four times she came to the plate. The senior had two hits and two walks in extending her reached-base-safely streak to 17 games.
Boise State left eight base runners for the game. It is the 13th time this season the Broncos have left at least seven runners on base; they are 4-9 in those games.
Kenzie Cole took the loss to drop to 3-6 on the year. Cole got the start and lasted two-plus innings, allowing three runs on six hits. Lela Work took over in relief and also allowed three runs on six hits in her five innings of work.
Patton Delivers Gem against Vikings
Rebecca Patton dueled with Portland State ace Anna Bertrand in the final game Saturday, leading the Broncos to a 2-1 victory. The win avenged a loss by the same score in Boise State's season opener. Patton allowed one run on three hits while walking two and striking out four in a complete-game effort.
Virtually all of Boise State's offense came in the third inning. A walk, an error and a single loaded the bases. With two outs and the bases still full, Bridges stepped to the plate and drove a 2-0 pitch right back up the middle to score two runs. It was just the second hit of the game for the Broncos-it would also be their last. Bertrand allowed just one more base runner the rest of the game with a fifth-inning walk. Both runs charged to the 2012 Pacific Coast Softball Conference Pitcher of the Year were unearned.
Patton was up to the challenge. She carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, retiring 11-consecutive batters at one point. She gave up a pair of singles in the fifth, but with two outs induced a comebacker and fielded it herself to strand runners on the corners.
A leadoff walk came back to bite Patton in the sixth inning. The Vikings sacrificed the runner to second and a double drove in their first run of the game to get within one. A ground out moved the tying run to third, but with two away left fielder Lindsey Nicholson battled swirling winds to catch a shallow fly ball and retire the side.
After the Broncos went down in order in the sixth, Portland State came to the plate with one more chance in the seventh. The Vikings had a little life when a wild pitch allowed a strikeout victim to reach with one out. Another strikeout and a ground out ended that threat.
Patton improved her record to 6-6 with the win. The three hits match the fewest she has given up in a seven-inning outing in her career. The other occurrence came April 2, 2010, against UC Riverside during her freshman season at Cal Poly.
The SpringHill Suites Invitational wraps up Sunday, with four games. The Broncos will play at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. (MT) at Dona Larsen Park. The action gets started at 10 a.m. with a pair of neutral-site games. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, admission will be $4 for all fans wearing blue and orange.