Broncos Split One-Run Games
March 17, 2014
BOISE, Idaho -
Boise State softball split a pair of one-run games Sunday, on the final day of the SpringHill Suites Invitational II. The Broncos (15-12) lost 2-1 against Southern Utah before bouncing back to beat Idaho State 1-0.
Rebecca Patton pitched a shutout in the nightcap, allowing just two hits and two walks as she made sure one run was enough against the Bengals. It is Patton's second shutout of the season and the second time she has thrown a two-hit complete game this year, the fewest hits she has allowed in a seven-inning outing during her career.
Mackenzie Whyte scored both of Boise State's runs Sunday, and Ashley Palmer drove in both runs. Whyte has now scored in 10-consecutive games. She scored from first on a two-out Palmer double both times. Palmer now has 21 RBI on the season, 14 coming with two outs.
Late Runs Put Thunderbirds on Top
Mackenzie McGill pitched the first complete game of her career in the loss, allowing just the two runs on seven hits and two walks. McGill did not allow a hit until after four-and-two-thirds innings. A two-out single did no harm, but Southern Utah continued to figure her out in the ensuing innings.
In the sixth the Thunderbirds picked up three hits, including a pair with two outs. The final base hit came with runners at first and second and scooted all the way to the wall. Tara Glover retrieved it in right center and fired it toward the infield. Jordan Kreiger made a strong relay throw and gunned down the trail runner as the strong defense kept the game tied.
The middle of the Bronco infield had a strong day defensively. Whyte recorded five putouts and four assists. Kreiger had three putouts and six assists. McGill even had four assists from the circle. Still, it was an infield hit that gave Southern Utah the lead in the seventh. With runners at the corners and two outs, Tanisha Anderson rolled a ball to the right side. It slipped past Palmer at first, but Kreiger was there to scoop it up. After both fielders hesitated a split second on who would cover, Kreiger attempted to beat Anderson to the bag. Anderson was there first, and the run scored from third.
McGill finished the inning without allowing another run, but Boise State could not answer in the bottom of the seventh.
Palmer had two of the Broncos' four hits in the game and also drew a walk. Hailey Torrez picked up a hit in the first inning. The first of two walks to Sarah Barnes loaded the bases with two away in that frame- after Whyte had already scored- but a fly out to left ended the threat. Barnes had the fourth and final hit for Boise State, a leadoff double in the sixth inning. She was on third with nobody out, but the Broncos could not push her across to respond to Southern Utah tying the game in the top half of that inning.
The Broncos left nine on base, including a six in scoring position.
Patton Shuts Out Bengals
The Bengals had a hit in the first and second innings, then Patton allowed just two walks and one runner reached on an error over the final 19 batters she faced in her second shutout of the season.
Again, it was Palmer delivering the lone run for the Broncos. After Whyte reached on a fielder's choice, Palmer stepped up and drove a ball off the fence in right. Whyte took off from first and as the relay throw headed home she dove around the catcher to sneak in before the tag and put the Broncos on the board.
Glover and Torrez had the other hits for Boise State. Glover singled up the middle to lead off the first inning. Torrez hit a single to right field to lead off the sixth.
The game belonged to Patton, who only allowed one runner to reach second base and faced just three over the minimum in her 12th complete game of the year. She improved to 13-6 on the season.
This marks the end of the tournament portion of Boise State's schedule. The Broncos open Mountain West play Friday, against Fresno State at Dona Larsen Park. Boise State has one nonconference game remaining on the schedule, a road trip to Idaho State April 29, in Pocatello.
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