Broncos Sweep with Two Late Rallies
BOISE, Idaho-Boise State rallied from sixth-inning deficits in both games Sunday, to sweep the final day of the SpringHill Suites Invitational. The Broncos (13-15) downed Portland State 6-2, scoring all six runs in the sixth frame, and defeated Idaho State 8-7 with three runs in their final at bat.
Lela Work earned both wins in the circle, pitching a complete game against the Vikings (7-20) and tossing the final three innings against the Bengals (9-14). Work also drove in three runs at the plate, including a two-run home run against Idaho State, in her first appearances in the batting order of the season.
Devon Bridges had a pair of multi-hit games, driving in three runs on the day. Bridges was also hit by a pitch and intentionally walked twice.
Broncos Stage Late Rally to Beat Vikings
Bridges was hit by a pitch to start the sixth. After a fielder's choice, a single and a hit batter loaded the bases for Work. The senior swung at the first pitch and laced a single into center field to drive in a run and cut the deficit to one. It was her first hit since the 2012 season opener and just the ninth of her career.
With the bases still loaded, Jordan Kreiger drew a walk to tie the game. Holly Bourke came to the plate with two outs and torched a single to drive in the go-ahead run but the center fielder overran the ball and two more runs came in as Bourke reached third. An error allowed her to score and the Broncos took a four-run lead. Bridges singled in her second trip to the plate in the frame and a walk loaded the bases, but Boise State stranded three. Still, they carried a 6-2 lead into the seventh.
Work allowed a solo home run and a two-out double in the first inning, but retired 11 of the next 12 she faced. Then a second solo shot in the fifth inning put Portland State on top 2-0.
The Broncos left the bases loaded in the fifth, despite not getting a hit in the inning, and it appeared the game was headed down the same path as Boise State's season opener. The Vikings won that game 2-1 as Work tossed a three-hitter but allowed two solo homers.
Work's second complete game of the weekend saw her scatter six hits, allowing the two runs on homers. She struck out five and did not walk a batter.
Instead, the Broncos exploded in the sixth, earned the win and now lead the all-time series with Portland State, 5-4.
Broncos Win See-Saw Battle with Bengals
Idaho State struck first with a solo home run in the top of the first. Boise State responded immediately with a four spot in the bottom of the frame thanks to a pair of long balls.
Bridges hit a two-out bomb to center to score a pair and take the lead. After a walk, Work continued her career day with a home run to left center. Work's 10th-career hit was her second-career home run and first since a game-winner April 30, 2011, against Fresno State.
The Bengals got on the board again in the third. Courtney Dial led off with a high fly ball to directly into the sun that fell along the right-field line and resulted in a triple. Dial scored on a wild pitch. A double and a sacrifice bunt were followed by another wild pitch to cut the Bronco lead to one.
Makenna Weir extended the cushion in the fourth inning. With two outs Weir drove a two-out home run to left center, her second homer of the season, to make it 5-3.
That score did not last long. Amanda Fitzsimmons launched her third home run in two games against the Broncos to lead off the fifth inning for the Bengals. One batter later Work came out of the bullpen to try and stop the bleeding.
A single put two runners on before a pair of ground outs brought the Broncos within an out of escaping the jam. Instead, two hits pushed across two more runs and gave Idaho State the lead. Bridges doubled in the fifth, but Boise State could not muster a run to respond and the Bengals tacked on an extra run in the top of the sixth.
The Broncos entered the bottom of the inning down two and with the bottom third of the order coming to the plate. Ashley Collier, who was a defensive replacement earlier in the game, singled to start the inning. It was Collier's first hit since Feb. 9, and set the tone for the inning.
Kreiger and Brittany McCray followed with singles of their own to load the bases with nobody out. Weir was hit by a pitch to push one run across. Then with one out Glover ripped a shot to the wall in right that put the Broncos on top.
Idaho State put two runners on in the seventh, but the Work and the Broncos held and completed the Sunday sweep.
Rebecca Patton made the start in the circle, lasting four-plus innings. Patton allowed five runs (all earned) on five hits. She walked two and struck out four. Her two wild pitches also helped runs score. The junior faced two batters in the fifth inning- giving up a homer and a single- before being relieved by Work.
The Broncos will next take the diamond at the Rebel Classic March 23-24 in Las Vegas, with two games against Texas Tech and two games against No. 21/20 Tulsa.
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