Broncos Bounce Back Sunday for Series Win
March 23, 2014
BOISE, Idaho - The sun rose again Sunday, and it was a new day for Boise State softball. The Broncos jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in an 8-1 victory against Fresno State to rebound from a 24-4 loss the day before, and take the series. Tara Glover went 3-for-4, drove in four runs and scored two more to pace Boise State (17-13, 2-1 MW), and clinch their 11th-consecutive conference series win at home.
Ashley Palmer got the scoring started with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. Glover singled to start the game and stood at second with two outs. Palmer turned around a 1-2 pitch and sent it over the fence just left of dead center field for her fifth home run of the season and an early 2-0 lead.
Glover helped add to the lead in the second. After Rose Saenz doubled and Makenna Weir walked, a sacrifice bunt put both runners in scoring position for the top of the order. Glover scorched a line drive off the fence in right center. She just missed a home run as the ball hit inches below the yellow cap on top of the fence, but the two-run double made it a four-run lead.
Glover came around to score on another double by Jordan Kreiger, the third two-bagger of the inning for the Broncos. Kreiger was eventually pushed in by Palmer's second run-scoring hit in as many innings, giving the Broncos a 6-0 lead after two innings.
Rebecca Patton took the ball in the circle for Boise State. Working with an early lead, Patton wiggled in and out of trouble on various occasions to make the advantage hold up and earn her 15th win of the season. The 15 victories are not only a career high for the redshirt senior, but third-most in school history. Patton's 134 innings also rank third all-time, with 22 games left on the schedule.
The Bulldogs picked up an unearned run in the top of the third inning to cut the Bronco lead to five, but Boise State responded right away in the bottom of the inning.
Again it was Glover delivering for Boise State. Her third hit of the day bounced into right field to score Saenz from third and Lindsey Nicholson from second. Glover stole second, her 20th stolen base of the season, to add to her banner day.
After Glover's two-run single made it 8-1, Fresno State brought in its third pitcher of the day. Hannah Harris, who earned the win Saturday, was the answer to Boise State's offensive firepower. Harris retired all 11 batters she faced, not allowing the Broncos to put the game in run-rule territory.
Patton made sure the seven-run lead would be enough. The Bulldogs (16-12, 1-2 MW) loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the fourth inning. Patton picked up a looking strikeout and Mackenzie Whyte turned an inning-ending double play to keep Fresno State off the scoreboard in the inning.
The Bulldogs threatened again in the fifth, advancing runners to second and third with nobody out. A soft ground ball to the right side was fielded by Weir at first base who went home and started a lengthy rundown resulting in the first out. A line drive and a pop out ended the frame again without a run scoring.
Patton finished the game allowing her only walk in the sixth inning and pitching a perfect seventh to seal the victory. She scattered seven hits to allow a single unearned run with one walk and five strikeouts.
Saenz joined Glover and Palmer with a multi-hit game and scored twice.
Jill Compton took the loss for Fresno State. Compton started and pitched an inning and a third, allowing five runs on five hits and two walks.
The Broncos have now won five-straight conference series overall, after closing the 2013 season by going 2-1 in each of the final four series. Just one week into its third season in the Mountain West, Boise State has already posted a series victory against every conference opponent it has faced. The Broncos are yet to face newcomers San Jose State and Utah State as MW members.
Boise State has not lost a conference series at home in nearly four years. The Broncos were swept by No. 25 Hawai'i, April 9-10, 2010, during the second year of the softball program but have won the last 11, including all six as a member of the Mountain West.
Boise State hits the road next weekend for the first time in four weeks, continuing Mountain West play at Colorado State. The Broncos went 10-3 on their first homestand of the season
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