Wild Game Two Ends in Boise State's First Tie
March 24, 2013
LAS VEGAS - Boise State and No. 19/18 Tulsa battled in a back-and-forth affair ending in a 6-6 tie Sunday, in the second game of a doubleheader at the Rebel Classic in Las Vegas. It is the first tie in program history. The Broncos fell 5-2 in its first game against the Golden Hurricane.
The second game reached its previously-declared drop-dead time of 2 p.m. (PT) with the Broncos (14-17-1) leading 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth inning. Tulsa (26-6-1) had runners at the corners with nobody out at the time of the stoppage, which was in place to accommodate travel arrangements.
Holly Bourke led the Broncos with three hits on the day, all coming in the second game, including a pair of home runs as she drove in three runs. It is the first multi-homer game of Bourke's career and her first two home runs this season. She had three all of last season, a career-high four as a sophomore in 2011 and just two round trippers in 2010.
It was not quite enough for the Broncos to pick up their first all-time win against a team ranked in both the NFCA and USA Softball Top 25 Polls. Boise State is now 0-28-1 in such games. Boise State is 3-32-1 in games against teams ranked in either poll.
Broncos Fight to End, Fall 5-2 in Game One
Tulsa struck early with hits from the first five batters it sent to the plate in the top of the first inning. Back-to-back home runs from the third and fourth hitters put a four-spot on the board. A single followed the blasts to keep the string of hits going, but Boise State starting pitcher Lela Work settled in to a groove.
Work retired the next nine batters to get the Broncos to the bottom of the third with the score still 4-0. The second time through the order for the Broncos brought base hits for Tara Glover and Devon Bridges. It was the second hit of the game for Bridges and an ensuing walk loaded the bases with two outs. Mackenzie Whyte battled through a full count to draw a walk and push across Boise State's first run of the game. That was all the Broncos would get from the opportunity.
Work sat down the next two batters to run her streak to 11-straight Tulsa hitters retired. A two-out single snapped the string but the senior hurler picked up a pop out from the next batter to get out of the inning. The Golden Hurricane got to her in the next frame, scoring one run on an infield single and a double, stretching the lead back to four runs.
Kenzie Cole came on to pitch two scoreless innings of relief in the sixth and seventh innings. Tulsa put a runner on third in each inning against Cole, but the sophomore escaped both times to keep the Broncos within earshot.
Boise State had runners on first and second with one out in the sixth, but could not produce a run.
The seventh inning started with the Golden Hurricane working around Bridges and her two hits. A four-pitch leadoff walk to the Bronco slugger was followed by a single from Makenna Weir and a double by Whyte scoring one and leaving two in scoring position. A one-out walk to Ashley Palmer loaded the bases, but that is where the threat ended.
Weir's seventh-inning single extended her hitting streak to 11 games. The streak was snapped in the second game, two games shy of the school record.
The Broncos left runners on base in six of the seven innings, stranding multiple runners in five frames. They mustered seven hits and seven walks against a pitching staff that entered the game with a combined WHIP of 1.17 on the season (walks plus hits per inning pitched), but could not deliver the big hit.
Work took the loss giving up five runs on eight hits in five innings. She did not walk a batter and struck out one.
Bourke's Two Home Runs Help Broncos to... a Tie
The game reached its drop-dead time of 2 p.m. (PT) and the stats reverted to the last-completed inning, making the score 6-6 and giving Boise State its first tie in program history.
Bourke's second home run of the game gave Boise State a 6-5 lead in the top of the seventh inning. The two-out blast was the second time in as many days the Broncos took a lead on a seventh-inning home run.
The Golden Hurricane came right back in the bottom of the seventh with three-straight singles to tie the game. A Bronco error put the winning run on third and loaded the bases with nobody out. Boise State pitcher Rebecca Patton, who pitched the entire game, responded with a foul out and back-to-back strikeouts to strand the runners and force extra innings. As it turned out, the buckle-down performance actually clinched the tie.
The Broncos took an early lead with three runs in the top of the first inning. The game started with a single from Glover but she was charged with her first caught stealing of the season trying to take second. The junior beat the throw but was tagged out after oversliding the bag and is now 15-for-16 on steal attempts this season. Glover's teammates picked her up.
Bourke singled and Bridges reached on an error. After a fly out brought up two outs, Whyte continued her hot streak with a double down the line in left to score one. Work, in the batting order for the sixth-straight game, delivered a two-run single to put the Broncos up 3-0 right out of the gate.
The lead did not last long. Tulsa brought nine batters to the plate in the first inning on three singles and three walks. The Golden Hurricane scored three runs to tie the game, but Patton managed to leave the bases loaded and escape any further damage.
Boise State's offense got right back at it with a leadoff walk to Brittany McCray in the second inning. After two quick outs Bourke stepped to the plate and drove the first pitch she saw over the wall in right for her first home run of the season to put the Broncos up 5-3.
Tulsa answered with a two-run home run of its own in the bottom of the third inning, knotting the game 5-5.
Then a pitchers' duel broke out and neither team could put together a threat.
Tulsa starter Caitlin Sill kept the Broncos off balance as she allowed just a one-out walk in the fourth inning and a two-out single in the sixth.
Patton was equal to the task. After the game-tying home run a pair of Boise State errors put runners at first and second with just one out in the third. Patton got out of the inning, and faced the minimum in the next three innings to get through six with the game still tied. She allowed a hit in the fourth, but it was erased by an inning-ending double play.
Sill continued to get through the Bronco order in the seventh but made one mistake to Bourke and she made her pay. The senior scorched a 0-2 pitch over the fence in left center for the brief lead.
Boise State will stay on the road for a Tuesday doubleheader at Southern Utah. The twinbill with the Thunderbirds begins at Noon (MT) from Cedar City, Utah.
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