Boise State Rallies Fall Short In Opener
March 27, 2015

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    BOISE, Idaho - Boise State fought valiantly after falling into an early five-run hole, but the Bronco rallies fell just short as San Diego State captured Friday's series opener, 6-4, at Dona Larsen Park.

    Boise State (8-26, 0-4 MW) scored a run in each of the first three innings and another in the fifth, boosted by a first-inning lead-off home run by freshman Shaelee Pearson, but the Aztecs built their early advantage with three runs in each of the first two innings. The Broncos missed additional chances early to capitalize on their runs, leaving two runners on in the second and fifth innings, and the sacks loaded in the third.

    The teams will return to Dona Larsen Park Saturday at 4 p.m. for the second game of the series.

    Pearson added a double to finish the day 2-for-4 to lead the Broncos, while Lindsey Nicholson and Jordan Kreiger also had two-hit days.

    But it was the bats of San Diego State (21-12, 4-0 MW) that built an early lead against Bronco starter Rachel Rodriguez that would not be overcome. Kayla Jordan opened the first with a walk and came around on Sydnee Cable's double to left-center, which saw Cable thrown out at third trying to advance on the throw home. Lorena Bauer followed with a solo home run to center, followed by Jenavee Peres being hit by a pitch.

    After a walk to Kaitlin Connors, Kayla Bufardeci hit a grounder to second that got through as Nicholson and pinch-runner Victoria Kobald avoided a collision on the base path. This allowed Peres to score the third run of the inning.

    Pearson got a run back in the first, sending an 0-2 pitch from Erica Romero deep to straight away center for her second round-tripper of the season. But the Aztecs countered with three more in the second as Peres, with two on and one out, hit one out to center to make it 6-1.

    That chased Rodriguez from the game, as the freshmen would fall to 3-14 by giving up six runs on six hits. Nicole Wilson would come on in relief and went on to do a bang-up job in the circle, holding the Aztecs scoreless over the remaining 5.2 innings.

    The Broncos inched their way closer to the Aztecs as the game went on. Kreiger singled with one out in the second and got to third on Sara Ketelsleger's two-out single. Kreiger would then steal home during Pearson's at-bat as Ketelsleger drew a throw to second on a feint.

    Pearson would then double to right-center, putting runners on second and third but Devon Bridges would line out to second to end the threat.

    Boise State loaded the bases with two away in the third and scratched out a third run as Nicholson beat out a slow roller toward second to score Teauna Hughes. But again, the Broncos missed a chance to deal a solid blow to the Aztecs as Ketelsleger popped out to Romero.

    The Broncos added their final run in the fifth, again with two outs and on a play started with a hit by Nicholson. With runners on first and second, Nicholson rolled one up the middle but lead runner Hailey Torrez stopped after taking a big turn at third. This left Kreiger in limbo after a big turn at second, but she beat Aztec center fielder Miles to the bag at second, which allowed Torrez to score Boise State's fourth run. The rally would end, though, on Ketelsleger's grounder back to Romero.

    Romero would go on to retire the final six Bronco batters to improve to 19-9 after giving up four runs on nine hits with three strikeouts.

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