Six Unanswered Runs, Patton's Relief Lift Broncos Past UNLV

April 5, 2014

Final Stats

BOISE, Idaho - Boise State rallied from a five-run deficit to defeat UNLV 8-7 Saturday, at Dona Larsen Park, tying the series between the Broncos and Rebels. Lindsey Nicholson was 2-for-2 with two RBI, including driving in the game-winning run in the fifth inning.

Rebecca Patton earned the win in relief, pitching five shutout innings. Patton took over in the circle to start the third inning and kept the Rebels off balance throughout her outing. She scattered five hits, walked one and struck out one.

The Broncos (18-17, 3-5 MW) struck first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Jordan Kreiger doubled to score Tara Glover from first and later crossed home herself on a single from Hailey Torrez.

The lead did not last long. UNLV (15-21, 5-3 MW) scored seven times in the top of the second, thanks in part to two Boise State errors. Bronco starter Mackenzie McGill did not survive the inning. McGill allowed seven runs, but just two were earned, before exiting with two outs. She gave way to Kenzie Cole, making her first appearance since March 1. Cole needed four pitches to retire the only batter she faced.

The long inning did not stymie Boise State's offense. Brittany McCray led off the bottom of the second with a double, the first of four-straight hitters to reach base. Izzy Serrano singled on a bunt just in front of the plate before Nicholson doubled to bring in McCray. Tara Glover reached on an error while Serrano scored. With two on, Ashley Palmer pounded a double off the wall in left center to score two more runs and bring the Broncos within one.

Boise State turned to Patton when they took the field for the third and she delivered. The offense backed her with a run in the third to tie the game and take McGill off the hook for the loss. Patton seized the opportunity and pitched her way to her 16th win of the season.

The Bronco bats ensured victory with the fifth-inning run. McCray reached on a one-out single and was lifted for pinch-runner Kayla Clausen at first base. Clausen moved to second on a groundout before Nicholson stepped up with two outs and punched a single into right field. Clausen tore home from second and gave Boise State the lead.

Strong defense in the late innings made the lead hold up. Patton ran into her only bit of trouble in the sixth inning. A single, a hit batter and a walk loaded the bases with one out. The next batter hit a line drive back up the middle, but Kreiger read it off the bat and made a diving catch. She flipped the ball to Sarah Barnes at second base to catch the runner off the bag and complete an inning-ending double play.

A two-out single gave UNLV life in the seventh, but Libbie Jimenez fielded a bounding ground ball cleanly at third base and threw across the diamond in time to end the game and preserve the win.

McCray and Nicholson were the only Broncos with two hits as the team used a joint effort to rack up 10 hits. Boise State has double-digit hits in five of its eight conference games.

The Broncos will look for the series win Sunday, with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. (MT). Boise State has not dropped a home conference series since April 2010.

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