Broncos Fall To Wildcats In NISC Opener
May 16, 2017

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    OGDEN, Utah - Boise State's postseason debut was a wild one, as the Broncos and Weber State combined for 29 runs and 38 hits in their National Invitational Softball Championship matchup, but the Wildcats would come out on top, 19-10.

    The Broncos (30-19) will face San Diego, which fell 8-0 to Utah State, in Wednesday's first elimination game at 10 a.m.

    "Our pitchers weren't on their 'A' game today, but what I was really pleased with though was how we fought back. We kept battling back and putting ourselves in a position to win, which for us is awesome," said Boise State head coach Cindy Ball. "You have to win to keep going in the postseason, so now we have to come back tomorrow. The postseason is all about defense and pitching so we have to shore up on that.

    Tuesday's game featured two lead changes early on and a near-comeback from Boise State, as the Broncos, after trailing 11-3 in the fourth inning, fought back to within a couple of runs at 12-10 entering the seventh. Weber State, though scored seven times in the top of the seventh to quash the rally.

    Weber State (34-19-1) broke open a two-run game with six runs in the top of the fourth to take what seemed a safe lead at 11-3. Boise State, though, began to chip away as Tatiana Sorokina led off the bottom of the fourth with a double, stole third and scored on Rebekah Cervantes' groundout. After a 1-2-3 Weber State fifth, the Broncos got two more in their half of the frame as Morgan Lamb knocked in a pair of runs with a double to left-center, making it 11-6.

    Weber State got a run back in the sixth on KyRae Kogianes' solo homer, but the Broncos wasted little time answering as Cervantes, who went 3-for-5 on the day, slammed a solo shot, her ninth of the year, to lead off the Bronco sixth. That sparked a rally which started with Cassidy Edwards' one-out triple and Shaelee Pearson's RBI single up the middle, making it 12-8. Two batters later, Karlee Johnson's two-out double brought in Pearson to make it a three-run game, and Johnson came around to pull the Broncos to within two at 12-10 as Wildcat pitcher Kirtlyn Bohling fired off-target to first after knocking down Lamb's line drive. Sorokina would walk to put two on and bring up Izzy Serrano as the go-ahead run, but Bohling was able to get Serrano to pop up to short to end the rally.

    The Broncos could not sustain the advantage entering the seventh, however, as Weber State scored seven runs to effectively seal things. Sydney White's leadoff single forced Bronco pitcher Veronica Lynch from the game as Kelsey Broadus, the fifth Bronco pitcher of the game, came on. Broadus fared no better as Takesha Saltern walked, Landi Hawker singled and Sara Hingsberger knocked an RBI single to score White. A bases-loaded walk and an RBI single from Molly Horne and Mackenzi Corta, respectively, brought the Wildcat lead to 15-10, and after Kogianes struck out, Sadie Blacker drew another bases-loaded walk to force in a run. White, batting for the second time in the frame, drove in Horne and Corta with a single to center then scored the final run of the game on a wild pitch.

    Bohling would get the win for Weber State, improving to 20-12 after going four innings over two stints in the contest. Bohling went the first three innings before returning to pitch the sixth, being charged with seven runs (six earned) on 13 hits with four strikeouts.

    For Boise State, starter Christina Washington fell to 16-10, giving up five runs on six hits over two and two-thirds innings. Washington was in the circle for Horne's two-run homer in the third which put Weber State up for good at 5-3. None of the five Bronco pitchers escaped the game unscathed, as Paige Reimann, who came on for Washington, lasted just two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on three hits with two walks. Rainey Dyreson, who relieved Reimann with one out in the fourth, got only one out while being charged with three runs on four hits, while Lynch lasted two and a third, giving up two runs (one earned) on two hits. Broadus, pitching he seventh, was charged with six runs on four hits with three walks.

    Horne ended the game 3-for-3 with six RBIs for the Wildcats, with HIngsberger, Kogianes and White each ending the game with three hits as well. Kogianes drove in four runs while Hingsberger and White knocked in two apiece.

    The Broncos also had four players with three hits apiece, as Cervantes was joined by Edwards, Johnson and Kora Wade in that group. Johnson and Lamb each drove in two runs, matching Cervantes' output.

    "Everyone really swung the bat well today. I loved how we fought," Ball said. "After the fourth inning we could've laid down and stopped playing but we didn't and I was pleased. We had key hits from multiple people but we also had a,lot of extra base hits. It was great to see."

    Weber State opened the scoring with two runs in the first, getting both with two out. Hingsberger started the rally with a double, followed by a single from Rae Gall. A wild pitch from Washington allowed Hingsberger to score the opener, and Horne drove in Gall with an RBI single.

    The Broncos took their only lead of the contest with three runs helped by two errors from the Wildcats in the second. Edwards and Corey Hendrickson opened the frame with singles, followed by Hendrickson stealing second. Wade drove in Edwards with a single, and Hendrickson scored on a fielding error in left field by Gall. Johnson then lifted a fly ball to left which scored Wade to make it 3-2.

    After Horne's homer capped a three-run third put the Wildcats up 5-3, Weber State scored six times in the fourth highlighted by a three-run homer from Kogianes to go up 11-3.

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