Broncos Fall In Regional Title Game
May 18, 2017
OGDEN, Utah - Boise State's 2017 campaign came to an end Thursday afternoon with an 8-0, five-inning loss at Weber State in the deciding game of the Ogden Regional of the National Invitational Softball Championship.
The Broncos, which forced the afternoon's winner-take-all contest with a 5-1 victory over the Wildcats in the morning, finish the 2017 season with a 33-20 record. The win total ties the 2011 Bronco squad for second in program history, one behind the 34-20 mark put up by the 2012 squad.
"I couldn't be more proud of this group. They fought hard every single pitch and played so well together," said Boise State head coach Cindy Ball. "They can hold their heads high because we had a winning record this weekend. The postseason experience is so invaluable, just to be able to play more games, get some great performances across the board and see the seniors lead, and freshmen and underclassmen shine. All around it makes for some great things ahead for the program. The experience for the returners, getting to be in so many different situations and see how the postseason goes and what the environment is about, was great."
Boise State had its chances in Thursday's second game, putting two runners on in each of the first two innings but failing to come away with anything to show for it. With runners on first and second in the first, Weber State third baseman KyRae Kogianes took a bouncer from Makenzie Sullivan, stepped on third base for one out and completed the double play by throwing across the diamond to get Sullivan at first. The following inning, Wildcat starter Kirtlyn Bohling got Morgan Lamb to pop up to third for the third out, stranding Bronco runners at first and second.
The Bronco defense did well to keep Weber State off the board in the first, as a relay from Cassidy Edwards in center to shortstop Rebekah Cervantes to Morgan Lamb nailed Landi Hawker at the plate on a double from Rae Gall.
But the Wildcats (36-20-1) would get to Bronco starter Kelsey Broadus and get on the board in the second, as with two outs and Mackenzi Corta on third, Sadie Blacker slapped an RBI single to plate Corta and make it 1-0. Following a single from Sydney White and a walk to Takesha Saltern, Broadus issued a bases-loaded walk to pinch-hitter Riana Splinter to force in Blacker with the second Wildcat run.
In the fourth, Boise State again put two on with two out for Lamb but once again Bohling got the Bronco catcher to pop up, this time to shortstop. Weber State then made the Broncos pay for the missed opportunity, breaking the game open with five runs thanks in part to three Boise State errors in the bottom half of the frame.
Facing freshman Veronica Lynch, the Wildcats put a runner on third with one out. White dropped a squeeze bunt, and Kogianes came across as Karlee Johnson's throw home was off the mark, allowing White to also take second. After White stole third, Saltern popped one up between second and third and reached safely as Cervantes dropped the ball after she and Johnson bumped into each other on the play. White then scored as Lamb's throw to second on Saltern's steal attempt sailed into center field, giving the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.
After Hawker reached on a Baltimore chop in front of the plate, Sara Hingsberger dealt the crucial blow to the Broncos with a three-run shot to left to up the Weber State lead to 7-0.
The Wildcats ended the game in the next inning, as Corta led off with a double against Mackenzie McGill, went to third on Blacker's grounder to second, and scored on White's base hit to right off of Bronco reliever Christina Washington.
Broadus took the loss for Boise State, falling to 7-2 after giving up two runs on six hits and two walks over an inning and two-thirds. Lynch, who also lasted an inning and two-thirds, gave up five unearned runs on two hits and a walk.
"We had a plan and Kelsey executed so well in the first game. They didn't hit the ball hard off of her so that's why we rolled with her in game two," Ball said.
For the Wildcats, Bohling improved to 21-12 with the win, holding the Broncos to four hits and walking three over five innings. Izzy Serrano managed two of those hits for the Broncos, with Cervantes and Kora Wade each getting one.
Corta, Blacker and White each had two hits and Hingsberger drove in three with her home run.
Boise State 5, Weber State 1: Boise State, needing two wins over Weber State Thursday to capture the Ogden Regional and advance to the NISC Championship Series, got halfway there as the Broncos defeated the Wildcats, 5-1.
Sophomore Morgan Lamb broke open a 1-0 game in the bottom of the sixth with a three-run homer, and Makenzie Sullivan tacked on a fifth run with an RBI double. Lamb, Sullivan, Rebekah Cervantes and Izzy Serrano had two hits apiece to lead the Bronco offense.
Freshman Kelsey Broadus improved to 7-1 for the Broncos, going the distance and allowing just a run on five hits with five strikeouts.
Weber State's Tatiana Su'esu'e gave up five runs on 12 hits over five innings to take the loss for the Wildcats, falling to 15-6 for the year.
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