CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. The Boise State softball team hit the field for the first time in program history on Friday when they took on Illinois and James Madison at the Cathedral City Kickoff. The Broncos were unable to bring in a victory on the first day of competition as they lost 8-2 to Illinois and 9-1 James Madison.
Game 1 vs. Illinois
It didn’t take long for Boise State (0-2) to pick up their first hit in history as junior Laeha Hill (2-for-3) led off the top half of the first with an infield single up the middle. The Broncos were on the fast track to their first run when junior Kelsey Perkins reached on an error to put runners on first and second with no outs. The Illini then turned a triple play to end the Broncos scoring threat.
It wasn’t until the third inning until the first run crossed the plate. Illinois (1-0) took advantage of two Boise State errors by putting up four runs to take the early 4-0 lead. Illinois put up two more runs in the fourth to push the lead to 6-0.
The Broncos got on the board for the first time in the top of the fifth. Freshman Allie Crump led off the inning with a single as the Broncos had at least one hit in every inning. Junior Laurel Wyatt (1-for-3, 2 RBI) followed with a two-run homer to right center that closed the gap to 6-2. That was all the Broncos could muster as Illinois added to more in the sixth to make the final score 8-2.
Freshman Christina Capobianco immediately made her impact known on the team, going 3-for-3 with three singles. The Broncos outhit the Illini 9-8 in the game.
All three pitchers saw action in the loss. Freshman Aubray Zell (0-1) started for Boise State about tossed two shutout innings, striking out three batters. Zell retired one out in the third before giving way to Crump with two runners left on. Crump pitched 2.2 innings, giving up only one earned run while striking out two. Mandy Klein pitched the seventh for the Broncos, giving up two runs before retiring the Illini.
Game 2 vs. James Madison (6 innings)
The Broncos got off to a hot start once again in the top of the first inning against the Dukes. Hill led off the game with a double to right center that took a one-hop to the wall. Freshman Kellie Caplan laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Hill to third. Capobianco (1-for3, 1 RBI) followed with her fourth straight hit to begin her college career and her first RBI to give the Broncos the early 1-0 lead.
From then on, it was all James Madison (1-0) as they took the lead with a three-run second. The Dukes loaded the bases and strung together three consecutive hits to take the 3-1 lead. It didn’t stop there as they put up one more in the fourth, two in the fifth and three in the fifth on a three-run home run by Amber Kirk that invoked the eight run mercy rule and ended the game. The Dukes outhit the Broncos 8-4 in the game led by Kirk (1-for-4, 3 RBI) and Ashley Burnham (2-for-3, 2 RBI).
Boise State will look to earn its first ever victory tomorrow at the Cathedral City Kickoff. The Broncos will meet No. 17 Cal at 10 a.m. (PT) and Fordham at 3:30 pm (PT).