DAVIS, Calif.-Aubray Zell pitched Boise State to a 3-0 victory against UC Davis Sunday, at the Aggie Stampede. Zell surrendered just three hits and did not walk a batter in a complete-game effort for her second shutout of the young season.
"I'm really proud of the way the team played this entire weekend," said head coach Erin Thorpe. "We made great strides as a program and really came together as a team. We were able to play five solid games and that should be a great confidence boost as we have two really challenging weekends coming up."
The Broncos (4-1) scratched out nine hits against the Aggies (0-4), but strung together three in each the fourth and fifth innings, including the biggest hit of the game, a two-run triple from Katie Engelbrecht.
Engelbrecht's first-career extra-base hit capped a two-out rally for the Broncos in the fourth inning and put the game's first runs on the board. After the Broncos' first two batters were retired Tazz Weatherly punched a double to right center to give them new life. Jordan Kreiger followed with an infield single, her second hit of the game, to bring up Engelbrecht with runners at the corners.
The Bronco catcher dug into the batter's box and ripped a pitch to left center. Engelbrecht chased in both runs as she wound up on third with a triple, becoming the second freshman in school history to hit three-bagger. Her first collegiate runs batted in gave the Broncos a 2-0 lead.
It was more than enough support for Zell, who is yet to allow a run this season in 19 innings of work. The Aggies' first batter of the game singled through the left side and moved to second when the next batter was retired on a comebacker. That was the only time Zell allowed a runner in scoring position the entire game. She worked around a hit batter in the second and a single in the fifth. The final hit came with two outs in the seventh, but a fly out to center ended the game and preserved Zell's ninth-career shutout.
The Broncos padded their lead in the fifth inning when Tara Glover and Christina Capobianco teamed up for a run. Glover singled to center for her second hit of the game and she came around to score when Capobianco hit a double to right center in the next at bat.
Allie Crump legged out an infield single to keep the inning alive, but UC Davis escaped without any more damage. The Broncos would not get another base runner, as the final eight Boise State batters were retired, but Zell made the 3-0 lead hold up.
The fourth-inning double for Weatherly was her fourth of the weekend and extended her Boise State career record to 20. She finished the game 1-for-3, and is one of three Broncos to hit safely in each of the first five games; Crump and Glover are the other two. Dating back to last season Crump and Weatherly are on six-game hitting streaks and Glover's is now at 15 as she ended her freshman season at Utah hitting safely in the final 10 games.
Boise State resumes its season Feb. 17-19, at the Campbell Cartier Classic in San Diego. The Broncos will face three teams receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Coaches' Poll (No. 19 UCLA, No. 12 Washington and Notre Dame) on consecutive days. The weekend will begin for Boise State Friday, at 10 a.m. (PT) against UC Santa Barbara.
Glover and Kreiger each posted three multi-hit games during the weekend...Kreiger's came in the last three games...Glover stole a base against UC Davis, giving her three steals for the season...the Broncos are 7-of-8 as a team on the base paths, while holding opponents to 2-of-5...Glover's nine hits are the most through the first five games of a season in school history...her .450 batting average (9-for-20) is second-best through five games [Capobianco, 2009, .500 (7-for-14)]...Kreiger's .438 average (7-for-16) ranks third for the first five games of a season.