Broncos Split 7-5 Decisions in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS-Boise State softball split its doublheader in similar games Saturday, at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas. The Broncos (2-6) defeated Cal Poly 7-5 in the morning, but fell to Long Beach State in extra innings, 7-5, in the evening.
Junior Kellie Caplan started the inning with her third single of the game and scored when classmate Tazz Weatherly ripped a double to straightaway center. Weatherly advanced to third as the Mustangs (1-7) tried to gun down Caplan at the plate. Junior Allie Crump immediately drove her in with a sacrifice fly. Crump's pop up drifted out to shallow centerfield where the shortstop recorded the out on a backpedal. Weatherly alertly tagged from third as the shortstop got her feet under her to make a throw home. Weatherly scored easily to give the Broncos an insurance run.
It was more than enough as Crump set the middle of the Mustang lineup in order in the bottom of the inning to record the complete-game win. Crump recorded her second win of the season in her third-consecutive complete game. She struck out two and walked only one.
"It was the first time this year that this team showed the ability to take a lead in a tight game and hold onto it," said head coach Erin Thorpe. "Every team needs a turning point where they learn how to win, and this can definitely be one of those points for us. We took the lead and were able to shut the door."
The Broncos took the lead three times in the game. Boise State scored in the first inning for the first time this season on a two-run home run by Crump. It was Crump's third home run of the season, all coming in the last four games. Her season home run total matches the number of round trippers she hit in her first two seasons combined.
Cal Poly took over the lead with four runs in the second inning. Boise State looked to be in the clear when sophomore catcher Megan Harvey threw out a base stealer to clear the bases and record the second out. The Mustangs strung together five hits to plate four runs.
After a scoreless third inning, Boise State charged back into the lead with three two-out runs in the fourth on back-to-back bases-loaded singles by sophomore Holly Bourke and Caplan. An unearned run in the bottom of the frame tied the game at five.
The Mustangs stranded a runner on third base in the sixth inning leaving the door open for the Broncos to take the lead in the seventh.
Six different runners scored for Boise State.
Freshman Devon Bridges blooped a two-run single just past the first baseman along the right-field line as a pinch hitter to cap Boise State's five-run fourth inning. The burst allowed the Broncos to take a 5-2 lead. It was the last time Boise State would score as LBSU was able to come back, eventually tying the game at five in the sixth inning.
Freshman Morgan Barnes took the loss in relief of starting pitcher Aubray Zell. It was the third loss of the season to the 49ers for Boise State.
Boise State returns to action Sunday at 10 a.m. (MT) against No. 14 Oregon.
The international tie-break rule was in effect during the eighth inning.
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