Broncos Split with Howard and No. 5 Arizona State

TEMPE, Ariz.-Boise State's bats came alive in the Broncos' first game at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational Friday, in Tempe, Ariz., defeating Howard 16-1 in five innings. The offense could not get back on track in a 4-0 loss to No. 5 Arizona State. Boise State is now 10-7, with five losses to ranked foes.

Christina Capobianco led the way in the first game as she added to her career record with two home runs against the Lady Bison.

In the nightcap, Aubray Zell pitched another brilliant game against a top-15 opponent but was outdueled by the Sun Devils' Dallas Escobedo.

Boise State 16 Howard 1 (5 innings)
For the second time in three games Boise State tallied 15 hits, four of which were home runs.

Kenzie Cole picked up her first-career win in complete-game fashion. Cole allowed just three hits and walked two while striking out six in her second-career start. The Bronco offense helped to ease the pressure early.

Boise State got on the board right away with five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Kellie Caplan manufactured the first run with her speed. After dropping a bunt single, Caplan stole second and took third on a passed ball. She was later brought home when Devon Bridges singled up the middle. Allie Crump drew the second walk of the inning to load the bases and Holly Bourke quickly unloaded them. Bourke delivered a grand slam to right center for her first home run of the season and the first four-RBI game of her career.

The second inning brought more of the same. Mackenzie Whyte reached on an error before stealing second and third, her first stolen bases of the season. Tara Glover singled in Whyte and swiped second to put another runner in scoring position. Christina Capobianco proved yet again she can drive in runs from anywhere and scorched a home run to center, giving Boise State an 8-0 lead.

Cole sat down the first seven Lady Bison she faced before a walk and a double broke up her shutout bid in the third inning.

The Broncos blew the game open in the fourth with their most productive inning yet this season. Capobianco led off with another center field blast for the fourth multi-home-run game of her career. Ashley Collier made it back-to-back round trippers with a shot to left center. Six more hits in the inning, including two from Allie Crump and a second from Collier, and two walks ran the total to eight runs and put the Broncos up 16-1.

Cole surrendered two of her three hits and walked a batter in the top of the fifth, but she struck out the last hitter to leave the bases loaded and keep the final margin 16-1.

Unlike the 15-hit performance against Cal Poly (Feb. 24), which featured 14 singles and one home run, Friday the Broncos racked up five extra-base hits. Boise State's four homers against the Lady Bison more than doubled its season output after hitting just three through the first 15 games.

No. 5/5 Arizona State 4 Boise State 0
The Broncos and Sun Devils played even for three innings before Arizona State scored the game's first run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth. Boise State had a chance to respond or do more in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases with one out, but could not push a run across.

The defending national champion Sun Devils scored once in the fifth and twice in the seventh to ice the game away.

Zell (6-5) went the distance, allowing four runs on nine hits and two walks. She also struck out a season-high nine.

Glover had two of the Broncos' three hits in the game, including a fifth-inning double. Bridges sin... Boise State also had three runners reach via walks and two hit by pitches. The bases loaded opportunity in the fourth came without the benefit of a base hit.

Boise State returns to action Saturday, at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational against Creighton (1 p.m. MT) and North Dakota State (3:30 p.m. MT).

the Broncos are 3-17 (3-16) all-time against teams ranked in the top 25 (NFCA or USA Softball)...Megan Harvey had a pinch-hit, RBI single in her season debut against Howard...Ashley Collier's home run was her first since March 22, 2010, against Weber State...Tara Glover has hit safely in 16 of the Broncos' 17 games this season...Christina Capobianco is the only Bronco with four multi-homer games.

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