COLUMBIA, Mo.-Boise State softball dropped two games Saturday, at the DeMarini Invitational. The Broncos fell to No. 12/12 Missouri 8-0 in five innings and lost to Northern Illinois 5-1 in the nightcap.
Aubray Zell pitched in both games, taking the loss against the Tigers before shutting down the Huskies in a relief role as Boise State (14-10) tried to rally. Lela Work started against Northern Illinois and suffered the defeat.
Kelly Sweeney was 3-for-3 at the plate and scored the Broncos' lone run on the day.
No. 12/12 Missouri 8 Boise State 0 (5 inn.)
For the second-consecutive day Missouri scored in the bottom of the fifth inning to end the game between the Broncos and Tigers. Boise State was unable to put more than one runner on base in any inning.
Zell pitched the first four innings against Missouri, allowing one run in each the second and third innings. The Tigers picked up a pair of runs in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead. Zell would exit the game before the bottom of the fifth, but her day was not done.
Kenzie Cole came on in relief and loaded the bases with one out. A single moved everyone up a base and scored one. Cole walked in another and head coach Erin Thorpe went back to Zell. Two pitches later a two-run single ended the game.
Zell (8-6) allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and a season-high three walks. She also struck out three. Cole was charged with four runs in her one-out stint.
The Broncos got to Missouri's Chelsea Thomas more than they were able to in the tournament opener Friday, but could not string together their four hits. Tara Glover and Kellie Caplan each had a base hit while Sweeney delivered the other two.
Northern Illinois 5 Boise State 1
Northern Illinois jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first two innings and Boise State could not pick up the timely hit it needed to author a comeback. The Broncos stranded 11 runners against the Huskies as they failed to capitalize on five walks and four hit batters.
Work (2-2) surrendered a two-out, solo home run in the first inning before running into more trouble with two away in the second. Two quick outs were followed by a single in the second. An error kept the inning alive and Northern Illinois took advantage. The Huskies scored four unearned runs, including a three-run homer that chased Work from the game.
Zell entered with two outs in the second inning and finished the game. She scattered three hits over five-and-a-third innings and struck out eight to keep Northern Illinois off the scoreboard.
The Bronco offense could not cash in with runners in scoring position for much of the game. Boise State put runners on base in every inning, including leaving them loaded in the third and sixth innings. Sweeney scored the lone run in the sixth.
Sweeney was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame before singles from Mackenzie Whyte and Tazz Weatherly pushed her around. Two outs later Glover was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but the threat ended with a ground ball.
Two more hits in the seventh gave the Broncos life but a double play sealed the win for the Huskies.
Sweeney finished the game 1-for-1 and reached base four times as she was hit by two pitches and drew a walk.
Boise State will be back on the field Sunday, with a shot at redemption against Northern Illinois. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m. (CT) at University Field. Live stats will be available on the schedule page at BroncoSports.com.
Tara Glover saw her hitting streak end at 10 games against Northern Illinois...Glover has hit safely in 22 of the Broncos' 24 games...Tazz Weatherly moved into seventh all-time on the career RBI list (55)...Boise State lost two games on the same day for the first time this season.