BOISE, Idaho-Allie Crump belted a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Boise State over Portland State, 6-5, Friday at the SpringHill Suites Invitational #1. Crump tacked on three more hits against Utah State in the second game to help the Broncos to a 7-1 victory.
With the wins, the Broncos (18-10) extend their home winning streak to 18 games, the third-longest active streak in the country.
Boise State 6 Portland State 5
For the second-straight game Boise State used a seventh-inning home run to turn the tide of a game. A day after Devon Bridges sent the Broncos into extra innings against Minnesota, Crump ended Boise State's game against Portland State with a blast to right center. It is the third walk-off, game-winning home run in school history, the first since April 17, 2010, against Utah State (Megan Harvey).
Crump's heroics came after Portland State tied the game in the top of the seventh inning with a homer of its own. Leading 5-3 through six, the Broncos looked to close out the game with their defense. Instead, a two-run home run off the bat of the Vikings' Alicia Fine meant Boise State would need to rely on its offense one more time. After two strikeouts in the home half of the inning, Crump squared up a 1-1 pitch and sealed the Broncos' first victory in the all-time series with Portland State.
Boise State jumped out to an early lead, taking advantage of two Viking errors. The Broncos scored two in the first on a single through the right side from Bridges. The hit plated Tara Glover who singled and Kellie Caplan who reached on an error. Boise State added two more in the second after a two-out error kept the inning alive. A run-scoring double from Christina Capobianco put Boise State ahead 4-0.
Work was cruising until the fourth inning. After retiring the first 10 Vikings of the game, Work allowed a bunt single. A line drive into center followed and Portland State had runners at first and second with Karmen Holladay stepping to the plate. Holladay, the Vikings' home run leader, unloaded on Work's first offering and brought Portland State within a run at 4-3.
The Bronco right-hander returned to form and sat down the next eight in order, aided by a runner leaving early to wipe out a sixth-inning single. Work ran into more trouble in the seventh inning, allowing her 11th home run of the season.
Kellie Caplan drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to put the Broncos up two at 5-3.
Portland State starter Anna Bertrand went the distance, allowing six runs (three earned) on eight hits, while striking out six.
Boise State 7 Utah State 1
Aubray Zell tossed her second complete game in as many days, limiting Utah State to one run on five hits. Zell walked two and struck out seven to improve to 11-6 on the season.
Crump extended her hitting streak to six games with her first three-hit performance since March 5, 2011, against Southern Utah. She hit a pair of singles up the middle, driving in a run in the fifth, before blasting another home run to right center in the sixth, this time reaching the parking lot.
The senior's second home run of the day and third of the season capped the scoring. Utah State put a pair of runners on base in the top of the seventh, but Zell's seventh strikeout and a groundout kept the Aggies from adding any more runs.
Utah State struck first with a Kelly Kaneshiro home run to lead off the second inning. It was the Aggies' first hit of the game and continued the trend of Bronco opponents scoring via the long ball this week. All seven runs scored against Boise State this week have been driven in with home runs.
Boise State answered in the third when Bridges blooped a single into shallow left center with the bases loaded. The Broncos could only manage to tie the game, leaving three in the inning.
It remained knotted at one until the middle of the Boise State order struck again in the fifth. Capobianco lined a ball over the head of Utah State's left fielder and dashed all the way around for a triple to drive in a run and give the Broncos the lead. She came in to score on a double from Bridges. Crump's second hit of the game plated one more and Boise State took a 4-1 lead into the sixth inning.
Ashley Collier replaced Bridges on the bases in the fifth and remained in the game. Collier picked up an RBI in the sixth on a groundout to increase the lead to 5-1 before Crump went deep.
The Broncos are scheduled to return to the field Saturday, at 4 p.m. (MT) against Idaho State. The Gem State showdown is slated to be the last of four games played Saturday, at Mountain Cove Softball Field. The SpringHill Suites Invitational #1 will conclude Sunday with another four games.
Boise State has hit at least one home run in its last 19 home games...of the 168 all-time home runs in school history just 18 have come in the seventh inning, with two coming in the past two days...Tara Glover now has 14 multi-hit games through 28 games this season...two games were canceled Friday, due to field conditions (Minnesota vs. Portland State and Minnesota vs. Idaho State).