Broncos Split First Day at Judi Garman Classic

Broncos Split First Day at Judi Garman Classic
FULLERTON,Calif.-Boise State softball rebounded from its first loss in three weeks to split its first two games at the prestigious Judi Garman Classic Saturday, in Fullerton, Calif. The Broncos dropped their first game to No. 5 Arizona State 9-3, before gutting out a 1-0 victory against Penn State.

Game One
Boise State battled back in the late innings but fell short against No. 5 Arizona State, 9-3, in the first game. The loss ended the Broncos' school-record 12-game win streak.

Arizona State got on the board early with two runs in the first inning on just one hit. Boise State starter Allie Crump battled first-inning nerves against the high-powered Sun Devil offense, walking three and hitting another batter in the frame. A two-out double by Alix Johnson drove in both ASU runs.

The Sun Devils (30-2) scored two unearned runs in the second and three more times in the third inning to break the game open.

Crump (9-4) lasted three innings in the circle, allowing seven runs, five earned. She was relieved in the fourth inning by sophomore Lela Work who gave up one unearned run in her first inning and kept the Sun Devils off the board in the fifth.

Boise State scored its first run in the bottom of the fourth inning to keep the game alive. Junior Kellie Caplan led off with a single to become the first base runner of the game. Two outs later, Caplan came around to score after freshman Devon Bridges and sophomore Vanessa Alvarez each singled up the middle to score the run and put runners on second and third. The Bronco rally was stymied as pinch runner Brittany Barcellos was cut down at the plate trying to score from second on a single by Work.

The Sun Devils scored one run in the sixth inning off sophomore Ashley Collier, making the score 9-1, and forcing Boise State to score in its half of the inning to avoid the run rule.

The Broncos did that and more, as the top of the order came through again. Caplan, sophomore Holly Bourke and Crump strung together singles to score another run. Crump's hit through the right side plated Caplan and extended her hitting streak to nine games. Bridges walked to load the bases and Alvarez drove in her second run of the game with a fielder's choice. Another walk loaded the bases, but Boise State would strand all three runners and head to the final inning trailing 9-3.

After Collier delivered a scoreless seventh inning, the Broncos showed life in their last chance. Caplan picked up her third hit of the game with a single to left field. It was all Boise State could muster, falling 9-3.

Game Two
The Broncos managed just two hits in the second game, but it was enough to down Penn State (13-11), 1-0. It is the first time Boise State won a game this season when being outhit by its opponent as the Nittany Lions scratched out three singles.

Junior Aubray Zell pitched a complete-game shutout, her third of the season. Zell did not allow a walk for the fifth-consecutive outing and has not given up a run in her last 30 innings. She scattered the three hits across three different innings, and worked around two errors behind her.

Boise State (15-9) stranded runners on second and third in the second inning before breaking through in the third. Freshman Mackenzie Whyte led off the inning with the Broncos' first hit of the game. Junior Kellie Caplan reached on an error and one out later junior Allie Crump walked to load the bases. After another out, sophomore Vanessa Alvarez drew a walk to force Whyte in from third for an unearned run.

The Broncos had another chance to score in the fifth inning as Caplan picked up the other hit, a leadoff infield single. She stole second and moved to third on a passed ball with one out. The threat ended as Caplan was thrown out trying to score on a ground ball from Crump.

Zell (5-1) made sure the one run held up. She pitched a perfect fourth inning after the Broncos took the lead and worked out of trouble in the fifth. A leadoff single, an error and a passed ball equaled two runners in scoring position for Penn State with two outs. Zell induced a ground ball to get out of the inning.

The Nittany Lions' best scoring opportunity passed as the top of the sixth inning ended in controversy. A two-out single was followed by the next batter reaching on an error. With runners at first and second, a grounder to the right side got past a diving Caplan at second base. The ball struck the base runner and she was called out for interference. Penn State head coach Robin Petrini came out of the dugout to plead her case the ball hit Caplan first. Petrini argued to no avail until she was kicked out of the game.

Junior Tazz Weatherly drew a two-out walk and stole second to put a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth, but she became seventh Bronco left on the base path and the ball was turned back over to Zell to hold the one-run lead.

Zell retired the side in order, including her seventh strikeout of the game for the second out.

The Broncos return to action Sunday, with two more games to wrap up their stay at the Judi Garman Classic. Boise State starts with No. 4 Washington (2 p.m. MT) before taking on host Cal State Fullerton (4:30 p.m. MT).

Boise State falls to 0-11 against top-25 teams all-time...Arizona State's first-inning runs marked the first time the Broncos had trailed in 76 innings...Allie Crump extended her hitting streak to nine games against Arizona State, but saw it end against Penn State, it is the longest by a Bronco this season...Kellie Caplan now holds the longest active hitting streak at five.

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