BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State softball team returned to Mountain Cove with a doubleheader split against Utah on Tuesday. Jessi Hanna lifted the Broncos (15-22, 4-2) to a 2-1 victory with a walk-off home run in the first game, but the Utes (17-18) scored five unearned runs in the nightcap to defeat the Broncos 6-3. Aubray Zell also became the second pitcher in Bronco history to reach 100 strikeouts in her career.
With the score tied at 1-1, the Broncos had the top of the lineup due up in the bottom of the seventh. Ashley Smuda was able to record the first out but Hanna turned on a pitch and smashed it over the left center field fence to give the Broncos a 2-1 victory.
Allie Crump rebounded after a couple rough outings with another lights-out performance as she took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning. Crump was four outs away from her first no-hitter and the Broncos were clinging to a 1-0 lead when Hannah Clements hit a home run to right center to spoil the no-hit bid and tie up the game. Crump responded by striking out the next batter and retiring the Utes easily in the seventh to set up Hanna's game-winner.
Crump allowed just two hits in the game while recording seven strikeouts, giving her 75 strikeouts on the year. Crump did allow four walks in the game, with three of those coming in the second inning. However, Crump worked herself out of the bases loaded jam in the second with a strikeout and ground out to keep the game scoreless.
The Broncos first run came in the bottom of the third when Holly Bourke plated Hanna with a single off the center field fence. Hanna was 1-for-2 in the game with the game-winning homer and scored both runs for the Broncos.
The Broncos jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but couldn't hold on as the Utes capitalized on Bronco mistakes to take the game 6-3. The Broncos made three errors in the game and had two passed balls that led to five unearned runs for the Utes.
Aubray Zell continued to dominate as she extended her scoreless inning streak to 17 innings before Clements hit her second homer of the day off the scoreboard in right center. Zell tied a career-high with eight strikeouts, giving her 101 career strikeouts. She became the second Bronco to reach the 100 strikeout mark in her career.
The first three innings belonged to the Broncos as Zell shut down the Utes and the offense scratched out three runs. Kellie Caplan led off the bottom of the first with a double and later scored when Vanessa Alvarez singled up the middle with one out. Christina Capobianco smashed her fifth homer of the year in the bottom of the second to extend the Bronco lead. In the third, the Broncos loaded the bases when Bourke walked with one out. Hanna came into score on a wild pitch during Megan Harvey's marathon at-bat. However, that would be all the Broncos could manage in the inning as they left the bases loaded.
The Broncos stranded eight runners in the game as they struggled to plate runs. However, the Utes stranded only four runners as they plated two runs in each of the fourth, sixth and seventh innings to take the lead and the game. Only Clements homer in the top of the fourth counted was earned as errors extended both the sixth and seventh innings and allowed the Utes to take the game.
The Broncos welcome the WAC-leading Rainbow Wahine of Hawaii for a three-game series in Mountain Cove this weekend. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m. and a Saturday doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m.