Zell, Bridges Help Broncos to Series-Opening Win

BOISE, Idaho-Boise State softball used a complete game performance from Aubray Zell to knock off Louisiana Tech, 6-2, in Western Athletic Conference action Friday, at Mountain Cove Softball Field. Devon Bridges powered the Bronco offense yet again with a three-run home run in the fifth inning.

Zell breezed through the first five innings, holding the Lady Techsters scoreless as she allowed just two hits and one walk. Boise State (23-13, 6-1) held a 5-0 lead when Zell ran into trouble after recording two outs in the sixth. Louisiana Tech (11-26, 2-5) picked up three two-out hits and took advantage of two Bronco errors to score two unearned runs. Zell finished the game and earned improved to 8-1 on the season, lowering her ERA to 1.75. She gave up six hits while striking out five on the day.

Boise State struck first with an unearned run in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. Kellie Caplan picked up an infield single and a stole her 10th base of the season to move into scoring position. Caplan took third on a passed ball and scored when Allie Crump blooped a two-out single behind second base.

The lone run held up until the Bronco bats warmed up in the fifth inning. Tazz Weatherly drew a lead-off walk and stole second before Holly Bourke laced an RBI double into left center. Crump picked up another bloop single with two outs, this time between the pitcher's circle and second base, to put runners on the corners. Bridges smoked the next pitch over the fence in left for her 10th home run of the season. She has homered at least once in each of the last six home games.

The Broncos tacked on an insurance run in the sixth inning when Bourke drove in Weatherly again. A walk and a hit batter followed to load the bases for Bridges. The freshman put a charge into a 1-0 pitch but her bid for a third grand slam fell about eight feet short of the centerfield fence for the third out.

All-WAC pitcher Meghan Krieg went the distance for Louisiana Tech in the loss. Krieg, among the national leaders in strikeouts, collected six punch outs in her six innings, but just one in the final three frames as the Bronco hitter adjusted in their second and third times through the order.

The two teams square off in a doubleheader Saturday, at Mountain Cove Softball Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. (MT). Anybody who participates in the Beat Coach Pete Scholarship Run/Walk will receive free admission to the softball games when they show their race t-shirt at the gate.

Boise State is 10 games over .500 for the first time in school history...The 23 wins surpasses the win total of the inaugural 2009 season...The Broncos are 15-4 in their last 19 regular-season WAC games...Holly Bourke picked up three hits to give her 18 base hits in the last nine games...Bourke leads the Broncos with 48 hits on the year, tied for fifth all-time on the single-season hits list...Her 50 hits as a freshman in 2010 ranks fourth...Devon Bridges has 38 RBI this season, No. 4 on the single season list...Bridges also becomes just the third Boise State student-athlete to hit double-digit home runs in a season...Bridges is also riding a six-game hit streak...

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