BOISE, Idaho- Boise State needed just 10 innings to secure two wins and a series sweep of Louisiana Tech, Saturday, at Mountain Cove Softball Field. The Broncos took the first game 11-3 in five innings, and followed it up with another five-inning win in game two, 8-0.
The Broncos (25-13, 8-1) hit five home runs on the day, including Devon Bridges' third grand slam of the season in the nightcap. According to the NCAA Record Book, Bridges is just the third player in NCAA history to hit three grand slams in one season.
Boise State improved to 11-0 at home with the wins and is tied atop the Western Athletic Conference standings with New Mexico State at 8-1. Fresno State is one game behind at 7-2.
Boise State won the first game of Saturday's twin bill, 11-3 in five innings. The Broncos scored in each inning to earn the run-rule victory.
Allie Crump picked up the win in the circle, allowing three runs, one earned, on three hits and three walks. Crump struck out four as she improved to 11-5 on the season.
Boise State hit three home runs in the game, one each from Mackenzie Whyte, Christina Capobianco and Kelly Sweeney. Whyte went deep in the first inning to give the Broncos an early lead. After the Lady Techsters (11-28, 2-7) came back to tie the game in the top of the second, Boise State picked up four runs in the bottom of the frame for a comfortable lead.
Capobianco and Sweeney hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning to stretch the Bronco lead to 8-2.
Boise State scored a run in the fourth on a Vanessa Alvarez two-out double, before ending the game early with two runs in the fifth.
Sweeney reached on an error to start the fifth inning. Brittany Barcellos pinch hit and picked up her first hit of the season on a bunt single. Kellie Caplan followed with an bunt single of her own. The throw down to first on Caplan's bunt went into right field. Sweeney scored easily and Barcellos flew all the way around from first on the play to score the game-ending run.
Caplan finished with three base hits while seven other Broncos also collected hits to rack up 10 for the game. It is the 14th time this season Boise State notched double-digit hits in a game.
Boise State turned a pitcher's duel into a rout with a seven-run fifth inning to send the Bronco faithful home happy. Boise State won 8-0, needing just four hits to get the run-rule victory.
Aubray Zell and Louisiana Tech's Meghan Krieg each had no-hit bids intact through three innings. The Lady Techsters got to Zell first, stringing together three two-out singles in the fourth inning, but could not turn them into runs.
Crump led off the bottom of the fourth with the Broncos' first hit of the game, a home run to left field. It was Crump's eighth home run of the year, just her second in the last 19 games. It is the fifth time Crump has led off an inning with a home run.
The Broncos carried the slim 1-0 lead into the fifth inning. Louisiana Tech picked up a lead-off single, but could do no further damage as Zell and the Bronco defense kept the shutout alive.
As it turned out, the defense would not need to return to the field. A walk and an error started the Broncos' big inning. After an out, a misplayed fielder's choice loaded the bases for Crump. She looped a single into right field to move everyone up a base and drive in a run. Bridges found herself behind in the count 1-2, but turned the next pitch around with a line drive just clearing the centerfield fence to put the Broncos ahead 6-0.
Two more walks ended Krieg's day and Janna Frandrup took over in the circle. Frandrup faced three batters, only retiring one before the two inherited runners scored.
Natalie Kelley and Georgia Behne each picked up the first RBI of their careers in pinch-hitting appearances. Kelley singled up the middle to score pinch runner Jessica Kraft from second base. After Weatherly reached on a fielder's choice and Sweeney was safe at third on an error, the bases were loaded again. Behne drove home Sweeney with a sacrifice fly to end the game.
Zell struck out four and did not walk a batter as she improved her record to 9-1 with her fourth shutout of the season.
The Broncos are back in action Friday and Saturday for a three-game WAC series at Utah State.Notes
Boise State has won seven-straight WAC series dating back to last season...The Broncos now have 38 home runs this season through 38 games, second all-time (61; 2010)...Devon Bridges has 11 home runs on the year, tied for second on the single-season list...Bridges now has an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 28-consecutive games...Bridges has 42 RBI this season, tied for second in a single season.