Broncos Rally in Seventh to Win Conference Opener

BOISE, Idaho-Boise State scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with a 3-2 win Friday, against UNLV in the Mountain West opener for both teams at Mountain Cove Softball Field. The dramatic victory extends the Broncos' (27-13, 1-0 MW) home winning streak to 24 games, the second-longest active streak in the country.

Down to their final two outs and trailing by a run, the Broncos used a pinch-hit single from Tazz Weatherly to keep hope alive. Tara Glover drew a walk and Boise State had the winning run at first base. Kellie Caplan grounded through the right side to score Weatherly from second and tie the game. As the throw came home, Glover was caught rounding third base. UNLV catcher Heather Harrison went to transfer the ball from her hand to her glove in anticipation of making a tag to end the rundown, but the ball popped out and Glover skated by for the winning run.

It was Glover's second run of the game as she put Boise State on top right out of the gate with a home run to left center leading off the bottom of the first, her fourth home run of the season.

Aubray Zell went the distance, allowing two runs on just three hits for her school-record 17th win of the season. Zell walked one and struck out four as she needed just 89 pitches to get through seven innings. UNLV starter Amanda Oliveto took the complete-game loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits. Zell (four) and Oliveto (two) have combined for six MW Pitcher of the Week Awards through the first nine weeks of the season.

The Rebels (19-19, 0-1) rallied to take the lead in the fifth inning, on a two-out, two-run double from Stefany Valentino. A hit-by-pitch put the leadoff hitter aboard and when the next batter laid down a bunt the Broncos unsuccessfully tried to cut down the lead runner, leaving two on with no outs. A sacrifice advanced each runner to scoring position with one away. Boise State was on the verge of escaping trouble when the second out was recorded at the plate on a fielder's choice. That's when Valentino ripped a line drive to the wall in left center, scoring the tying and go-ahead runs.

The Broncos threatened in the sixth inning, loading the bases with nobody out, but a foul out and a double play ended the frame with the Rebels still on top.

Devon Bridges was 2-for-2 with a walk as she and Glover each recorded multi-hit games for Boise State. The Broncos outhit UNLV 7-3. Both teams left six runners on base.

The series resumes Saturday, at 1 p.m., at Mountain Cove Softball Field.


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