Boise State and Utah State Split Doubleheader

LOGAN, Utah-Boise State softball overcame a series opening loss and a lengthy rain delay to pick up a run-rule victory in game one of a doubleheader, Saturday, against Utah State, 10-1 in six innings. In the nightcap, the Broncos ran out of answers in a heartbreaking 7-6 loss.

Aubray Zell was the pitcher of record in each game in the circle. She won the first game as the starter and took the loss in game two out of the bullpen.

Mackenzie Whyte delivered big hits for the Broncos to continue her strong weekend at the plate. Whyte was a combined 3-for-7 on the day with three runs scored and four driven in.

Game One
A pair of big innings lifted Boise State to a 10-1 win in six innings against Utah State. The Broncos broke open a scoreless game with six runs in the fourth inning. Four more Broncos crossed the plate in the sixth to end the game early.

Zell went the distance in the circle for Boise State, picking up her 10th win. She allowed one run on five hits and no walks, striking out five.

Tazz Weatherly led the Bronco bats, reaching base all four times she came to the plate. Weatherly was 2-for-2 with three RBI, including a two-run double to put Boise State on the board first. She also walked twice.

After Weatherly's double, a walk and an out left Whyte batting with two runners in scoring position and two outs. Whyte poked a full count pitch into shallow left field. A diving effort came up empty and two more runs scored. Allie Crump followed with her ninth home run of the season to give Boise State a 6-0 cushion.

Whyte singled with one out in the sixth to start another rally. A hit batter and a walk loaded the bases. Christina Capobianco drew a walk to drive in a run. Vanessa Alvarez, Megan Harvey and Weatherly each followed with RBI's to push the lead to 10-1.

Utah State's lone run came on a fourth-inning home run by Kelly Kaneshiro. It was just the third home run of the year given up by Zell.

Game Two
In the rubber match of the series Boise State rallied twice, but it was not enough as the Aggies took the game and the series. Utah State scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Lela Work made her first start in the circle since March 20, against Washington. Work allowed six runs on seven hits in her four innings. Work has still issued the fewest walks among WAC pitchers this season, but the two runners she allowed to reach base on balls Saturday scored.

Utah State jumped in front with a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. It was Kaneshiro's second of the day. A walk and a hit each with two outs led to the home run.

The Bronco offense broke through with four runs in the third inning to take a 4-3 lead. They loaded the bases with one out before confusion resulted in a fielder's choice, an error and a run. Crump ripped a shot to the shortstop. No signal was made to signal whether it was caught on the fly or not and the throw went to third base. An out was signaled, but it was still unclear if a double play ended the inning or if the runner from second was forced out. Another throw went home, but with the force play now off the throw came back to third and ended up in left field. Weatherly sprinted home from third to score the Broncos' first run of the game. After an umpire discussion, the batted ball was ruled to hit the ground before the shortstop made the play. Bridges followed with an RBI single and Capobianco delivered the final blow of the inning with her second-career triple, both coming this season.

The Aggies tied the game in the fourth inning on a triple of their own. The game remained tied into the bottom of the fifth when a lead-off bloop single was followed by a two-run home run to give the Aggies a 6-4 lead. The homer from Shasta Tyteca, a defensive replacement, chased Work and Zell took over. Zell retired the first three batters she faced to bring the Broncos back to the plate.

Harvey led off the sixth inning with a base hit and was lifted for a pinch runner. A sacrifice bunt and an error gave Boise State runners at second and third with one out. The runners advanced on a ground out to put the tying run in scoring position. Whyte stepped to the plate and drilled a single into centerfield, scoring both runs and knotting the game 6-6.

Utah State had one more run left, scoring the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs and runners at first and second, Krista Bava hit a ball into the hole between shortstop and third base. Whyte made a last-ditch effort to dive for the ball and keep it in the infield. The grounder tipped off her glove and trickled into left field. With the ball resting in shallow left the go-ahead run raced around from second base.

After a strikeout to start the seventh, Kelly Sweeney breathed life into the Broncos' chances of a third rally with a triple to the corner in right field. Another strikeout and a ground out ended the game. It was the second time in the series Boise State ended the game with the tying run at third base.

The games began after a rain delay of more than two hours that saw student-athletes, coaches and support staff from both teams working to make the field ready to play.

The Broncos (26-15, 9-3) continue their road trip Monday, with a doubleheader at Weber State. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. (MT).

» «