BOISE, Idaho - Megan Harvey smashed a game-winning homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to help the Boise State softball to a doubleheader and series sweep of Utah State on Saturday at Mountain Cove. Harvey's homer gave the Broncos a 5-3 victory in the first game and a much needed momentum swing that the Broncos rode to an 8-3 win in the nightcap. The Broncos (20-25, 7-5 WAC) swept the Aggies (14-23, 3-10 WAC) for the second consecutive year.
Six innings of the early game belonged to the visiting Aggies. Shelbi Tyteca retired the first 11 Broncos in order as she was perfect through 4.2 innings. Meanwhile, the Aggie offense had built a three-run lead. It wasn't enough to hold off the Broncos as Tyteca fell just one out shy of the victory.
The Broncos entered the seventh inning trailing 3-1 after Christina Capobianco put the Broncos on the board with an RBI-single in the fifth. Laeha Hill got the ball rolling in the seventh with a one-out, pinch-hit single. Tazz Weatherly came in to run for Hill and advanced to second when Allie Crump smashed her second single of the day. With two outs, Capobianco again came through in a clutch spot with an RBI-single to right that plated Weatherly and put the tying run at third. Harvey then strode to the plate and promptly smashed the second walk-off homer in Bronco history to give the Broncos the 5-3 win.
Allie Crump went the distance for the win in the circle and contributed a 2-for-3 effort at the plate. Crumps allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out four. Her first strikeout to end the first inning gave her 200 Ks in her career, which makes her the first Bronco to reach that mark. Crump was constantly working out of jams as the Aggies placed a runner on second base in the five consecutive innings. However, Crump limited their productivity at the plate and retired the last five batters she saw in order.
The Aggies got to Crump with one run in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings. The Broncos finally responded in the bottom of the fifth with their first run of the game. Allie Crump singled with one out and gave way to Brittany Barcellos as a pinch runner. Barcellos stole second with two outs and scored when Capobianco stroked her first of four hits on the day.
The Broncos seventh inning comeback was their first of the year as the team was 0-17 when trailing after the sixth inning. However, the Broncos received clutch hits in the seventh to capture the game, the series and all the momentum.
The Broncos needed only two innings of scoring in the nightcap to sweep the series from the Aggies as they put up four runs in the second and another four in the fourth. Aubray Zell and Lela Work then combined to keep the Aggies at bay and lead the Broncos to the 8-3 victory.
Capobianco was again clutch at the pate as she went 2-for-2 with another pair of RBI for the Broncos. Both of her RBI came in the fourth when she smashed a bases loaded single to pad the Broncos lead to 7-3. Her first hit came in the third inning but she was stranded on second.
In the second, the Aggies made the first mark on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the second off of a lead off triple and a ground-rule double by Simone Hubbard. The Broncos wasted no time in responding as Weatherly singled to lead off the bottom half of the inning and advanced on a sacrifice from Capobianco. Holly Bourke then tied up the game with an RBI-single. Ashley Collier gave the Broncos the lead after her blooper fell in for a single and plated Bourke. Kellie Caplan and Jessi Hanna followed that up with back-to-back RBI-doubles to give the Broncos a 4-1 lead.
The Aggies weren't going to disappear as they closed the gap in the top of the fourth with two more runs. Once again, the Broncos responded with four more runs to pad the lead to 8-3. Vanessa Alvarez knocked in the first run with two outs in the inning and was followed by a walk to Weatherly and Capobianco two-run single. Weatherly scored on a wild pitch to cap the scoring.
Work took over in the circle for the Broncos after their big fourth inning and limited the Aggies to just three hits and no runs in three innings of relief. Work was awarded the first save of her career as she also struck out three Aggies en route to the save. Zell allowed three runs and scattered six hits over four innings to earn her sixth win of the year.
The Broncos will host their in-state rivals Idaho State for a doubleheader on Tuesday at 2 p.m. before travelling to Ruston, La. to take on Louisiana Tech in a three-game WAC series. The Broncos are now riding a season-high five game win streak.