RUSTON, La. - The Boise State softball team split a couple of hard fought games with the host Louisiana Tech on Saturday, but clinched its third series win of the year. The Broncos (22-28, 9-6 WAC) took the first game 3-2 before the Lady Techsters (22-17, 7-8 WAC) made a late comeback to win 4-3 in the nightcap. The Broncos did not trail in the series until the Techsters took a one-run lead in the bottom of the six of the late game.
The early game between the WAC-foes seemed to mirror the battle that took place on Friday night. The Broncos jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead when Vanessa Alvarez singled in Kellie Caplan. Caplan led off the game with a single. The Lady Techsters tied the game in the bottom of the third off a solo homer from Amberly Waits.
Allie Crump and Meghan Krieg engaged in a deadlocked battle as both pitchers allowed just three hits in the game and fanned six batters. However, Crump prevailed for the second time in these series to earn her program-record 14th win of the season. From the second inning to the fifth inning, Crump retired 10 of 11 batters with the only hit coming from Waits' homer. The Techster manufactured an unearned run off Crump without recording a hit in the sixth. However, Crump shut the door on the rally and shut down the Techsters in the seventh for the win.
The Broncos prevailed with a pair of unearned runs in the top half of the sixth. Alvarez and Tazz Weatherly drew consecutive one-out walks to put the Broncos in business. Both runners were sacrificed over by Christina Capobianco and scored when Waits misplayed a hot shot off the bat of Holly Bourke. That was all Crump needed to secure the series-clincher.
The Lady Techsters' bats came to life in the sixth inning as the pounded out three runs to take their first lead and eventually the game 4-3. Jessica Kirby delivered a two-run double to tie the game at 3-3 and the final run crossed the plate after an error to spoil the Broncos attempt at a sweep.
The disappointing sixth inning spoiled an otherwise fantastic outing from Aubray Zell, who took the loss but limited the Techsters to just four hits in five-plus innings. Zell recorded five strikeouts, including three in the fourth inning to strikeout the side. Waits' first inning homer marked the only time a Techster advanced past second base until the sixth inning.
The Broncos continued their first inning success at the plate with a pair of runs in the opening frame. Caplan once again led off the game with a single and stole second. She advance to third on a wild pitch and was brought home on Jessi Hanna's sacrifice fly. Cox kept the inning going with a single and later scored when Kelly Sweeney reached on an error. Cox was 2-for-3 in the game with a pair of stolen bases.
The Broncos struck again in the sixth to pad their lead to 3-1. This time Holly Bourke delivered a sacrifice fly to plate Jessica Kraft, who was pinch running for Alvarez after she reached on an error. The Techsters responded with three in their half of the sixth to take the game.
With the series win, the Broncos padded their position in third place in the WAC standings. They now stand two games in front of the Lady Techsters and three games behind Fresno State in second place.
The Broncos return home next weekend for a three-game series with fifth-place San Jose State. The WAC-rivals will play a single game on Friday at 3 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Broncos will be celebrating their fist-ever Senior Day as the first graduating class of Bronco softball plays the final home games of their careers.