BOISE, Idaho-Boise State jumped out to a big lead early against New Mexico for the second-straight day Saturday, and held on for an 8-6 win to clinch the series at Mountain Cove Softball Field. The Broncos (32-15, 6-2 Mountain West) used another three-hit performance from Tara Glover to power the offense and a complete-game victory out of Lela Work in the circle.
Work took the start for Boise State and went the distance to improve to 5-2 on the year, holding New Mexico (24-18, 0-5 MW) at bay for the first six innings. She struck out eight and walked one. Work allowed just four hits through the first six frames, but New Mexico crept back into the game before it was over.
Boise State's offense staked Work to an early lead, thanks in part to a pair of miscues by New Mexico. The first Broncos to dig into the batter's box recorded singles. An error allowed Glover to advance to third after Kellie Caplan reached safely on a bunt, putting runners at the corners for Christina Capobianco. A single through the left side gave Capobianco her 30th RBI of the season and put Boise State on top 1-0.
The Broncos pushed five across in the second inning on four hits and a costly error. With one run already in and two runners on, Capobianco hit a ball on the ground to shortstop for what looked like the third out of the inning. A low throw skipped away, allowed two runs to score and extended the inning. Devon Bridges took full advantage when she lofted a 3-1 pitch into the visitor's bullpen beyond the fence in center. Bridges' 11th home run of the season put the Broncos on top 6-0.
The game was far from over, with New Mexico's powerful lineup ready to see Work for the second time. Two of New Mexico's first three hits sailed over the fence as the nation's top home-run-hitting team stayed within reach of Boise State. Stefanie Carramusa put the Lobos on the board in the third inning with her 19th homer of the year, a two-run shot to center. Chelsea Anaya trimmed the Bronco lead to 6-3 when she led off the fourth inning with a deep fly ball over the wall in left center.
Glover answered in the bottom of the frame with a leadoff blast of her own to straight-away center field. The Broncos would plate another in the fifth. Jordan Kreiger shot a two-out double to the fence in right center and moved to third on a wild pitch. Mackenzie Whyte drove in the run with an infield single to push the lead to 8-3.
The Lobos put together another seventh-inning rally, coming up just short for the second time in as many days. Four hits and two errors led to three runs. Danielle Castro started the inning with a home run. An error allowed the next batter to reach before a pair of one-out doubles scored two and cut the margin to three. With two outs and two on Jessica Garcia, the conference leader in RBI, stepped to the plate as the go-ahead run. On a 1-0 pitch Garcia lofted a foul ball behind first base. Three Broncos gave chase before Lindsey Nicholson-in the game as defensive replacement in right field-called everyone off and secured the out.
The Broncos escaped with the series win and extended their home winning streak to 28 games, despite allowing the Lobos to hang three runs on the board in the seventh for the second-consecutive game.
Glover has 10 hits in her last 12 at bats, giving her 76 for the season. That ties her for ninth in Mountain West history for a single season. Caplan, Capobianco, Kreiger and Whyte all chipped in multi-hit performances as the Broncos rattled off 13 hits.
The series concludes Sunday, at 1 p.m. (MT) at Mountain Cove Softball Field.