BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State softball team celebrated its seniors with a third consecutive WAC series win in a doubleheader split against San Jose State at Mountain Cove on Saturday. The Broncos (24-29, 11-7 WAC) were edged 7-6 by the Spartans (31-21, 7-11 WAC) in the early game but rebounded with a 15-0 rout to capture the series.
The early game began smoothly for the Broncos as Aubray Zell did not allow a hit until the fourth inning and the Broncos posted five runs in the second to jump out to a 5-0 lead. However, it wasn't enough to hold off the Spartans as they erased a five-run Bronco lead for the second time in as many days and eventually took the game 7-6.
The Broncos sent nine batters to the plate in the second inning as they built the initial lead. Vanessa Alvarez led off the inning with a single and later scored on a one-out double from Laeha Hill. After Holly Bourke was robbed of a base hit on a sharp line drive, Tazz Weatherly added to the Broncos lead with a two-run homer to left field. Jessi Hanna padded the Broncos lead later in the inning as her single plated Maghan Yurek and Kellie Caplan came around to score on an error.
The Spartans came roaring back in the fourth as Julianne Aiello led off the inning with the Spartans first hit and later came around to score. The Spartans then took advantage of a Bronco error with two outs and plated four unearned runs to knot up the game at 5-5. The Broncos were gifted a go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning as Hanna scored after Kelli Fangonilo misplayed a single from Kathy Cox.
However, Brittany McConnel hit a two-run homer in the top of the fifth to gain the lead for the Spartans. Amanda Pridmore owned the circle and earned the win in relief as she limited the Broncos to just one hit in 3.1 innings to close out the game.
The one hit came off the bat of the senior, Hanna, who went 3-for-4 in the game with three singles and an RBI.
The Broncos took over in the nightcap as they scored in every inning to take the series with 15-0 run-rule victory. Allie Crump earned the shortened win for her first shutout of the year and allowed just three hits while striking out two. Crump also allowed a walk but faced three batters above the minimum for her 15th win of the season.
The Broncos had 16 hits in the game with seven of the Broncos nine starters collecting at least one hit. Alvarez and Bourke had three hits a piece while five other Broncos enjoyed multiple-hit games. Crump was one of those Broncos as she went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.
The Broncos jumped out to an early lead with four runs in the first. Alvarez put the Broncos on the board with a two-RBI single while Crump and Weatherly each plated one run with two-out singles. The Broncos sent all nine batters to the plate in the first to take the big 4-0 lead.
In the second, Christina Capobianco gave the Broncos a lift with her eighth homer of the year. With two on and one out, Capobianco drilled a homer over the left field fence to pad the Bronco lead to 7-0. Weatherly added to the total with a solo shot in the third to give the Broncos an 8-0 lead.
In the fourth, the Broncos took advantage of three Spartan errors as they plated seven runs and sent 12 batters to the plate. That put the game far out of reach as the Broncos tied for the largest lead and win margin in program history.
Alvarez extended her hitting streak to a season-high nine games with her trio of hits. Hanna added two more hits and a sacrifice fly in the nightcap to improve to 5-for-7 on the day to celebrate Senior Day. In fact, each senior collected a hit and RBI during the doubleheader to end their careers at Mountain Cove.
The Broncos will head to Reno, Nev. to take on Nevada in the regular season finale next weekend for a three-game WAC series. Nevada will need some wins to clinch a bid to the WAC Tournament while the Broncos will need at least one win to secure the No. 3 seed in the six-team tournament.