SAN DIEGO-Devon Bridges belted two home runs to back Aubray Zell's complete-game performance as Boise State took the opening game of its series with San Diego State 6-1, Friday in San Diego. Zell scattered six hits, walked one and struck out five to become the first Bronco with a 20-win season and hand the Aztecs (27-20, 6-1 MW) their first loss in conference play.
Bridges hit a two-run shot in the top of the first inning to get the Broncos (33-16, 7-3 MW) started. Her 12th homer of the year came after Tara Glover led off the game with an infield single to extend her reached-base-safely streak to 36 games, breaking Bridges' school record. Glover went on to record her seventh three-hit game of the season, raising her season average to .485.
After her power display in the first Bridges drew a bases-loaded walk in the second to give Glover her second run of the game and 50th of the season, capping a three-run inning for Boise State as it took a 5-0 lead. The Broncos loaded the bases with three-straight singles to start the frame before Glover delivered a one-out RBI single to left. The third infield single of the inning drove in the second run. With two outs the Aztecs stayed away from Bridges.
San Diego State threatened in the second inning with two on and one out. The runners advanced to second and third on a ground ball, bringing up the number nine hitter with two away. Zell got her on a comebacker to stall the inning and leave the Aztecs' biggest threat in the on-deck circle in Hayley Miles.
A triple and a ground out put San Diego State on the board in the bottom of the third. After a double kept the inning alive, Zell clamped down and retired the next seven batters. The senior hurler relied heavily on her defense during the stretch, especially freshman third baseman Jordan Kreiger. At one point Kreiger recorded an assist on five-consecutive batters.
While the defense was holding the lead, Bridges added to it with her second bomb of the game, turning on an inside pitch to lead off the fifth inning. It is the first multi-homer game of the season for Bridges and third of the sophomore's career.
The Aztecs presented their best chance to score in the sixth inning. A double to start the inning gave them their first leadoff base runner. That was followed by a Justeen Maeva single to center but the runner was held at third. Maeva took second on the throw, putting two runners in scoring position with nobody out. Zell closed the door with two of her five punch outs sandwiched around a foul out.
Bailey Micetich took the loss for San Diego State, allowing six runs on 11 hits in her four and one-third innings.
Boise State outhit the Aztecs 13-6. It is the fourth time in the last five games the Broncos have racked up at least a dozen base hits.
With her three hits Friday, Glover tied the Mountain West sophomore record for hits in a season with 81. She has 25 hits through 10 conference games.
The teams will meet again Saturday, at 1 p.m. (PT) in a game that will be televised live on The Mtn.