BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State softball rebounded from a disappointing 9-8 loss in the early game to win 8-1 in Friday's nightcap at Nevada. The Broncos (25-30, 12-8 WAC) couldn't hold off a late Wolf Pack (17-27, 4-15 WAC) rally as they lost in nine innings despite the first grand slam in Boise State history. Christina Capobianco delivered the historic slam in the first game and Aubray Zell turned in a gem to earn the win in the nightcap.
The Broncos took an 8-3 lead into the final frame but couldn't shut the door on a late Wolf Pack surge as the hosts scored five runs in the inning to knot up the game at 8-8. In the eighth, the Broncos went down in order but the Wolf Pack placed the winning run on third with one out. However, Lela Work was equal to the task as a foul out and ground out ended the inning.
In the ninth, Kellie Caplan made her way to third as the go-ahead run but was stranded there. The Wolf Pack once again put the winning run on third in the bottom of the inning. A wild pitch from Work allowed the run to score as the Wolf Pack capped their comeback to capture the game.
Capobianco hit her historic slam in the fifth inning to give the Broncos their first lead of the day. The slam was Capobianco's second round-tripper of the day as she hit a solo shot in the second. With the Broncos down 3-1 in the fifth, Caplan kept the inning alive with a two-out double. Jessi Hanna delivered an infield single to put runners on first and third. The Wolf Pack elected to intentionally walk Kathy Cox to load the bases. Vanessa Alvarez cashed in on the opportunity as she blooped a single just out of the shortstop's reach to score the first run of the inning. Capobianco then strode to the plate and promptly smashed the first grand slam in Bronco history to give the Broncos a 6-3 lead.
Capobianco went 3-for-4 in the game with a game-high five RBI and two homers. Hanna and Maghan Yurek both delivered RBI-singles in the sixth to extend the lead to 8-3 before the Wolf Pack comeback.
Although Work took the loss, Allie Crump had started the game and dominated the middle innings. She gave up just three runs (one earned) through the first six innings with eight strikeouts. Going into the seventh, Crump had retired nine batters in order but was charged with all five runs in the seventh.
Zell dominated the circle in the nightcap as she was perfect through the first four innings of play. She also took a shutout into the sixth before three consecutive hits notched the only Wolf Pack run on the board, giving the Broncos an 8-1 victory. The Broncos' win eliminated the Wolf Pack from the WAC Tournament.
Zell allowed just four hits and one run on the day as she also struck out eight batters en route to the victory. She did not issue any walks either and recorded three consecutive strikeouts in the seventh to end the game.
The Broncos put the Wolf Pack away early as they scored in each of the first three innings to take an early 6-0 lead. Cox surpassed her RBI total from 2009 as a sacrifice fly in the first inning plated the Broncos first run and gave her 41 RBI on the year.
Capobianco stayed hot in the second game as she went 2-for-3 and led off the second inning with a base hit. However, Kelly Sweeney provided the fireworks in the nightcap as she hit a three-run homer two batters later to give the Broncos a 4-0 lead. Sweeney also hit a solo shot in the sixth as she went 2-for-3 with four RBI in the game. In the third, Cox led off with a double and Alvarez extended her hitting streak to 11 games with a single to follow. Holly Bourke, who went 3-for-3 in the game, stroked a double to center to plate both runners and give the Broncos a commanding 6-0 lead.
Sweeney's homer added to the Broncos lead in the sixth before the Wolf Pack made their first mark on the scoreboard. However, Yurek delivered another RBI-single in the seventh to push the Broncos lead to the final score of 8-1.
At the plate, the Broncos combined for 15 runs and 26 hits on the day while the pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts in the circle.
The regular season concludes tomorrow when the Wolf Pack and Broncos play in a single game at 2 p.m. (MT) at Hixson Park.