Broncos Fall Just Short Against No. 16/14 Aggies, 5-4

BOISE, Idaho—Boise State softball battled No. 16/14 Texas A&M to the very end of a 5-4 loss Thursday, at Mountain Cove Softball Field. The Aggies scored two unearned runs in the top of the sixth inning and threw out the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh for a comeback victory.

The Broncos (34-18) struck early with three runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead. Boise State brought all nine batters to the plate in the frame, scoring on a two-run single from Allie Crump and a bases-loaded walk to Jordan Kreiger.

Texas A&M (37-16) responded immediately with three runs in the top of the second to tie the game. The Aggies used a pair of solo home runs and a Bronco error to get to Lela Work, who started in the circle for Boise State. Mel Dumezich hit the first of those two home runs, in addition to pitching a complete game for her 27th victory of the season.

Work (6-3) tossed five and one-third innings, allowing nine hits and two walks. She was charged with five runs, two of which were earned. She found a groove in the middle innings, keeping the Aggies off the scoreboard for the third, fourth and fifth, including two strikeouts as she set Texas A&M down in order in the fifth.

While Work was keeping the Aggies’ high-powered offense at bay, the Broncos clung to a one-run lead thanks to Crump’s ninth home run of the year to lead off the third. Her second hit of the game skied over the outfield bleachers beyond the fence in left center and put Boise State on top 4-3.

That remained the score until Texas A&M used three-consecutive singles with one out in the sixth inning to load the bases and chase Work from the game. Aubray Zell came out of the bullpen and got the two ground balls she was looking for. The first out was made at home, preserving the lead and keeping the bases loaded. The second ball was misplayed on the infield and chased in two runs as the Aggies claimed the lead 5-4.

The back-and-forth game got even wilder in the seventh inning. The Aggies’ first three batters reached base on two walks and what looked to be a run-scoring single. Instead, Bronco Head Coach Erin Thorpe appealed that the runner scoring from second missed third base and the umpire agreed, taking the insurance run off the board and getting the first out. The next batter lined into an unassisted double play by Kellie Caplan and Boise State took the momentum into the home half of the inning.

Tara Glover, who singled in the first inning to move into a tie for third on the Mountain West single-season hits list with 85, drew a walk to lead off the Broncos’ last chance. She moved to second on a wild pitch as Devon Bridges stepped to the plate with one out. Bridges blooped a base hit into right field as Glover tore around third base. The throw came to the plate on a line and Glover did what she could to avoid the tag, but was called out. A fly out ended the game as the Broncos came up just short of defeating the highest ranked team to visit Mountain Cove.

The teams will meet again Friday, in the middle contest of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. (MT) at Mountain Cove Softball Field.

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