No. 16/14 Texas A&M Wins Slugfest, 10-8

BOISE, Idaho-Boise State rallied late but could not overcome a fast start by No. 16/14 Texas A&M Friday, in a 10-8 loss at Mountain Cove Softball Field. The Broncos (34-19) scored four times in the sixth and brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh, but fell just short.

The Aggies (38-16) scored once in the first inning and tacked on seven two-out runs over the second and third frames to jump out to an 8-1 lead. Kenzie Cole started in the circle for the Broncos, taking the loss as she allowed six runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks in two and two-thirds innings.

Boise State responded to the first-inning run with a long home run off Devon Bridges' bat. Bridges unloaded a 3-1 pitch to dead center, over the second fence for her 14th home run of the season and 30th of her career.

After Texas A&M hit two moon shots of its own, one by Meagan May in the second inning and one by Natalie Villarreal in the third, Lela Work was called on to pitch for Boise State. Work surrendered three-straight hits to start her outing and allow two more runs to cross the plate before getting out of the third inning.

The Broncos bounced back in the third inning with a bases-loaded two-run single by Allie Crump, to cut the deficit to five. Holly Bourke walked to load the bases again, but a fly out ended the inning.

Work dealt a 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth to get the Broncos back to the plate. Boise State put together another run-scoring opportunity in the bottom of the inning, ignited again by the bottom of the order. With runners at second and third for the top of the order, Tara Glover looked to bring the Broncos within two. Instead, Aggie right fielder Cassie Tysarczyk continued her defensive showcase and made a leaping catch to turn a three-run home run into a sacrifice fly as Glover settled for a sacrifice fly.

The score remained 8-4, until the Aggies added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth inning on a two-run single off the glove of Work in the circle. Those two runs would prove to be the difference as Boise State batted around in the bottom of the frame.

More production from the last three spots in the lineup loaded the bases with no outs for Glover. She dropped a single into left center for her 87th hit of the season and 29th run driven in. A bases-loaded walk made it a 10-6 game and chased Aggie starter Lauren Ainsley from the circle. Texas A&M also went back to Thursday's starter, in Mel Dumezich. With one out, Crump picked up where she left off against Dumezich, roping a two-run double to the fence in left center. Two strikeouts left the tying runs in scoring position as the game headed for the seventh inning.

A 1-2-3 inning in the top half and a leadoff walk in the bottom half breathed life into the Broncos' comeback hopes.  A strikeout and a pair of nice plays on sinking line drives in the infield dashed the threat and the Aggies held on for the victory.

The seven, eight and nine spots in the Bronco order went 3-for-8 with three walks and scored five of the team's eight runs. Glover, Crump and Mackenzie Whyte all recorded two-hit games as Crump matched her career high with four runs driven in and took over the team lead with 41 on the season.

Work finished the game for Boise State, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits in four and one-third innings. Dumezich closed out the game, giving up one hit and one walk in two innings to earn her second save of the season.

The series concludes Saturday, at 4 p.m. (MT), at Mountain Cove Softball Field. It will be the final home game for six Bronco seniors. Boise State will honor the first four-year class in program history with a post-game celebration.

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