Broncos Win another Thriller, 3-2 in Extras
April 26, 2013
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State softball scored on an errant throw following a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the ninth inning to take a 3-2 victory Friday, against Colorado State. Neither team scored until extra innings in the series opener, each plating two in the eighth before the Broncos sealed it in the ninth.
Rose Saenz led off the ninth with a single to left before Brittany McCray followed with a walk to move the winning run into scoring position. Jordan Kreiger dropped a sacrifice bunt down the first base line and the throw was wide of the bag, trickling into right field and allowing Saenz to score the game-winning run from second.
The first seven innings belonged to both starting pitchers. Kacie McCarthy, the 2012 Mountain West Pitcher of the Year, took the ball for Colorado State (20-21, 6-4 MW). McCarthy carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. She ended up taking the complete-game loss allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks. McCarthy struck out seven.
The Broncos (20-23-1, 4-6 MW) countered with reigning MW Pitcher of the Week Rebecca Patton in the circle. Patton answered every challenge. She set the tone early, retiring the first seven batters she faced including striking out the side in the second. Patton went on to strike out a season-best 10, but also used her defense by keeping the ball on the infield. She faced 33 Ram batters and just seven times did the ball reach the outfield.
Patton did not factor in the decision, pitching eight innings. She surrendered two runs (one earned) on seven hits and issued just two walks against the 10 strikeouts.
Colorado State struck first in the top of the eighth inning with a one-out infield single starting the rally. A flare fell in for a single in right center to put two. With two away a live drive made its way into right field and scored the runner from second. A passed ball allowed the second run to score and the Broncos had their work cut out for them.
With their backs against the wall, the top of the order responded again. Tara Glover led off with a sharp single through the left side. Holly Bourke followed with a double to the wall in center, putting the tying runs in scoring position with nobody out. Two batters later a ground out to the right side pushed in Glover from third, but left the Broncos down to their final out. It was up to Sarah Barnes yet again, and the freshman smoked a chopper back to the circle. It deflected off McCarthy's glove and there was no play, allowing Bourke to scamper home and tie the game.
Kenzie Cole entered the game in the ninth inning to take over for Patton in the circle. Cole worked long counts against the first two batters she faced, but retired the side in order and left the drama to the Boise State bats.
Saenz was the most productive Bronco at the plate, drawing two walks in addition to the hit in the ninth and eventually scoring the winning run.
Despite all of the strikeouts and very few hits, there were run-scoring opportunities on both sides in the middle innings.
In the fourth a two-out bloop triple that fell between three Broncos in shallow right center was followed by a walk and presented the first real threat of the game. Patton responded by fielding a ground ball back at her to get out of the inning. In the sixth the Rams put two in scoring position with two outs, but strong defense from Kreiger and second kept them there. Colorado State also had a runner at second in the seventh, but Patton's ninth strikeout ended the inning.
McCarthy, meanwhile, worked around a couple of hiccups as well. Tara Glover led off the game reaching on a two-base error, but the Broncos could not capitalize and left Glover at second. A one-out walk in the fifth was erased on a double-play ball. In the sixth, Glover was hit by a pitch and stole second. Bourke then drew a walk to put two on with one out. McCarthy was able to retire the next two Broncos to keep the no-hitter intact.
The Broncos had a chance to win the game in regulation after Makenna Weir delivered the Broncos' first hit of the game. After an unsuccessful fielder's choice and a fly out to deep right, Weir was at third base with two outs. McCarthy made a tough play on a comebacker in the circle and sent the game to extras.
The teams will meet again Saturday, at Dona Larsen Park. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. (MT). The series will wrap up Sunday at 1 p.m. (MT).
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