April 21, 2013
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State junior Tara Glover launched a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday, to beat San Diego State 5-3, at Dona Larsen Park. Glover's walk-off blast was the second in as many days for Boise State and gave the Broncos (19-23-1, 3-6 MW) the series win against the Aztecs (28-16, 6-3 MW).
San Diego State starter Rebecca Arbino was cruising through the late innings before the Broncos responded with their back against the wall. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh Jordan Kreiger came to the plate. Arbino had retired nine-consecutive batters, beginning with a double play off the bat of Kreiger to end a threat in the fourth. The Bronco sophomore gave Arbino everything she could handle in the seventh eventually singling up the middle on the 10th pitch of the at bat to keep the game from going to extra innings.
Glover turned on the very next pitch and drove her fifth home run of the season over the fence in right, sending the crowd and the Bronco dugout into a frenzy. Glover was mobbed at home plate as Boise State celebrated another dramatic victory.
Six of Boise State's 12 runs in the series came in the seventh inning, while 11 of them were driven in with two outs. The Broncos won game one on Sarah Barnes' walk-off home run and forced extra innings in game two with a two-out RBI single by Mackenzie Whyte.
Whyte came up big in the series finale as well. She launched a two-run home run to right center as part of a two-out rally in the third inning. Holly Bourke started the offensive spurt with a two-out double to right center and was chased home when Devon Bridges ripped a base hit back up the middle. Whyte followed that with her third home run of the season on the first pitch she saw.
Whyte previously singled in the first inning and was the only batter on either side with multiple hits in the game, giving her four for the series. The Bronco shortstop also finished the weekend a perfect 15-of-15 on fielding chances.
San Diego State answered right back in the top of the fourth with a long ball of its own.
Rebecca Patton made the start in the circle for Boise State and was untouchable for three innings. Patton retired 10 of the first 11 she faced, allowing just a walk. But for the second time in as many games the Aztecs' first hit came in the form of a fourth-inning home run. Patrice Jackson dropped a solo shot over the fence in left center to cut into Boise State's lead.
A two-out double was the last batter Patton faced, exiting after allowing one run on two hits and one walk in three and two-thirds of an inning. Lela Work took over in the circle and retired the first batter she faced to get out of the inning.
The Broncos had runners at first and second with one out in the home half of the fourth, but the double play ended the frame and San Diego State kept its bats hot in the fifth.
Work allowed three singles while picking up just one out in the fifth, before she was relieved by Kenzie Cole with the score 3-2 and runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly tied the game and Cole fielded a come backer to end the inning.
Cole made sure the game remained tied, controlling the next two innings. She struck out two in the third inning around a walk and an infield single in the sixth. A ground ball to Bridges at first ended the inning. The sophomore was dominant in the seventh, needing just five pitches to get three ground outs.
Cole allowed one hit and one walk in two and two-thirds innings of relief, setting up the opportunity for the Bronco bats to come through in the clutch again. Cole earned the win, improving to 5-7 on the season.
For Glover, the home run was a bit of redemption. She was 1-for-12 in the series before coming to the plate in the seventh, including a foul out to end game two with the tying run at third base.
Boise State has taken the season series from San Diego State the last two seasons (the only times the teams have met). They are the only two series losses for the Aztecs in 2012 or 2013, thus far.
The Broncos play at home again next weekend, hosting Colorado State April 26-28, at Dona Larsen Park. The Rams won their series (2-1) against Fresno State and are tied for first place in the Mountain West with San Diego State at 6-3 in conference play.