April 7, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -
Boise State softball salvaged the final game of its Mountain West series at New Mexico Sunday, with a weekend's worth of offense and a brilliant pitching performance from Rebecca Patton. The Broncos scored 13 runs on 14 hits while Patton twirled a four-hit shutout for a 13-0 win in five innings.
Devon Bridges led Boise State (17-19-1, 1-2 MW) at the plate with a 3-for-3 day and five runs batted in. It is the most RBI in a game for Bridges since March 26, 2011, when she set the school record with six. The junior now has 41 RBI on the season, becoming the first Bronco with three seasons of at least 40 RBI.
Brittany McCray started the scoring with a two-run home run in the second inning. McCray's blast to left center was her first home run as a Bronco and first extra-base hit since doubling twice in the second game of the season. McCray went on to collect her first-career three-hit game and drive in a career-high three runs. Her RBI double in the fifth put the 13th run on the board and capped the scoring.
A Bridges two-run double later in the second added to the lead and Boise State had a 4-0 advantage early. The hits kept coming in the top of the third when the Broncos brought 10 batters to the dish and scored five runs.
A pair of illegal pitch calls against New Mexico starter Lauren Soles negated outs and eventually the Broncos loaded the bases. That was enough to knock Soles from the game in favor of Saturday starter Kaela DeBroeck. Consecutive base hits by Jordan Kreiger, Tara Glover, Holly Bourke and Bridges all drove in runs. Glover doubled to push across two. By the end of the inning it was 9-0.
Patton retired the first and second innings in order but after the long top half of the third, she got into trouble in the bottom of the frame. A leadoff walk gave the Lobos (18-24, 2-4 MW) their first base runner and a one-out single up the middle broke up the no-hitter. A bunt single loaded the bases before Patton picked up a strikeout on a 3-2 pitch and a pop out to shortstop ended the threat.
The Broncos came back to the plate in the fifth inning and immediately loaded the bases with a walk and two infield singles. Bridges put an exclamation mark on her day lining a base hit through the left side to score two. With one out Mackenzie Whyte singled to extend her hitting streak to nine games and drive in another run. Whyte had an RBI in each game of the series. McCray's two-out double was the final blow.
Patton worked around a walk in the fourth inning and retired the first two hitters in the fifth. A bunt single and an infield hit put two on with two outs, but a groundout to shortstop ended the inning and secured Patton's second shutout of the season. She surrendered four hits and two walks while striking out four.
The run-rule victory is Boise State's first in conference play since joining the Mountain West. The Broncos last ended a conference game early with the run rule April 16, 2011, at Utah State (10-1, six innings). It is also tied for the most runs scored in a conference game and largest margin of victory in a conference game in school history.
Boise State will resume its Mountain West schedule April 12-14, at Fresno State.