Feb. 7, 2014
Tempe, Ariz. -
Boise State softball opened the 2014 season Friday, with a doubleheader split at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The Broncos (1-1) defeated Utah 6-1, in the season opener before falling to Creighton, 4-0.
Tara Glover, Mackenzie Whyte and Lindsey Nicholson each had four hits on the day. Jordan Kreiger drove in four runs against Utah, including a three-run home run in the seventh inning to provide an extra cushion. Rebecca Patton picked up the win over the Utes with a complete-game performance. Kenzie Cole took the loss against Creighton in her season debut.
Glover and Patton Shine in 6-1 Win Over Utah
Boise State leaned on its upperclassmen to pick up the first win against a Pac-12 school in program history. The Broncos defeated Utah 6-1 in the season opener behind three hits and three steals from Glover and a complete-game effort from Patton. Boise State is now 4-3 all-time against the Utes, but the previous three victories came while Utah was a member of the Mountain West.
Glover, playing against her former school for the first time, went 3-for-4 at the plate and tied the school record with three steals. She scored twice, including Boise State's first run of the season in the fifth inning coming around from second on a single by Nicholson to tie the game.
The Broncos scored twice in that frame as Whyte, who reached on an error, was pushed across by a Kreiger single. That run stuck as the game winner, but the same top-of-the-order combination was not finished.
In the top of the seventh inning, with the Broncos clinging to a 2-1 lead, Glover led off with her third single of the day. One out later, Whyte drew a walk to reach safely for the third time in the game. Glover stole third to put runners on the corners and Ashley Palmer placed a squeeze bunt where there was no play. Glover scored and everyone was safe. Kreiger came back to the plate and pounded a three-run homer to left.
The Broncos added two more hits in the inning as they batted around, but settled for the four runs and took a 6-1 lead into the bottom of the frame where Patton closed the door.
Patton delivered a strong performance in the circle for the Broncos, scattering eight hits and allowing just one run in her complete game. She started her day with two strikeouts in the first inning and worked out of trouble in the ensuing early innings before settling in after the Broncos took the lead.
Utah struck first with a two-out inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the second inning. With one out in the third inning the Utes strung together three-consecutive singles to load the bases. Patton induced a pop out and a fly out to escape the danger and keep the Broncos within one. A leadoff single was followed by a walk in the fourth inning but Patton got the next three Utah hitters, including the leadoff batter with runners at second and third.
After the Broncos took the lead in the fifth Patton responded with her first perfect inning of the day, including a strikeout to end the inning and keep the momentum with the Blue and Orange. She sat down the first two batters of the sixth to run her string to eight-consecutive batters retired. Patton worked around a two-out single to get the Broncos back to the dugout for the explosive seventh.
Kreiger not only set a career high with four RBI, it is also the most by a Bronco in a season opener. Her home run was the sixth of her career, and her first in the month of February.
Hailey Torrez went 2-for-4 at the plate. Torrez, a junior college transfer, popped up in her first two at bats at the Division I level before singling in the sixth and seventh. She started at catcher for the Broncos.
The Broncos went 5-for-7 on the base paths as a team against Utah, matching the school record for steals and setting the all-time mark for attempts in a single game.
Broncos Outhit Bluejays, Unable to Cross Plate
Lindsey Nicholson put together the first three-hit game of her career, but Boise State could not scratch out a run against Creighton in the second game of its season-opening doubleheader. The Bluejays won 4-0 despite getting just five hits to Boise State's nine.
Kenzie Cole started in the circle for the Broncos, suffering the loss in four innings of work. Cole allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and five walks. She also struck out three.
A Bronco error put the leadoff batter of the third inning aboard and helped Creighton get something started. A walk and a single loaded the bases with one out. Cole struck out the Bluejays' three-hole hitter for the second time in as many at bats to get within an out of escaping the jam. Instead a two-out walk pushed across the first run of the game before a fly out ended the threat.
The second run of the game came in the fourth inning. A hit, a walk and two fielder's choices equaled a run. After getting out of the inning with the score still 2-0, Cole's day was done.
Freshman Mackenzie McGill pitched in relief for the Broncos. McGill threw three innings in her collegiate debut, surrendering two runs on two hits and three walks. Both runs charged to McGill crossed the plate on a sixth-inning home run that came with two outs and immediately followed a walk.
Glover started a last-ditch effort in the seventh inning with a one-out double. She advanced to third on Nicholson's third single of the game to put runners at the corners. Two strikeouts ended the threat.
Whyte continued her torrid start to the season with hits in her first two at bats. She is 4-for-7 with a walk and two steals to start her senior year.
The Broncos had a runner in scoring position in five of the seven frames and multiple runners on base in four innings, including loading the bases in the first.
Boise State resumes action at the Kajikawa Classic Saturday, with games against North Carolina State (3 p.m. MT) and Northwestern (8:30 p.m. MT).
Mackenzie Whyte had two hits in each game, the first time in her career she has had two multi-hit games on the same day…Jordan Kreiger is on a five-game hitting streak, including the final three games of last season…six Broncos hit safely in both games Friday...Whyte, Kreiger, Tara Glover, Ashley Palmer, Lindsey Nicholson and Hailey Torrez each had at least one hit in both games…five Broncos made their debuts Friday…junior Hailey Torrez and freshman Libbie Jimenez started both games, Torrez at catcher and Jimenez at third base…freshmen Mackenzie Jackman and Izzy Serrano appeared in the Utah game as pinch runners, Serrano made her first plate appearance against Creighton…freshman pitcher Mackenzie McGill came on in relief against Creighton.