Feb. 9, 2014
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Boise State softball suffered a pair of losses Saturday, falling to North Carolina State 6-1 in the afternoon and dropping a run-rule decision against Northwestern at night, 13-2, in five innings. The Broncos (1-3) will look to bounce back Sunday, on the final day of the Kajikawa Classic.
Rebecca Patton (1-1) and Kenzie Cole (0-2) each suffered a loss. Tara Glover and Jordan Kreiger hit safely in both games and are the only Broncos to record a hit in each of the first four games of the season.
NC State Uses Two Big Innings for 6-1 Win
Boise State struck first against defending ACC Tournament Champion North Carolina State, but the early offense was the Broncos' only offense and the Wolfpack scored six unanswered runs for the 6-1 win.
Glover was 2-for-4 with two stolen bases against the Wolfpack. Glover provided the Broncos' lone run nearly singlehandedly. She laid down a bunt single to lead off the bottom of the first, stole second and took third on a ground out. The senior put the Broncos on the board when she scampered home on a dropped third strike as the throw was made to first.
Patton took the complete-game loss, surrendering six runs on eight hits, but did not walk a batter and struck out four. Unlike Friday, when she scattered eight hits and allowed one run, Patton was stung by big innings. She sat down the Wolfpack in order in four of the seven frames and even retired 12 of 13 during a stretch in the middle innings.
Twice North Carolina State put its leadoff runner aboard, both times led to three-run innings. In the third inning it was a leadoff double followed immediately by two singles and a pair of productive outs to push runs across and take a 3-1 lead.
Those two outs started Patton's groove of eight-straight batters retired, which eventually became the 12-of-13 streak that spanned until the seventh inning. With the score still 3-1, North Carolina State added three insurance runs in the final frame. A leadoff single paved the way for a two-run home run. A two-out double scored another run to provide the final margin.
After Glover scored in the first, Boise State had just two more runners reach scoring position. Kreiger singled to lead off the fourth, stole second and took third on a passed ball to get 60 feet from home with nobody out. The Broncos could not get the ball out of the infield and did not cash in on the opportunity.
Glover picked up her second hit in the fifth inning and swiped her second bag to get to second base with one out. Two strikeouts ended the threat.
Freshman Libbie Jimenez picked up the first hit of her career in the seventh inning.
Big First-Inning Deficit Proves Impossible to Overcome
Northwestern staked itself to an 11-0 lead before Boise State came to the plate in the nightcap. The Wildcats posted 11 runs on six hits in the first inning. It is the most runs Boise State has allowed in an inning in program history and it was aided by five Bronco errors.
Cole lasted just a third of an inning and was tagged for eight runs, four were earned as the Bronco defense committed four errors behind her. Mackenzie McGill entered in relief and pitched the final four and two thirds innings. McGill came on with the score 6-0 and two runners aboard. After retiring the first batter she faced the freshman surrendered a walk to load the bases and a grand slam to clear them. Another error and a double put the 11th run of the inning on the board.
McGill worked around six hits, a walk and a hit batter over the next four innings. She game up a run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly. A leadoff home run in the fifth was the final tally for the Wildcats.
The Broncos had runners at second and third in the second inning and loaded the bases in the third, but came away empty handed both times. In the fourth inning, twice a runner was put out at third base on fielders' choices.
Finally in the fifth inning Boise State was able to put a run on the board, though doing so without the benefit of a hit. Northwestern issued five walks in the frame. Lindsey Nicholson and Sarah Barnes both reached on bases on balls and eventually came around to score. Mackenzie Whyte and Kayla Clausen each drove in a run.
The Broncos again left the bases loaded and could not extend the game past the fifth inning, suffering their first run-rule defeat of the season.
Glover and Kreiger recorded the only two hits of the game for Boise State, giving them both a four-game hitting streak to start the season.
Boise State will wrap up its weekend Sunday against No. 8 Oregon. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (MT) at the Tempe Sports Complex.