Broncos Sweep Friday's Contests

Feb. 27, 2015

LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Boise State offense woke up Friday as the Broncos got their first single-day sweep of the season, defeating Portland State 9-3 then nabbing a wild 9-8 victory over Weber State at the Long Beach Louisville Slugger Invitational.

Junior Ashley Palmer was the pinch-hitting hero Friday, hitting a three-run home run in the opener then coming off the bench again, this time with a two-run double, in the second win to complete a five-RBI day.

Redshirt senior Devon Bridges went 3-for-5 with three RBI over the two wins, while Makenzie Sullivan drove in four runs.

In the circle, freshman Rachel Rodriguez picked up the complete-game win in the opener before getting the save in the final inning of the nightcap.

Boise State (7-12) finishes the weekend Saturday at Cal State Fullerton, taking on the Titans at 3:30 p.m. MT.

Boise State 9, Portland State 3: Trailing 3-1 into their half of the third, Boise State woke up the bats and took control with a six-run, two-out rally that fueled a 9-3 win over Portland State (5-7).

Devon Bridges opened the two-out rally in the third with a base hit, followed by a Sara Ketelsleger double and a walk to Makenzie Sullivan that loaded the bases. Rachel Rodriguez walked to bring in pinch-runner Kaelie Doyle, followed by Teauna Hughes smacking a single through the right side which plated Ketelsleger and Sullivan to put the Broncos up 4-3.

The rally wasn't finished, however, Ashley Palmer, pinch-hitting for Jordan Kreiger, slammed an opposite-field drive that cleared the wall for her first home run of the season, a three-run job that made it 7-3.

The Broncos added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth on RBI singles from Ketelsleger and Sullivan.

Rodriguez retired the final seven Portland State batters to pick up the complete-game win. The freshman hurler gave up just one earned run of the three scored by the Vikings, along with six hits, improving to 3-5.

Along with Palmer's pinch-home run, Hughes paced the Broncos at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Bridges and Ketelsleger each had two hits and an RBI in the win.

The teams traded runs in the first, Portland State getting a solo home run from Brittany Hendrickson and the Broncos an RBI single from Bridges. The Vikings took a brief 3-1 lead in the third, taking advantage of a Bronco fielding error with a two-run double from Aubrey Nitschelm.

Kristen Crawford took the loss for the Vikings, falling to 3-3 after giving up seven runs on seven hits and three walks. Reliever Raya Johnson was charged with two runs on six hits over her 2.2 innings.

Boise State 9, Weber State 8: The Broncos and Wildcats combined to score 15 runs over the final two-and-a-half innings of their matchup, but it was Boise State that held on for the 9-8 victory.

The Broncos came back twice from late one-run deficits against Weber State (6-6), with the latter of those a four-run rally that took advantage of the last of the Wildcats' four errors in the contest.

Trailing 6-5 into the bottom of the sixth, the Broncos got a leadoff walk from Jordan Kreiger, who, after being sacrificed to second by Corey Hendrickson, scored to tie the game on Ashley Palmer's pinch-hit double to right. After Kayla Clausen popped out to third for the second out, Devon Bridges walked to put two on for Sara Ketelsleger.

Ketelsleger hit a grounder to short, where Weber State's Aubrey Whitmer threw to second for the force but found no one covering the bag. Kaelie Doyle, pinch-running for Palmer, scored the go-ahead run on the throwing error. Bridges and Ketelsleger would then score on Makenzie Sullivan's double to left-center.

Weber State made one last go of it in the seventh, getting a leadoff single from Alyson Kulp before Sara Hingsberger reached on Hendrickson's error at short to chase reliever Mackenzie McGill. Rachel Rodriguez came on for the Broncos and got a quick out before walking Rudi Barrios to load the bases and giving up an RBI single to Molly Horne that made it 9-7.

Pinch-hitter Stephanie Mathias hit a sacrifice fly to right that scored Hingsberger and moved the other runners up a bag with two outs. But Rodriguez would buckle down, picking up the save by getting Krystin Kubo to ground to first for the final out, stranding the potential tying and winning runs on base.

McGill picked up the win to get her record to 3-3, going an inning and a third in relief of starter Nicole Wilson, who gave up four runs, just one being earned, on four hits over 4.2 innings.

Sullivan led the Broncos with a 2-for-3, three-RBI performance at the plate, while Hendrickson went 2-for-2 and Bridges was 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks.

The Broncos struck first in the contest, loading the bases with Hendrickson's leadoff double, Izzy Serrano reaching on a throwing error and Kayla Clausen being hit by a pitch. That all led to Bridges' single up the middle that plated Hendrickson and Serrano.

Wilson retired the first nine Wildcat batters she faced en route to a scoreless first four innings before running into trouble in the fifth. It started with a leadoff single from Mylee Brown, who after stealing second, scored when McKinley Brinkerhoff dropped a bunt and reached base on Wilson's throwing error to first.

After a fielder's choice erased Brinkerhoff and put Kubo at first, Katelyn Robinson tripled to right-center, scoring Kubo to tie the game. Kulp would follow two batters later with a two-out triple to left-center to plate Robinson and chase Wilson in favor of McGill. McGill's first offering was in the dirt and wide, going to the backstop and allowing Kulp to score the fourth run of the inning, making it 4-2 Weber State.

The Wildcats returned the favor in the bottom of the fifth, however, making a pair of errors that helped the Broncos retake the lead. Clausen opened the inning by reaching on a fielding error at short by Aubrey Whitmer, and advanced on a wild pitch before Bridges walked. After Sara Ketelsleger sacrificed the runners up a base, Sullivan's blooper to center set off a wild chain of events which led to a three-run play.

Center fielder Malia Campos couldn't come up with Sullivan's blooper, scoring Clausen from third. Lindsey Nicholson, running for Bridges at second, broke for third when the ball fell safely and beat Campos' throw. With Sullivan breaking for second on the throw, Kulp, at third, fired to second to cut her off but the throw went into the unmanned right field, allowing both Nicholson and Sullivan to score to give Boise State a 5-4 lead.

The advantage, though, yo-yoed right back to Weber State in the top half of the sixth, as four-straight two-out singles, the last a bases-loaded, two-RBI poke to left from Robinson, put the Wildcats in front, 6-5, setting up Boise State's bottom of the sixth.

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