Feb. 17, 2017
Boise State 7, Weber State 1 Boise State 2, Memphis 1
Boise State (3-2) opened up day one of the DeMarini Classic in Las Vegas on Friday with a pair of victories over Weber State and Memphis. The performances showed the team's ability to win in what were two different kind of games, as the Broncos used a pair of home runs from Izzy Serrano and Shaelee Pearson in the first contest to secure a decisive 7-1 win over Weber State, and then followed it up with a close 2-1 victory against Memphis thanks to timely pitching and a pinch hit walk-off home run from Corey Hendrickson.
Boise State 7, Weber State 1
"I was really proud of the team because they stuck to the plan and produced runs," head coach Cindy Ball said in reference to the first game. "It's also great having Christina Washington in the circle to get that momentum going in our favor, and our dugout's energy was phenomenal the entire day."
Washington (1-1) scattered seven hits over seven innings and gave up just one run in the bottom of the fifth.
Both Pearson's and Serrano's home runs came with two outs in the top of the second inning. Pearson drove in Morgan Lamb and Kora Wade on a three-run homer and Serrano followed it up just minutes later with a two-run blast that plated Tatiana Sorokina after she got on base thanks to a bunt single.
The five-run second inning started when Kora Wade got on base thanks to an error from the shortstop. After two Broncos went down on strikeouts, Pearson started the two-out rally with her home run.
Boise State took their 5-0 lead into the fourth inning and tacked on another run after Rebekah Cervantes drove in Serrano on a single to center field to make it a 6-0 game. Weber State scored their lone run of the game in the fifth, but the Broncos responded the next frame when Karlee Johnson scored on a groundball off the bat of Serrano.
The Wildcats were unable to generate any additional offense off of Washington, and Boise State cruised the rest of the way to the 7-1 win. Sorokina, Pearson and Serrano all tallied two hits apiece to lead the way for the Bronco battery.
Boise State 2, Memphis 1
Hendrickson's walk-off solo shot ended somewhat of a pitcher's duel that saw neither team generate much offense. Hendrickson â€" in her only at-bat of the game â€" hit her home run on a 3-2 count over left-center field, giving her the second walk-off home run of her career (the other came last year against Loyola Marymount on Feb. 26).
"It feels pretty good," Corey Hendrickson said on the walk-off. "Coach told me that I was going to lead off in the seventh, and I knew it was going to be my one shot to get the rally going. I saw that pitch and put my best swing on it, and luckily a good thing happened."
Despite scoring just two runs, the Broncos were still able to get seven hits off the Tigers' starter, Christian Novak.
"We did some great things in the second game," Ball said. "It was frustrating because we didn't produce offensively right away and we had some opportunities, but the defense was really impressive and made some nice adjustments on their slappers."
"The two freshman pitchers â€" Veronica Lynch and Kelsey Broadus â€" came in and kept us in that game. And Corey made me look really smart with that pinch hit walk-off home run," Ball jokingly remarked.
Lynch came in during the second inning after starter Paige Reimann gave up a run in the first and allowed two runners on in the second. The Simi Valley, Calif., native went on to pitch 4.1 innings of shutout softball and allowed just four hits. Broadus relieved Lynch in the seventh and recorded three clutch outs to set the table for Hendrickson's heroics.
Memphis scored first in the top of the first inning off a Lindsay Crowdus triple that scored Kyler Trosclair to take a 1-0 lead. The Broncos answered in the bottom of the second when Kora Wade, Cassidy Edwards and Karlee Johnson were all able to tally singles to produce the tying run to make it a 1-1 game.
That score held until the bottom of the seventh inning when Hendrickson hammered the 3-2 pitch over the wall to give the Blue and Orange the 2-1 victory.
Boise State is scheduled to play again tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. (MT) against Northern Iowa followed by a game immediately after a 1:15 p.m. against UTEP. Heavy rain is expected tomorrow, so delays and postponements may be forthcoming.