Feb. 24, 2017
CHARLESTON, S.C. - "Millennials" would simply use multiple fire emojis to describe Boise State's run of play over the last two weeks, but since this is a recap and we have to use words here, Boise State swept Presbyterian (11-0 in five innings) and Charleston Southern (5-2) Friday to extend its winning streak to eight games.
The Broncos (9-2) are 4-0 at the Willie Jewell's Invitational and can finish off its second-straight unbeaten weekend Saturday as it faces Maryland Eastern Shore at 7 a.m. MT and South Carolina State at 9 a.m. MT.
"I'm very impressed with this group in that they are focused. They get it that they have to compete each pitch," said Boise State head coach Cindy Ball. "These are all good experiences for us. We put the ball on the ground and put pressure on the defense [in the second game], and that sparked up our offense. It shows great discipline for our team in terms of keeping that focus from the first game to the second."
Sophomore Rebekah Cervantes continued her hot start to the season, going a combined 4-for-5 on the day with a double, home run and five RBIs. Makenzie Sullivan also had four hits on the day, while Kora Wade went 3-for-3 with an RBI in the opener against Presbyterian.
"It's really nice to know that we're changing the culture and staying together as one. Now that we're sticking to the plan it's 25 against one, not just one player against the pitcher. We're showing ourselves what we've got," Cervantes said.
Christina Washington improved to 4-1 on the year and tossed her first shutout of the season in the opener, scattering five Presbyterian hits and striking out five. Paige Reimann got her second win in the day's second game, allowing just one hit in three-and-a-third innings of scoreless relief against Charleston Southern, with Kelsey Broadus picking up the save by striking out four over the final two innings.
"Our pitching keeping us in the game is awesome and feeding our defense," Ball said. "They're working together, as far as Paige coming in to pick up for Rainey and Kelsey finishing the game. It gives us confidence as a team and as a coaching staff because we can play a little looser with those performances in the circle."
"They're continuing to stay focused. We're definitely good at keeping it loose and turning it on at the right time. It's fun to be a part of," Ball added
Boise State 11, Presbyterian 0 (5): Boise State made quick work of Presbyterian in its opener, scoring twice in the first inning then blowing the game open with seven runs in the third.
Rebekah Cervantes opened the scoring in the first with an RBI double that plated Izzy Serrano, and came across on Kora Wade's bunt single two batters later. An inning later, Serrano hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Karlee Johnson and make it 3-0.
The Broncos took advantage of four errors by the Blue Hose in the third, beginning with a bases-loaded fielding error at first by Blaire Miller which allowed Wade to come across. Isabelle Butler drew a bases-loaded walk to bring Jessica McKay in, and two batters later a fielding error on pitcher Alex Cook allowed Johnson to score. Back-to-back two-run singles from Cervantes and Makenzie Sullivan then capped the scoring for the frame as the Broncos went up 10-0.
Shaelee Pearson hit a solo shot in the fourth, her second homer of the year, to provide Boise State's final run.
In the circle, Christina Washington scattered five hits and struck out five to complete her first shutout of the season.
"It feels great. We've all been playing well and helping each other on offense and defense. It's nice knowing that my team and coaches trust me to handle that first game, but also where we trust all of our pitchers," Washington said.
Wade led the Broncos with three hits in the contest, while Cervantes, Sullivan and Sorokina had two hits apiece. Cervantes led the Broncos with three RBIs while Sullivan knocked in a pair of runs.
Boise State 5, Charleston Southern 2: For the second-straight game, Boise State capitalized on its opponent's errors to break open a close game, this time scoring thrice in the sixth thanks to a Charleston Southern miscue.
With the game tied 2-2, the Broncos loaded the bases with none out in the top of the sixth. Kora Wade hit a grounder to second which was mishandled by Destini Ewing, allowing Izzy Serrano and Rebekah Cervantes to score. Two batters later, with Wade on third, Cassidy Edwards brought her in on an RBI groundout to make it 5-2, Broncos.
Freshman Kelsey Broadus then took over in the circle and rolled through the Buccaneers, allowing just one baserunner and striking out four over the final two innings to pick up the save.
Cervantes opened the scoring in the top of the first with a two-run homer, her fourth of the season. The Buccaneers tied it up in their half of the second with a two-run shot of their own, this one from Georgi DeLio off of Bronco starter Rainey Dyreson.
Dyreson gave up two runs on four hits over the opening inning and two-thirds. Paige Reimann came on in relief with a runner on second in the bottom of the second and shut down the Buccaneers through the end of the fifth, allowing just one hit and striking out two to pick up the win.
Cervantes and Sullivan each had a pair of hits for Boise State, with Cervantes driving in two runs.
"I was pleased with Sully's discipline and staying with her plan. She didn't alter her approach based on how pitches were being called," Ball said. "Becky continues to be very consistent, playing pitch to pitch and she's doing well defensively, too."
"It's my coaches telling me to compete, get a good pitch to hit and reminding me of who I really am and sticking to the plan," Cervantes said about her recent performances. "Even if I ground out or pop up, I'll get the next one. Knowing that they have my back and telling me I have the next one means a lot."