March 18, 2017
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State took advantage of five Colorado State errors to post an 8-5 win in Sunday's rubber game and take the first series of the conference campaign. The series win also marks the third in a row for the Broncos over the Rams.
The Broncos (19-6, 2-1 MW), winners of its first series of conference play for the first time since 2014, head to Missoula for a non-conference doubleheader at Montana Tuesday (12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.) before traveling to Fresno State for a three-game set beginning Friday at 7 p.m. MT.
"It's an awesome feeling [to take the series], and I'm really proud of the girls for fighting back," said Boise State head coach Cindy Ball. "We still have a lot of things to works on but what I like to see is that we're changing the momentum and keeping it in our hands. We have Montana next, so that's what we're focused on. In conference alone, this gives us really good momentum and allows us to gameplan for what we need to work on in order to continue to get better."
"We hit the ball hard on the ground and that's all you can ask for from the group. I love how they took advantage of the errors, and they're playing really well together.
Saturday, the Broncos took advantage of Colorado State's first error of the game to take a quick 4-0 lead in the second inning. Ram second baseman Taryn Arcarese had Makenzie Sullivan's fly ball to shallow right go in and out of her glove for a two-base error to lead off the frame. Colorado State starter Kaylynn Pierce quickly got the next two outs and looked poised to get out of the frame, but the Broncos turned it around with Morgan Lamb's single to the wall in center which plated Sullivan with the first run. After an infield single from Karlee Johnson and a walk to Shaelee Pearson loaded the bases, Tatiana Sorokina lined a two-run single to left-center followed by Kora Wade's RBI single to make it 4-0.
Colorado State chipped away at the deficit, eventually taking a 5-4 lead. The comeback began with Amber Nelson's two-out, two-run homer off of Bronco starter Christina Washington and continued with Arcarese's solo shot to lead off the fourth which prompted Bronco reliever Paige Reimann into the circle.
The Rams took the lead against Reimann in the fifth, loading the bases with none out before Lauren Buchanan's RBI single scored Haley Hutton with the tying run. Two batters later, Corina Gamboa hit a slow roller to Johnson at second, and the Bronco defender's throw to the plate, going for the force, was not in time to prevent Hannah McCorkhill from scoring the go-ahead run. Reimann, however, bounced back to strike out Taylor Ward and get Bridgette Hutton to ground to second to end the inning and limit the damage.
Boise State answered right away in its half of the fifth, taking advantage of three Ram errors to score four times and take the 8-5 lead. It opened with Cassidy Edwards reaching on an error at third by Gamboa, and after Lamb's fielder's choice forced Edwards at second, the Broncos loaded the bags with a base hit from Bri Ambrose and walk from Pearson.
The equalizer came across on Sorokina's grounder to short, as Hutton went home with it but Nelson dropped the throw at the plate, allowing pinch-runner Corey Hendrickson to slide in safely. Hutton then couldn't handle Kora Wade's grounder, allowing Ambrose to score the go-ahead run. Rebekah Cervantes then smacked a single up the middle to plate Pearson and Sorokina to make it 8-5.
Reimann rolled through the final two innings, allowing just a single and a walk, to pick up the win and improve to 4-2. The redshirt junior went four innings, allowing just two runs on four hits, while Washington was charged with three runs on four hits over three-plus innings.
"This team is built on trust and I knew that the next inning we were going to get it back offensively. I just knew to get out of that inning and get us up to bat," Reimann said.
"Paige was getting ahead of batters, and she stayed in the game because she was still throwing her game. You can't help the bloops and those kinds of things," Ball said. "Its good to see from Paige because she's working really hard and making adjustments. I love how she came out today after yesterdays outing."
Bridgette Hutton took the loss for the Rams, giving up four unearned runs on five hits over four and a third innings of work.
Cervantes and Sorokina led the Broncos with two hits and two RBIs apiece, while Wade added a pair of RBIs. Lamb had two hits while Pearson went 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored.