April 21, 2017
BOISE, Idaho - Morgan Lamb and Izzy Serrano had three hits apiece, with Lamb sparking a five-run second inning with her fourth homer of the season as Boise State downed San Diego State, 6-4, in Friday's opener at Dona Larsen Park.
The Broncos' five-run outburst erased a two-run deficit after the Aztecs scored twice in the opening frame against starter Christina Washington. The Bronco defense would also help Washington improve to 14-7 on the year by turning double plays in each of the final three innings to preserve the win.
Washington went six and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on 10 hits with four strikeouts. Paige Reimann came on with one on and two out in the seventh, hitting Jenavee Peres before giving up a two-run double to Molly Sturdivant. She would rebound to get Frankie Orlando to ground to third to end the contest.
"Christina really dialed in and threw a great game. I'm really proud of her because she had to make adjustments from her typical game," said Boise State head coach Cindy Ball. "She really pitched her game and used her defense."
Boise State (25-15, 7-9 MW) avoided what could've been a big deficit in the first inning. Zaria Meshack led the game off with a double to center, and three-straight singles put the Aztecs up a run with the bases loaded and none out. Washington buckled down, though, striking out Sydnee Cable and Taylor Stewart before passed ball on catcher Shaelee Pearson allowed Katie Byrd to score to make it 2-0. Washington then finished the inning by getting Shelby Thompson to ground to third to leave runners on second and third.
Lamb's one-out home run to right-center halved the Bronco deficit and woke up the Boise State bats. Kora Wade beat out a grounder to short, and her hustle on Karlee Johnson's grounder to short paid off as Wade beat Aztec shortstop Thompson to second base, leaving both runners safe. Pearson evened up the score by driving in Wade with a sharp grounder through the left side, and advanced to second, with Johnson going to third, as Meshack's throw from left got away from Peres at the plate.
More Broncos hustle put Boise State on top, as Johnson beat Cable's throw to the plate on Tatiana Sorokina's grounder to first, followed by Pearson coming in on Serrano's squeeze bunt to make it 4-2. The Broncos got their final run of the frame on another Aztec error, as after Rebekah Cervantes' single to left, Cable mishandled a throw at first in an attempt to pick off Cervantes, allowing Sorokina to score.
Boise State upped its lead to 6-2 in the fourth on Cervantes' RBI single down the line in left, scoring Sorokina after she and Serrano reached on consecutive one-out singles against Aztec reliever Alex Formby. Starter Erica Romero took the loss to fall to 7-4, giving up fve runs (three earned) on six hits, while Formby allowed a run on five hits.
Serrano and Lamb each finished the game 3-for-3 with an RBI, while Cervantes went 2-for-4 with a run driven in.
"I love to see how our team made its adjustments [after the first inning]. We got to see a lot of action from different people in the lineup," Ball said.
San Diego State put runners into scoring position in the second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, and had each of its 1-4 hitters, Meshack, Byrd, Peres and Sturdivant, finish with a pair of hits, but could only cash in with two out in the final frame. With runners on first and second and one out in the second, Washington got Katie Byrd to fly out to center and Peres to pop up to first to end the threat. In the fourth, Jaylene Ignacio doubled with one out and advanced to third on a groundout, but was left there as Meshack grounded out to short. The Aztecs again had runners on first and second with one out in the fifth, but Makenzie Sullivan turned a 3-6 double play to extinguish the threat, and an inning later, Cervantes made a pair of fine defensive plays to send San Diego State away empty-handed. First, Cervantes threw out pinch-runner Aris Metcalfe, who was pinch-running after Stewart's leadoff double, at third on a grounder from Thompson, then started a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Ignacio to end the frame.
The Aztecs opened the seventh with a single from Wright but Meshack lined out to Sorokina, who threw to first in time for the double play. With two away, Byrd's single to left-center chased Washington, and after Peres was hit by a pitch, Sturdivant doubled to right to cut the lead in half at 6-4. Reimann, however, would get Orlando to ground to Johnson at second to end the contest.