May 5, 2017
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State pounded out 15 hits, led by four from Rebekah Cervantes and three from Karlee Johnson, to roll to a series-opening 7-3 victory over Nevada Friday at Dona Larsen Park.
The Broncos will go for the series win Saturday as the teams meet up for game two at 4 p.m.
"This week our players have been very focused, offensively, and to see it transition into the game was awesome," said Boise State head coach Cindy Ball. "And just as good as [Becky] hit, she played good defense, too. She really started the team going again, and its fun to have her do that."
Boise State (26-17, 8-11 MW) opened up the scoring Friday with two runs in the bottom of the third. After Cervantes stole second with two away to take away the force, Cassidy Edwards dropped a single into right-center to score Cervantes and Tatiana Sorokina for the early 2-0 lead.
Nevada (26-20, 11-8 MW) came right back, however, as Erika Hansen led off the top of the fourth with a solo shot to left-center off of Bronco starter Christina Washington. Four batters later, with Aaliyah Gibson on base, Nikki Orozco homered to left to put the Wolf Pack up a run at 3-2.
A walk to Melissa Arriaga spelled the end of the day for Washington, as Paige Reimann came on and got an inning-ending grounder to short from Haley Burda.
The Wolf Pack lead was just as short-lived as the Broncos' first lead, though, as singles from Kora Wade and Johnson and Shaelee Pearson's sacrifice bunt put runners in scoring position for Sorokina, who lined a two-run double to left-center to put the Broncos back in front at 4-3. After an Izzy Serrano single, Cervantes lashed a double of her own, plating Sorokina and Serrano, then came around on Edwards' RBI triple to make it 7-3. That spelled the end for Nevada starter McKenna Isenberg, who fell to 16-11 on the year after giving up seven runs on 12 hits over three and two-thirds innings.
"We did a great job of playing our game; a little bit of hitting, a little bit of running and big hits when we needed it," Ball said.
Reimann worked her way into the sixth, but ran into trouble after two-out singles from Orozco and Arriaga. After falling behind 2-1 in the count to pinch-hitter Mele Tausinga, Reimann was relieved by Kelsey Broadus, who gave up a two-run single up the middle as Nevada cut the deficit in half at 7-5. Broadus, though, would strike out Raquel Martinez to end the frame.
Cervantes led off the Bronco sixth against Wolf Pack reliever Rachel Rodriguez with her eighth home run of the season, making it 8-5, and Broadus worked a 1-2-3 seventh to pick up her fourth save of the season.
Reimann got the win to bring her record up to 5-5, going two innings in relief of Washington and giving up two runs on three hits. Washington gave up three runs on three hits and two walks over the first three and two-thirds innings.
Cervantes finished the game 4-for-4 with three RBIs, while Edwards was 2-for-4 with three runs driven in to complement Johnson's 3-for-3 performance.