Box Score April 15, 2018
BOISE, Idaho - Overcoming early errors, the Boise State softball team gutted out an instant classic over UNLV, 12-11 in the final game of the series, Sunday at Dona Larsen Park, thanks to a walk off three-run home run by Makenzie Sullivan in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Strong showings at the plate led several comeback efforts by the Broncos to a dramatic nine-inning win for the Broncos (28-13, 7-5) over the UNLV Rebels (24-16, 6-9) that was capped off by a deep walk-off home run to left center field from Makenzie Sullivan.
Down by three with the bases loaded, Sullivan stepped up to the plate and mashed the winning run to left field for a walk off home run to help the Broncos hold off a sweep by the Rebels in a three game Mountain West series.
"I knew (the ball) was gone the instant she hit it," Boise State head coach Cindy Ball said. "She had three clutch hits today It's very rare to have that many in our game today and I'm really proud of her. She made her adjustments."
This is Boise State's second extra-inning win of the season, and their first ninth-inning win since March 26, 2017. With 489 in attendance, this is the fourth-highest attended game since the Broncos moved to Dona Larsen Park in 2013, and the sixth-highest attended home game in program history.
The Rebels started off the game in full attack mode, hitting two home runs in the first two at-bats of the game and taking advantage of two Bronco errors en route to a four-run first inning.
"It's frustrating as a coach. Defensively we didn't do what we've done the past two games," Ball said. "This shows we're tough, and I think we need to recognize that."
The Broncos were forced to pull starter Gianna Mancha in the first inning, but Micaela Leal provided some strong middle innings for the Broncos in relief, allowing them to tie the game up at five runs apiece in the third inning.
Leal struck out three in 7.0 innings - a career high inning count for the sophomore. Kelsey Broadus earned the win to move to 9-5 on the season after coming in during the eighth inning.
A sixth inning solo shot by Sullivan tied the game at six, and at the end of seven, the score remained tied. After a scoreless seventh inning, UNLV was able to get things rolling by scoring two runs that appeared to be the dagger.
Sullivan ended the game 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBIs. She became the first Bronco to hit two home runs in a single game since she achieved the feat last season against Colorado State (March 17, 2017).
Alison Seng led off the eighth inning for the Broncos by hitting a solo blast and gaining some momentum for the following batters. A Sullivan single up the middle sent the tying run to the plate, and what appeared to be a game winning hit by Kora Wade was stopped by a miraculous diving catch from UNLV's second baseman Justine Federe, and the game entered a rare ninth inning where Boise State was able to seal the deal.
Boise State finished the game with 16 hits in its first nine-inning game of the season.