Broncos Edge `Dogs, 3-2, in 10 Innings in MW Opener
March 21, 2014
By Geoff Thurner
BOISE, Idaho - In its longest contest of the season, the Fresno State softball team (15-11, 0-1) fell at Boise State (16-12, 1-0) by a 3-2 score in 10 innings Friday afternoon at Dona Larsen Field.
The `Dogs and Broncos both stranded nine runners in the contest, and the difference was a 10th-inning bases-loaded bunt by Makenna Weir (also her fourth bunt of the day).
Earlier in the contest, Fresno State scored a run in both the second and fourth innings, while the Broncos responded with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
In the second inning, junior right fielder Michelle Solomon bounced a single past the third baseman's glove to open the inning. She advanced to third base on an errant throw on a pick-off attempt at first base, then scored on a single to right field by senior first baseman Stesha Brazil.
Solomon followed with a solo round-tripper in the top of the fourth inning - her fourth homer of the year and second-most on the team behind Brazil (5).
The Beaumont, Calif., native nearly added another run in the eighth inning after reaching on a fielder's choice and advancing on a stolen base and wild pitch, but was thrown out in a rundown between third base and home on a grounder to the pitcher.
In the fourth inning, Boise State's run came via a homer by Ashley Palmer to right center field - her fourth of the season.
The Broncos add another run in the bottom of the fifth on a Lindsey Nicholson walk, sacrifice bunt and two-out double off the left field wall by Mackenzie Whyte.
Boise State appeared to go ahead in the bottom of the sixth inning after a one-out fly ball to center field with runners on second and third base. However, after both runners tagged, Moss's double play throw to third base got the runner out just before the lead runner touched home negating the run.
Moss also threw out another base-runner at home in the fourth inning trying to score from second base on a single up the middle, and now has seven assists overall on the year.
Other nifty defensive efforts with runners on base came via Solomon who made a running catch to end the ninth inning near the right field pole, and Ortiz who also made a running over the shoulder grab in shallow left field to end the second inning.
For the game, Solomon (2-for-5) posted her fifth multi-hit effort of the year - second-most on the team - and sophomore Whitney Smith (2-for-4) added her second.
Five other `Dogs hit safely once, including junior pinch-hitter Kelly Megee (1-for-1) whose ninth-inning single up the middle was her first hit of the year.
The only innings when Fresno State didn't leave runners on base were the first and 10th innings. Likewise, Boise State left a runner on base in each of the first eight innings.
The `Dogs' other best chance to score came in the seventh when it loaded the bases the bases with one out after three singles by senior left fielder Kapri Angotti, Megee and Smith, but a pair of ground-outs ended the threat. In the circle, sophomore pitcher Jill Compton (10-5) struck out five, walked four, allowed 11 hits, and all three of her runs allowed were earned in her 10th complete game of the year.
Bronco starter Rebecca Patton (14-6) staked her 13th complete game of 2014, and struck out four, walked one, surrendered nine hits, and one of her two runs allowed were earned.
BSU had four players with multiple hits - Hailey Torrez (3-for-3, BB), Whyte (2-for-4, RBI), Palmer (2-for-4, RBI) and Sarah Barnes (2-for-4).
The Broncos also had three different players make errors, as did one Bulldog.
Earlier in the first half of the season, the `Dogs played two other extra-inning contests that both went eight innings - a 10-9 loss to No. 8 Oregon and 6-5 victory over UCSB.
In other opening-day action around the conference Friday, Utah State beat Colorado State 1-0 in 9 innings; San Diego State won 11-9 at New Mexico; and Nevada was scheduled to play later at UNLV.
Looking ahead, the `Dogs have single contests at Boise State at 2 p.m. PT (3:00 p.m. MT) on Saturday, and at noon PT (1:00 p.m. MT) on Sunday.
Pitchers: Fresno State - Compton, Jill and Gumz, Paige. Boise State - PATTON, R. and TORREZ, H. Win-PATTON, R.(14-6) Loss-COMPTON, Jill(10-5) T-2:34 A-190. HR FS - Solomon, Michelle (4). HR BSU - PALMER, A. (4). Weather: Blue Skies and mid 40s
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