The inaugural Boise State softball team surprised San Jose State with a four-run ninth that gave the Broncos an 8-4 win in the opening game of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament this afternoon in Fresno.
Boise State spotted the Spartans a 2-1 lead through five innings, but never trailed again after a three-run sixth. Leading hitter Kathy Cox got the Broncos going with a leadoff single and advanced to third on a throwing error by second baseman Julianne Aiello on a bunt by Allie Crump. Christin Capobianco followed with a single to center that scored Cox and tied the game at 2. One out later, Kelly Sweeney delivered with an RBI single and pinch hitter Laurel Wyatt came through with an RBI single of her own to make it 4-2.
San Jose State fought back with an RBI single by Krysha Fitzgerald in the bottom half of the sixth and then a double by Nicole Wells and an RBI single by Kelli Fangonilo in the seventh tied the score at 4.
After a scoreless eighth, Boise State took charge in the ninth. Cox again started the rally with a single to right but was forced on a fielder's choice when Crump grounded to Aiello. Aiello's subsequent error allowed Capobianco to reach safely while Crump took second. A Laeha Hill single then loaded the bases and the Broncos were in business with Kelly Sweeny at the plate. Sweeney came through in the clutch with a single. Hill scored, then when the throw from right fielder Kayla Hayes was errant, Capobianco and Crump crossed the plate with Sweeney advancing all the way to third.
After catcher Lexi Straton struck out, Kellie Caplan singled sharply to left, bringing in Sweeney with the fourth run of the inning. Boise State took that 8-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth for starting pitcher Aubray Zell. Zell responded by getting Wells to line out and after singles by Fangonilo and Mallory Bair, Hayes grounded out to Sweeney and Deanna Mauer popped out to Capobianco to clinch the victory for the Broncos.
Zell scattered 13 hits in getting the win for Boise State, who now faces #1 seed Fresno State in the second round. Sweeney led Boise State with three hits and four RBI's while Tazz Weatherly, Cox and Caplan had two hits apiece. Fangonilo led the Spartans with a 4-4 night and two RBI's while Hayes cracked a solo homer.