Devon Bridges will return to Boise State's lineup in 2015 after senior season cut short by injury
Tara Glover and Rebecca Patton were named first-team All-Mountain West
Teauna Hughes will come to Boise State as a junior after two impressive seasons at the junior college level
Gaston joins the Broncos with experience on collegiate and high school staffs since finishing her playing career
The Broncos will honor three seniors after the series finale
Boise State softball hosted a Locks of Love hair donation event April 19, following its series finale against San Jose State. The event took place on the infield and drew 13 donors, plus three additional pre-cut ponytails were donated to the cause. Boise State junior Lindsey Nicholson spearheaded the project and was one of seven Bronco student-athletes to donate at least 10 inches of their hair.
Boise State softball head coach Erin Thorpe talks about what it took for the Broncos to get a sweep on the road last week and how the team can continue to improve and peak at the end of the season.
Boise State softball head coach Erin Thorpe talks about where the Broncos stand in the Mountain West race, the impact of home-field advantage and how the team can bounce back from last weekend's sweep.
Boise State head coach Erin Thorpe and sophomore Ashley Palmer talk about the series win against Fresno State during first week of conference play and preview the first road series at Colorado State.
Boise State softball head coach Erin Thorpe previews the Broncos' 14-game homestand, beginning with the SpringHill Suites Invitational March 7-9, at Dona Larsen Park.
Boise State took on San Diego State May 9, 2014, at SDSU Softball Stadium.
Boise State softball hosted a Locks of Love hair donation event April 19, following its game against San Jose State.
Photos from the 2013 season
Erin Thorpe became the first head coach in the history of Boise State softball, Sept. 4, 2007. Now, after six seasons, Thorpe has the Broncos firmly on the ascending path she created in helping build the program from scratch.
Over the past six years Thorpe has guided the Broncos to an overall record of 173-150-1, and three 30-win seasons since 2011. Boise State's first 30-win season came in 2011, with the Broncos posting a 33-22 mark, while the following year featured the squad winning 34 games, a program record that still stands through 2014.
It didn't take long for Thorpe to make the Broncos a contender in conference action. Despite going 4-16 in Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play in the inaugural season of 2009, the Broncos still qualified for the WAC Tournament and upset San Jose State in its first postseason contest, capturing an 8-4 nine-inning decision.
Since then Boise State has never finished below .500 in conference play, racking up a combined record of 28-14 over its final two seasons in the WAC from 2010-11, and going 27-23 over its first three seasons in the Mountain West. The Broncos have come agonizingly close to the program's first NCAA Tournament bid on multiple occasions. Boise State finished 8-4 in MW play in 2012, just one game behind champion San Diego State. In 2014, the Broncos went into the final weekend of the season tied atop the conference standings at 14-7 with Fresno State, and one game ahead of San Diego State, but were swept by the Aztecs and denied a postseason berth.
That 2014 squad finished 30-22 and 14-10 in MW play. Thorpe's team would feature three All-MW selections as Tara Glover and Rebecca Patton were each named to the first team and Jordan Krieger earned a spot on the second team. Glover, who in 2012 became Boise State's first, and to-date, only softball All-American, set a program-record with 36 stolen bases while leading the team in hits (62) and total bases (86).
Patton held things down in the circle for the Broncos, going 25-14 and pitching 244.1 innings. The redshirt senior pitcher tossed the final 30 innings of the season for Boise State, and was honored not only with her All-MW selection but also a spot on the NFCA All-Pacific Region Second Team. Krieger, meanwhile, batted .313 with a team-high 14 doubles.
The fourth installment of Boise State softball was the most successful to date. The Broncos finished 2012 with a 34-20 record; the 34 victories were a school record. In their first season as a member of the Mountain West, the Broncos finished second with an 8-4 record. For the second-straight season Boise State entered its final conference game within reach of the top of the standings but fell just short. The Broncos also finished the season No. 57 in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index, the highest in program history.
Under Thorpe's watch center fielder Tara Glover, a sophomore transfer from Utah, shattered numerous school records. Glover led the NCAA with 1.63 hits per game, her 88 hits also led the country during the regular season. She hit .476 for the year, third best in the nation. After reaching base in 52 of 54 games, including 49 with a base hit, Glover was named to the NFCA All-America Third Team, becoming Boise State's first All-American. She hit .622 in Mountain West games with a 1.067 slugging percentage to claim MW Co-Player of the Year honors. Her place on the All-Pacific Region Second Team gave Boise State an all-region performer in each of its first four seasons. Devon Bridges, Kellie Caplan and Aubray Zell were also named All-Mountain West.
Zell led the Broncos in the circle with single-season records in wins (20), starts (32), appearances (37), innings (200.2), earned run average (2.41), opponent batting average (.230) and strikeouts (170).
The 2012 Broncos bettered the win total of the previous year's squad. Boise State finished the 2011 season 33-20 overall, including a 15-6 mark in Western Athletic Conference play to tie for second in the conference standings. The season included a school-record 12-game winning streak, a stretch of 41-consecutive shutout innings pitched and a perfect 14-0 record at home.
Boise State closed the regular season with a string of wins against high-profile opponents. First the Broncos went on the road and swept Hawai'i, becoming the first team to sweep a series from the Rainbow Wahine on the islands in five years. Boise State returned home to face No. 25 Fresno State, trailing the Bulldogs by one game in the standings. The Broncos earned their first win against a ranked opponent in the series opener and went on to become the first team to sweep a regular-season series from Fresno State during the Bulldogs' tenure in the WAC, which dates to 1993.
The Broncos used the impressive wins to not only secure the No. 2 seed in the WAC Tournament, but also rank No. 79 in the final RPI as they put themselves in the discussion for making their first postseason appearance. Boise State took third at the conference tournament in Fresno, Calif., for the second-consecutive year.
Three Broncos were named to the All-WAC First Team, and two more picked up second-team all-conference honors. Among the first-team honorees was freshman Bridges who set school records in nearly every offensive category. Bridges was also named to the NFCA All-Pacific Region Second Team. Prior to 2012, Bridges was named to the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List.
After surprising some by making the 2009 Western Athletic Conference Tournament in the program's inaugural season, the Broncos turned more heads in 2010. Thorpe led the team back to the WAC Tournament after finishing third in the regular-season standings finishing with a 13-8 record in conference (29-32 overall). Along the way Boise State piled up five series wins and two sweeps in conference play.
The success carried into the postseason as Thorpe led Boise State to three wins in the WAC Tournament, including a thrilling come-from-behind, nine-inning game against San Jose State to reach the semifinal. The Broncos ultimately dropped a heartbreaker against Fresno State, 6-5, to fall out of the tournament and place third.
The 2010 season also brought a number of off-field firsts. Kathy Cox became Boise State's first all-conference player with her selection to the All-WAC First Team. Kellie Caplan and Allie Crump were named to the All-WAC Second Team. Cox also earned NFCA All-Pacific Region for the second-consecutive year.
In her first season at the helm, Thorpe led the Broncos to a 22-30 overall record for the 2009 season. Thorpe needed only three games to earn her first Division I coaching victory when the Broncos beat Fordham 8-4 in their first weekend of the season. Thorpe also led the Broncos to a series sweep of Utah State in their first WAC series. Another milestone came when the Broncos not only made the WAC Tournament, but proceeded to upset San Jose State 8-4 in their first WAC Tournament game before losing to Fresno State and Hawai'i.
Prior to Boise State, Thorpe was the head softball coach at Whittier College in Whittier, Calif., for five years (2002-07). In August of 2004, she also became the school's senior woman administrator and in January of 2005 she was named assistant athletic director for compliance.
Before Thorpe took over the head coaching position in August of 2002, Whittier's softball team had a record of 4-33. In her final season (2006-07) with the Poets, she guided Whittier to an overall record of 23-17, and a 12-12 mark in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to finish fourth.
In 2007 Thorpe guided her student-athletes to five All-SCIAC honors, the rookie of the year in the conference and two NCAA All-West Region awards. The team finished the season 28th in the nation (NCAA III) for team batting average at .337.
Thorpe played intercollegiate softball at the University of California, San Diego where she earned NCAA All-America honors in 2000 as a shortstop. Four times she was named to the NCAA All-West Region team, and in 1997 she also earned NCAA All-West Region tournament honors. She completed her collegiate playing career in 2000 by being named the Female Athlete of the Year at UCSD.
She received her bachelor's degree in economics management science at UCSD in June of 2000. She earned her master's degree in business administration from Cal Poly-Pomona in 2008. Thorpe and her husband Eric have two daughters, Jordan and Peyton, and one son Jaxson.