2018 Bronco Softball Preview
Feb. 5, 2018
Mountain West Softball Release
The Broncos were picked seventh in the Mountain West preseason coaches’ poll, garnering 27 points.
Boise State will open the season at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., Feb. 8-11. The Broncos will play South Dakota and Tennessee on Thursday, Indiana on Friday, Saint Mary’s and Northwestern on Saturday before closing out the tournament on Sunday.
“Our girls are excited,” head coach Cindy Ball said. “We’re focusing on putting everything we’ve been working on onto the field.”
2017 ace Christina Washington graduated after one season with the Broncos, so Boise State will feature a more diverse staff in 2018, relying on individual matchups each game.
Kelsey Broadus is the top returner after logging 70.1 innings in the circle last spring as a freshman. The Albany, Ore. Native led the entire staff with 77 strikeouts, while going 7-2 and adding five saves. Senior Redshirt senior Paige Reimann went 7-5 in 21 appearances last season, and will serve as a staff leader for the Broncos alongside Broadus.
“We have a great staff . . . you’re going to see maybe someone new every day,” Ball said. “There’s a good competition amongst the pitching staff. It’ll depend on the matchup that day.”
The Broncos returned all but one member of their starting infield from 2017, with third baseman Tatiana Sorokina being the only loss due to graduation. Boise State added senior transfer Madison Anthony, who hit nine home runs with Oregon State in 2016 to fill Sorokina’s shoes in the corner.
Seniors Makenzie Sullivan, the No. 4 home run hitter in program history, and Shaelee Pearson were mainstays of the Bronco lineup last season, but it is at shortstop where Boise State is the strongest. Junior Rebekah Cervantes, who last week was named a preseason first-team All-American, will look to land on the All-Mountain West team for the third-consecutive year.
“That speaks volumes to what type of player she is,” Ball said of the honor for Cervantes. “She’ll tell you herself that she wants to win, and that’s what’s most important to her.”
Cervantes put together a banner season for the Broncos last season, hitting .432 while batting in 50 runs.
Sophomore Karlee Johnson, who started 39 games in 2017 will also play a larger role in 2018.
Junior Kora Wade is the lone starter to return for Boise State in the outfield, but Ball believes plenty of depth remains in that position group. Sophomore Jessica McKay began the transition from infield to outfield last season and will be more involved in the outfield in 2018.
“The fun thing about our team is we’re very dynamic and we have a lot of depth. That will help us,” Ball said.
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