Devon Bridges is tied for the career home run record (37)
April 18, 2013
Boise State softball is set to play in front of its home crowd for the second time this season and the first in conference play. The Broncos will play host to San Diego State for a three-game series April 19-21, at Dona Larsen Park.
The games Friday and Saturday will begin with first pitch at 3 p.m. (MT). The Sunday finale is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (MT). San Diego State enters the weekend with a conference-best 5-1 record in MW games. Boise State is four games back at 1-5.
These teams battled in one of the most memorable series in Bronco softball history last year. Boise State traveled to San Diego State for its final weekend of conference play (May 4-6), needing a sweep of the then-unbeaten Aztecs to clinch its first conference title. The Broncos won the first two games but The Aztecs prevailed in the finale to earn the Mountain West's automatic postseason bid.
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at Dona Larsen Park. Prices are $6 for adults and $4 for juniors (2-18) and seniors (62+). Boise State students receive free admission with a valid ID card. Bronco Sports Passes are also good for entry to softball games. Gates open one hour prior to first pitch.
Parking: Daily parking permits for spaces in the lot at Dona Larsen Park will be sold on site for $5. Passes can be purcahsed for the entire weekend upon entry to Frirday's game. Free parking will be available for softball patrons in the Bronco Stadium East Lot and a continuous shuttle will be running to Dona Larsen Park.
Live Coverage: Live video will be available for each game to subscribers on the Bronco Digital Network. Live audio will be available for free. Live stats can be found at BroncoSports.com. For in-depth, in-game coverage follow the Broncos on Twitter @BroncoSportsSB.
About the Broncos
Boise State softball is in its fifth season and second in the Mountain West. Head coach Erin Thorpe and the Broncos bring back five starters among the 10 returning letterwinners from their 2012 squad that went 34-20 and finished second in the Mountain West.
The Broncos are 17-22-1 on the season after suffering their first sweep since joining the Mountain West April 12-14, at Fresno State.
The Broncos have been led by a veteran presence in the first 40 games. Juniors Devon Bridges and Tara Glover and senior Holly Bourke are once again at the top of nearly every offensive category including the top three batting averages, all .340 or better.
Bridges is the top offensive threat with seven home runs and 41 RBI, more than double the number of runs driven in by the next highest Bronco (19). She leads the team with a .389 average. Bridges also paces the Mountain West with 18 multi-hit performances and 13 multi-RBI games.
Glover leads the sqaud with 53 hits and is second on the team batting .376 as she continues to return to last year's form when she batted .476 and led the country with 88 hits during the regular season. The junior leadoff hitter is also 20-for-21 on stolen bases, surpassing her own single-season school record.
Bourke is reaching base at an astoundig clip this season. Bourke owns a .483 on-base percentage (third in the MW) with 39 hits and 29 walks. She has reached base safely in 35 of the 40 games this season, getting a hit in 25 of them.
Freshman Makenna Weir has supplied the most consistent new bat. Weir has a .276 batting average. Her 18 walks, 19 RBI, three home runs and seven doubles, rank in the top three on the team in each category. She has started at five different positions in her debut season.
The pitching staff is led by junior transfer Rebecca Patton's 9-9 record and 3.60 earned run average. Patton was named Mountain West Pitcher of the Week earlier this season. She has struck out 81 and walked 44 in 112.2 innings this season. Senior Lela Work and sophomore Kenzie Cole have also shared time in the circle. Work is 4-7 with one save in 72 innings. Cole has pitched 67.1 innings and has a 4-6 record.
Boise State has gotten 117 starts out of its freshmen, starting at least three freshmen in 29 of the 40 games. Another 47 starts have come from transfers.
San Diego State | 27-14 (5-1 MW)
The Aztecs have been without the services of 2012 Mountain West co-Player of the Year Hayley Miles all season due to injury. Miles is expected to redshirt, but San Diego State has hardly missed a beat. Lorena Bauer leads the squad in batting average (.408), hits (51), doubles (13) and RBI (41). Patrice Jackson has a conference-best 11 home runs. The Aztecs are hitting .303 as a team and slugging .454
San Diego State has worked its way into NCAA at-large consideration (if necessary) thanks to its pitching staff and a combined 1.94 earned run average. Senior Rachel Arbino (16-9, 1.88 ERA) and freshman Danielle O'Toole (10-5, 1.64) boast the top two ERAs in the conference and have helped the Aztecs shutout 10 opponents this season. In MW play the tandem has a combined ERA of 1.20.
San Diego State was picked to defend its Mountain West title in the preseason coaches' poll. The Aztecs have appeared in the NCAA Tournament the past five seasons and returned six starters from the 2012 squad that won two games at the NCAA Los Angeles Regional.
All-Time Series: Boise State leads 2-1
Boise State Streak: Lost 1
Around the Conference
Colorado State (4-2) and Fresno State (6-3) will attempt to shuffle their schedules and play a three-game series around snow storms in Northern Colorado. Game one scheduled for Friday was already postponed as of Wednesday, with no altered schedule finalized.
Nevada (4-5), fresh off ending CSU's 10-game conference win streak and taking the series from the Rams, travels to New Mexico (3-6). The Lobos took a 10-0 run-rule victory in the middle game against UNLV last week, but were shutout in the other two games as the Rebels took the series in Las Vegas.
UNLV takes the bye in conference play this weekend but will not take the week off. The Rebels travel to Cal State Fullerton for a Saturday doubleheader.
In midweek action San Diego State won 4-1 Tuesday, at San Diego. Colorado State's Wednesday game at Northern Colorado was postponed to May 1.
Last Time Out
Boise State suffered its first series sweep since joining the Mountaitn West when it traveled to Fresno State April 12-14, and came up short in three games. The Broncos fell 5-0, 7-4 and 3-1 against the Bulldogs.
Bourke the All-Time Hits Leader
Boise State senior Holly Bourke singled through the right side in the sixth inning April 13, at Fresno State for her 174th-career hit, surpassing Kellie Caplan's school record. Bourke is now at 177 for her career, looking to become the first Bronco to reach the 200-hit plateau.
Locks of Love Donations
Fresno State softball hosted a Locks of Love donation event after the April 13, game between the Broncos and Bulldogs. Boise State head coach Erin Thorpe and freshman Maddy Foster joined in to donate 10 inches of their hair. Their hair will be used to create hair pieces for children with medical conditions which prevent them from growing hair.
Tara-ing the Cover Off the Ball
Junior Tara Glover is heating up over the last month. Glover is hitting .434 in the last 21 games with 33 hits over that span, hitting safely in 17 of the games. During that time she has hit two home runs, a triple and five doubles, scored 21 times and stolen 11 bases. The 2012 Third Team All-American has 10 multi-hit games during the 21-game stretch, including four instances with at least three hits and two four-hit efforts to tie the single-game school record.
Bridges Raising Her Game in Late Innings
Junior Devon Bridges is one of the most dangerous batters in the Bronco order at any point in the game. But by Bridges' third plate appearance in a contest, she's nearly unstoppable. In the fifth inning or later, she is hitting .440 (22-for-50) and slugging .880 with 11 extra-base hits. Five of her seven home runs this year have come in the fifth or later. The Broncos have also beein getting on base ahead of Bridges in the late innings. She has 20 of her 41 RBI in the final three innings and extras. In the fifth or later she has only come to the plate with the bases empty 18 times, nine as the leadoff hitter. Bridges is hitting .513 with runners on in the fifth or later.
Cole's New Role
Sophomore pitcher Kenzie Cole has taken on the role of reliever for Boise State lately. Cole has appeared in six of the last 10 games for the Broncos, all coming out of the bullpen. She has tossed 18.2 innings over that stretch with a 1.12 ERA and a 1-0 record...Cole has appeared in relief four times in conference play, allowing just three earned runs in 13 innings for a 1.62 ERA, third best in the Mountain West...On the season, Cole has pitched in nine games in relief, holding a 1.71 ERA. In her eight starts she has a 7.78 ERA.