Midweek Series at Utah State Ahead

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GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

April 21, 2014

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Boise State softball wraps up a busy seven days with a three-game Mountain West series at Utah State in the middle of the week. The Broncos (23-19, 8-7 MW) will play a doubleheader Tuesday and single game Wednesday, in Logan, Utah. Tara Glover enters the weekend two hits shy of tying the all-time Mountain West record.

The Last Meeting
Boise State3  
Utah State5(8 inn.)
March 15, 2013
Dona Larsen Park
Dona Larsen Park Opens with Bronco Split
Dona Larsen Park Opens with Bronco Split

The twin bill Tuesday will start at 1 p.m. (MT), with game two to follow immediately. The finale will get started Wednesday at 1 p.m. (MT). The MW implemented the midweek series last season, however Boise State's bye landed on the same week in 2013. This year the Broncos will have their bye following this series.

Live video and live stats will be available for each game. Both are free and compatible with mobile devices. Check the schedule page at BroncoSports.com for more information.

WAC Reunion Week
Boise State got a little nostalgic this week, playing Mountain West newcomers San Jose State and Utah State in consecutive series. The Broncos, Spartans and Aggies were conference foes as recently as 2011, when each school was still in the Western Athletic Conference. Boise State's series against San Jose State was the first time the teams had met since the 2011 season. The trip to Utah State will be the first since 2011, though the schools met as nonconference opponents in 2012 and 2013. Devon Bridges, Megan Harvey and Mackenzie Whyte are the only Broncos who were on the roster the last time Boise State traveled to Logan, Utah.

Wild Mountain West Race
Boise State enters the week in sixth place in the Mountain West standings- just 1.5games out of first place. Colorado State, Fresno State and San Diego State are tied for first at 8-4. UNLV (9-6) and San Jose State (7-5) are just behind. The Broncos have played five of the six teams in front of them.

About the Broncos
Boise State softball enters Mountain West play with a 23-19 record after winning a home series against San Jose State, 2-1. The senior class leads the charge, as Rebecca Patton has pitched in 34 of the 42 games with 19 wins and two saves. Tara Glover has 24 hits and 18 runs in 15 Mountain West games.

Utah State Scouting Report
Pitching
Sophomore Noelle Johnson has been as important to the Utah State pitching staff as Rebecca Patton has been to the Broncos. Johnson is 16-14 on the year with a save, factoring in each of Utah State's 17 wins this season. She leads the MW with 35 appearances, including 23 starts and 19 complete games. Johnson has twirled five shutouts, including a two-hitter last weekend at San Diego State. Johnson has 181 strikeouts in 181.2 innings pitched. Her 3.24 ERA leads a staff that has a combined ERA of 4.56. Johnson has a 4.12 ERA in conference play, starting eight of the 12 games and coming out of the bullpen in two others. Abby Indreland has started two MW games and eight total. Indreland has a 9.98 ERA in 26.2 innings. She is 1-4 on the season, the only other Aggie with a victory. Utah State pitching has limited its free passes, walking 112 in 261 innings, but has give un 328 hits. The Aggies have also allowed opponents to steal 47 bases on 51 attempts.

Hitting
Freshman third baseman Victoria Saucedo leads the team in hitting with a .366 batting average and 48 hits. Saucedo has seven doubles and six home runs for a team-high .557 slugging percentage. She is the lone Aggie batting better than .300 as the team has a .246 average, last in the Mountain West. Saucedo has been even better in conference play with a .447 average. Senior Allison Lenzora is turning it on in MW action with a .385 batting average, however Lenzora is 10-for-26 with 10 strikeouts. The Aggies are scoring just 3.25 runs per game in conference play, having been shutout four times in 12 games.

Season Outlook
Utah State entered its first year in the Mountain West under the direction of first-year head coach Steve Johnson. The Aggies were picked to finish ninth in the preseason coaches' poll after winning four conference games in 2012 and five in 2013. Johnson has already led Utah State to five wins in MW play, despite having played four of the top five teams in the standings including all three teams currently tied for first. The Aggies opened the conference slate with a sweep of Colorado State, handing the Rams three of their four losses thus far.

All-Time Series History
Boise State leads the all-time series 9-3. The Broncos and Aggies were conference foes in the Western Athletic Conference during the first three years of Boise State softball's existence. The Broncos won the first six games in the series, including a sweep at Utah State in 2009, the first conference series in program history. Since then, the Aggies have played spoiler. Utah State took two of three in 2011, one of just two teams to take a series from the Broncos that season. Last year the Aggies defeated Boise State 5-3 in extra innings in the first game played at Dona Larsen Park.

Glover Breaks Career Hits Record
Senior Tara Glover broke the Boise State career hits record April 4, against UNLV. Glover, in just her third season with the Broncos, surpassed Holly Bourke's mark of 191. Glover needed just 140 games to break the record. She now has 208 hits, becoming the first Bronco to reach 200 in her career. The Grants Pass, Ore., native has 263 hits for her collegiate career.

Off and Running
Boise State has stolen a school-record 82 bases through the first 42 games of the season. The Broncos are 82-of-99 on steal attempts. They stole 46 bases all of last season. The previous school record for steals in a season was 77, set in 61 games in 2010. Boise State is closing in on the all-time MW record of 87. Tara Glover and Mackenzie Whyte lead the charge with 28 and 18 steals, respectively. Glover is no stranger to thievery, with a school-record 73 stolen bases in her Boise State career and 89 in her collegiate career. Whyte's emergence is less expected. She had 14 stolen bases in the first three years of her career, combined.

Base Thief
Senior Tara Glover is 73-for-80 on stolen base attempts in her Boise State career, owning the school record for steals and stolen base percentage. With her last steal, she set the single-season record for the third-straight year. Glover now has 28 this year, after swiping 27 bags in 2013 and 18 in 2012, which were each Boise State bests at the time. Including her freshman year at Utah, Glover has stolen 89 bases, third in Mountain West history (she was a MW student-athlete while at Utah). Her 89 steals rank No. 13 in the country among active players.

Locks of Love Donation Event a Success
Boise State hosted a Locks of Love hair donation event on the field after the game. The event drew 13 donors and an additional three pre-cut ponytails were donated to the cause. Seven Boise State softball student-athletes donated their hair, including event organizer Lindsey Nicholson. Also donating were Devon Bridges, Kayla Clausen, Libbie Jimenez, Mackenzie McGill, Buggs Torrez and Mackenzie Whyte. Boise State assistant coach Shelly Prochaska donated as well. San Jose State student-athlete Erin Rodriguez joined the event, cutting off 10 inches of her hair. Fellow Boise State student-athletes Jordan Marthens (women's swimming and diving) and Ocean Pelloille (women's golf) supported the cause by donating their hair. Two members of the Boise community also showed up to donate hair.

Patton Shouldering the Load
Redshirt senior pitcher Rebecca Patton has been the workhorse for the Broncos. Patton leads the Mountain West in starts (29) and innings (193) and ranks second in appearances (34). She has thrown in 34 of Boise State's 42 games, including 13 of 15 conference games. She has 19 wins and two saves on the year (factoring in the decision in 21 of Boise State's 23 wins). Patton already broke the school record with 20 complete games this season, three of which have been shutouts. Her 193 innings pitched are already a career high and eight shy of setting a school record.

Six Runs the Magic Number
Boise State has scored at least six runs in 16 games this season. The Broncos are 15-1 in those games. The lone loss was a 10-6 decision at Colorado State (March 29). The six-run plateau has been a definitive one throughout the program's history. Boise State is 102-17-1 all-time when scoring at least six runs in a game.

Palmer's Personal Hit Parade
Sophomore Ashley Palmer tied the school record with four hits in a single game April 19, against San Jose State. It is the 12th time a Bronco has had four hits in a game as Palmer became the eighth different Bronco to accomplish the feat. Palmer was 4-for-4 in the game with a pair of doubles. More rare than the four hits were the two doubles. It was just the ninth time Boise State has had one player hit two doubles in the same game. Teammate Tara Glover also had two doubles in the game (becoming the 10th occurrence), marking the first time it had been done twice in the same game.

Kreiger in the Klutch
Junior Jordan Kreiger is no stranger to timely hitting in the home run department. Kreiger has seven home runs in her career- two as a freshman, three as a sophomore and two this year. All three she hit in 2013 came in Mountain West play. Four of the seven round-trippers Kreiger has in her career have come in the sixth inning or later. The most recent was a two-out, two-run blast in the sixth inning of the series opener against San Jose State, an eventual 7-6 win for the Broncos.

Stalwart at Shortstop
A string of bad luck has shaken up what was one of the few steady positions for Boise State over the last four years. Senior Mackenzie Whyte is a four-year starter at shortstop. Of the 201 games Boise State has played during Whyte's career, she has started 176 at the position. When the Broncos needed a spot start in 2012 (10 games) or 2013 (six games) it was Jordan Kreiger. After Whyte suffered a knee injury at Colorado State, the Broncos went back to Kreiger for the next eight games. That's when Kreiger, the everyday second baseman, took a bad hop off her mouth and had to leave the April 18 game agianst San Jose State. Freshman Libbie Jimenez slid over from second and manned shortstop flawlessly. Jimenez got the call to start the series finale with Kreiger returning to second. Jimenez' start marked just the third different starting shortstop for Boise State in the last four years and just the seventh in program history.

Late-Game Heroics
Brittany McCray's game-tying home run in the bottom of the seventh inning April 19, against San Jose State set the stage for Boise State's first seventh-inning comeback of the season. McCray's two-run home run knotted the game 6-6 before Tara Glover's game-winning double gave the Broncos a 7-6 victory. Prior to that game, Boise State was 0-11 on the year when trailing after six innings. The win is the Broncos' 10th all-time when trailing after six, their overall record in such games is now 10-102. Seven of the 10 wins have come at home.

Early Offense
Boise State has scored in the first inning in 22 of its 42 games this season. The Broncos are 16-6 in those games. They have scored 47 runs in the first inning this season, far and away the most of any inning (31 in the second inning is the closest). Tara Glover has been the sparkplug at the top of the order much of the year. Glover has scored in the first inning 12 times this season, but has been even more productive in Mountain West play. The Bronco have scored in the first inning in nine of their 15 conference games. Glover has crossed the plate in the first inning eight times in MW play.