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Broncos Host First-Place Rams

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM Devon Bridges has hit safely in each MW game.
GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
Devon Bridges has hit safely in each MW game.
GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

April 25, 2013

Boise State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | CSU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Boise State softball welcomes Colorado State to Dona Larsen Park April 26-28, to end a six-game homestand. 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).

Colorado State enters the weekend tied for first in the Mountain West with a 6-3 mark in league play. It is the second-straight weekend a team on top of the MW standings will play at Dona Larsen Park.

The Broncos dropped two games in Fort Collins, Colo., last season as the Rams were the only Mountain West team to take a series from Boise State in 2012. Colorado State won the first two games of the series, winning both by a score of 5-3. The Broncos answered with an 11-7 win in the finale to salvage a victory. Colorado State leads the all-time series 3-1.

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.

April 26 & 27 Dona Larsen Park Event Changes
For the first time this season, Dona Larsen Park will be hosting a Boise State track and field meet and a softball game at the same time. This overlap will exist Friday and Saturday, prompting special circumstances.

Game Day Information
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.
Friday and Saturday: One ticket is good for admission to track and field and softball. The ticket window at Dona Larsen Park will open at 1:30 p.m. Friday and 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Sunday: Gates open one hour prior to first pitch.

Parking: Free parking will be available for track and field and softball patrons in the Bronco Stadium East Lot and a continuous shuttle will be running to Dona Larsen Park. There will be no spectator parking at Dona Larsen Park Friday and Saturday. The Sunday softball game wil return to first-come, first-served with a $5 cost.

Parking at Dona Larsen Park Friday and Saturday will only be available to competitors and staff. Patrons must park at Bronco Stadium East Lot and ride the free shuttle. Shuttle service begins at 9 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday.

About the Broncos
Boise State is 19-23-1 on the season and fresh off a series win against then-conference-leading San Diego State. The Broncos have been led by a veteran presence. 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 .350 or better.

Bridges is the top offensive threat with seven home runs and 42 RBI, nearly double the number of runs driven in by the next highest Bronco (22). She also leads the team with a .393 average. Glover is tied for the team lead with 55 hits and is second in batting .357 and home runs (five). Bourke owns a .481 on-base percentage with 44 hits and 29 walks.

Scouting Report
Colorado State - 20-20 (6-3 MW)

Hitting
The Rams use a balanced offensive attack and capitalize on miscues to score 4.8 runs per game. All seven regular starters have driven in at least 16 runs. They have also scored 27 runs without the benefit of an RBI. Ashlie Ortega leads the way in nearly every offensive category, including a .378 batting average. Chelsea Biglow and Alysa Greckel have stepped up in MW play, driving in 10 and 11 runs, respectively in the nine games.

Pitching
Colorado State relies heavily on 2012 MW Pitcher of the Year Kacie McCarthy. In conference play, McCarthy has appeared in all nine games, but only started four. Two of those starts resulted in shutouts. She has tossed 43.2 innings to the tune of a 1.92 ERA. The senior is 4-2 with one save in MW games. Overall the pitching staff has a 3.46 ERA, but McCarthy is the only Ram with a mark under 4.77.

Season Outlook
Colorado State was picked to finish second in the Mountain West preseason coaches’ poll. The Rams won their final six games of the 2012 conference season to tie Boise State for second place. CSU was the only team to win a series against the Broncos last season.

All-Time Series: Colorado State leads 3-1
Boise State Streak: Won 1

Around the Conference
Championship implications abound throughout the Mountain West this week. Outside of Boise, Fresno State (7-5) visits San Diego State (6-3) and Nevada (7-5) hosts in-state rival UNLV (4-5).

The Bulldogs trail the Aztecs by two games in the loss column but remain in control of their own destiny. Fresno State will be looking to take two conference games at SDSU’s home field, something only Boise State and BYU have done since 2007. The Aztecs will remain in the driver seat for the league crown with a series win.

Nevada is the hottest team in the conference, fresh off a sweep of New Mexico. The Wolf Pack can stay in the title hunt with a strong showing against the Rebels. Nevada will have a bye next week before visiting Boise State in the season’s final week. UNLV had the bye last weekend and enters the home stretch just two games out of first.

New Mexico has the weekend off while the top six teams in the standings try to clear up the conference race.

The only midweek games of the week saw New Mexico host a doubleheader against UTEP, Wednesday in Albuquerque, N.M.

Last Time Out
Boise State took two out of three from then-conference-leading San Diego State April 19-21, in one of the most exciting series in school history. The Broncos won two games on walk-off home runs and came up just short in an extra-inning loss. The series opener was originally scheduled for Friday, but rain forced a delay and created a Saturday doubleheader.

Freshman Sarah Barnes hit a two-out, walk-off, three-run home run to push the Broncos past the Aztecs 5-3 Saturday, in the first game of the doubleheader. Another late rally by Boise State forced extra innings in game two, but SDSU used three home runs to win the nightcap 3-2. Tara Glover launched a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday, the second walk-off bomb in as many days to give the Broncos the series win.

Six of Boise State’s 12 runs in the series came in the seventh inning, while 11 of them were driven in with two outs.

Patton Pitcher of the Week
Redshirt junior Rebecca Patton was named Mountain West Pitcher of the Week for the week ending April 21. Patton started both of Boise State’s wins against then-conference leader San Diego State April 20 and 21, at Dona Larsen Park. Patton was 1-0 with a 1.31 ERA in 10.2 innings. She allowed four runs (two earned) on just nine hits and one walk. It was her second MW honor of the season.

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 182 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.

Base Thief
Junior Tara Glover is 21-for-22 on stolen base attempts this season. The 21 thefts surpass Glover’s own single-season record (18; 2012). She tied the single-game school record with three steals against Texas Tech (March 23-game two). Her only caught stealing of the season came after oversliding the bag at second, March 24, against Tulsa. Before that she was 15-for-15, the best start to a season in school history. It snapped a string of 17-consecutive successful steals, also a school record. Glover has stolen 39 bases in her two seasons as a Bronco. She is second in career steals at Boise State (Kellie Caplan, 46).

Record Chasers
Stolen bases aren’t the only Boise State records on watch the rest of this season. Junior Devon Bridges currently has 37-career home runs, tied for the most in program history with Christina Capobianco (2009-12). Bridges is also closing in on Capobianco’s runs batted in mark. Holly Bourke is eyeing the games played and started records. A complete list of the career and season records in jeopardy is available on page three of the game notes.

Cole’s New Role
Sophomore pitcher Kenzie Cole has taken on the role of reliever for Boise State lately. Cole has appeared in eight of the last 13 games for the Broncos, seven coming out of the bullpen. She has tossed 28.1 innings over that stretch with a 1.48 ERA and a 2-1 record...Cole has appeared in six conference games (five in relief), allowing just six earned runs in 22.2 innings for a 1.85 ERA, second best in the Mountain West...On the season, Cole has pitched in 10 games in relief, holding a 1.56 ERA. In her nine starts she has a 7.05 ERA.

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 .407 (22-for-54) and slugging .815 with 11 extra-base hits. Five of her seven home runs this year have come in the fifth or later. The Broncos have also been getting on base ahead of Bridges in the late innings. She has 20 of her 42 RBI in the final three innings and extras. In the fifth or later she has only come to the plate with the bases empty 19 times, nine as the leadoff hitter. Bridges is hitting .476 with runners on in the fifth or later.

Bourke Getting Aboard
Senior Holly Bourke has a .481 on-base percentage for the season. Bourke has 44 hits and has drawn 29 walks. She has reached safely in 33 of the last 35 games and 67-of-133 plate appearances (.504) in those games, starting Feb. 16 at UTSA. The span included a streak of reaching in seven-straight trips to the dish between Feb. 17 and 22. That mini-streak was started by a 4-for-4 game Feb. 17 against Rutgers.

Broncos in the RPI
Boise State checks in at No. 138 in the most recent RPI ratings (April 22). This week’s opponent, Colorado State, is No. 97...The Broncos finished 2012 ranked No. 57 in the Ratings Percentage Index, the best finish in school history. The Broncos peaked at No. 49 during the season, also an all-time high.