Broncos Head to San Diego With Chance to Clinch

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GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

May 7, 2014

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Boise State softball wraps up the regular season at San Diego State, Thursday through Saturday. The Broncos enter the series tied for first place in the Mountain West and in control of their own destiny for the conference title. The winner of the MW regular season title earns the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Last Meeting
San Diego State3
Boise State5
April 21, 2013
Dona Larsen Park
Glover Gives Broncos Second Walk-Off Homer of Series
Boise State junior Tara Glover launched a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday, to beat San Diego State 5-3, at Dona Larsen Park. Glover's walk-off blast was the second in as many days for Boise State and gave the Broncos (19-23-1, 3-6 MW) the series win against the Aztecs (28-16, 6-3 MW).

The Broncos (30-19, 14-7 MW) and Aztecs (36-17, 13-8 MW) will face off Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. (PT), before closing the series Saturday at 1 p.m. (PT).

Boise State has won both season series from San Diego State since joining the MW. Boise State was the only team to take a series from the Aztecs either year. The Broncos’ 2012 series win in San Diego is the only time SDSU has lost a home series since 2009.

Live video will be available Thursday and Saturday. 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.

Streaking to the Finish Line
Boise State has won eight-straight games and 12 of 13 games since April 11. The Broncos are currently riding a school-record seven-game road winning streak. They have won the past four Mountain West series, including three sweeps.

Tight at the Top
With three games left in the regular season, Boise State and Fresno State are tied for first place in the Mountain West. The Broncos own the tiebreaker against the Bulldogs. Five teams still remain in contention for the championship, including San Diego State. UNLV and Colorado State also have a chance to finish at the top.

About the Broncos
Boise State softball enters Mountain West play with a 30-19 record after winning 12 of its last 13 games, including seven-straight road wins. The senior class leads the charge, as Rebecca Patton has pitched in 40 of the 49 games with 25 wins and two saves. Tara Glover has 27 hits and 25 runs in 21 Mountain West games.

San Diego State Scouting Report
Pitching
The Aztecs have turned to sophomore Danielle O’Toole to continue their legacy of strong pitching under Kathy Van Wyk. O’Toole is the only pitcher in the conference with more appearances and wins than the Broncos’ Rebecca Patton. O’Toole has thrown in 42 games and has a 27-8 record. She leads the MW with a 1.80 ERA and has struck out 173 batters in 218 innings. O’Toole has pitched in the last 11 games for the Aztecs and allowed eight runs in 13 innings during the first two games of their series last week against San Jose State. Erica Romero and Andi Smith have also pitched for the Aztecs. Romero has appeared in 27 games (14 starts), while Smith has thrown in 19 games (nine starts). Romero has a 6-4 record while Smith is 3-5.

Hitting
San Diego State is enjoying one of the most successful seasons at the plate in program history. The team’s .305 batting average would be a school record. Senior slugger Patrice Jackson leads the Mountain West with 16 home runs while hitting .360 with 47 RBI and 58 walks. Jackson, the 2013 MW Player of the Year, has been walked 24 times in conference play, but in the last five MW games is just 3-for-15 with one RBI and has only been walked twice. Freshman Sydnee Cable leads the team with a .372 batting average for the season. Dominique Dinner and Katie Mathis lead the way in MW action, hitting .375 and .373, respectively. Jaylene Ignacio has come on strong with all five of her home runs and 17 of her 21 RBI coming in conference games.

Season Outlook
San Diego State is the two-time defending Mountain West champon and entered 2014 as the favorite in the preseason coaches’ poll. The Aztecs are in third place after dropping road series at Fresno State and UNLV earlier in the season. They still have an opportunity to win the conference title and with a Mountain West-best RPI of 48 are very much alive for an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. San Diego State has reached the NCAA Tournament each of the last six seasons. To earn the MW’s automatic bid, the Aztecs would need to finish ahead of Fresno State in the standings as the Bulldogs own the tiebreaker.

All-Time Series History
Boise State leads the all-time series 4-2. The Broncos and Aztecs had never met before Boise State joined the Mountain West prior to the 2012 season. Boise State has won the season series 2-1 in each of the first two years as conference foes. The Broncos won the first two games at SDSU in 2012, but dropped the finale which would have clinched the MW title for Boise State. Last season, the Broncos won two games on walk-off home runs and lost an extra-inning affair in SDSU’s first trip to Boise.

Queen of the Mountain
Tara Glover broke the all-time Mountain West career hits record April 29, at Idaho State. Glover singled in each of her final two at bats to tie and eventually break the record. Including her freshman year at Utah she enters the weekend with 268 hits in 206 games, surpassing the old mark of 265 set by Angeline Quiocho (BYU; 2007-10) in 230 games.

Off and Running
Boise State has stolen a school- and conference-record 103 bases through the first 49 games of the season. The Broncos are 103-of-122 on steal attempts. The previous school record for steals in a season was 77, set in 61 games in 2010. They also ran through the old MW record of 87. Tara Glover and Mackenzie Whyte lead the charge with 35 and 18 steals, respectively. Glover is no stranger to thievery, with a school-record 80 stolen bases in her Boise State career and 96 in her collegiate career. Whyte’s emergence is less expected. She had 14 stolen bases in the first three years of her career, combined. Five Broncos have double-digit steals on the year.

Return of the Mack
Senior shortstop Mackenzie Whyte returned to the Boise State lineup April 29, at Idaho State after missing the previous 12 games with a knee injury. Whyte leads the team with a .365 batting average. She has 38 hits, including 12 for extra bases, during what has been a breakout senior campaign. Whyte entered her the year with a career .275 batting average. In addition to the career-best 18 steals, Whyte has set a career high with 26 walks, five home runs, tied her mark for runs (31) and is nearing career highs for hits (39), doubles (9) and RBI (26). Whyte had five-straight multi-hit games from March 8-14.

Torrez Takes Home MW POW
Junior Hailey “Buggs” Torrez was named Mountain West Player of the Week for the week of April 28-May 4. Torrez was 8-for-15 (.533) with two home runs and nine RBI, leading the Broncos to a 4-0 record on the week. Torrez slugged 1.000 for the week and also drew two walks for a .588 on-base percentage. She scored six times while hitting No. 3 in the order as Boise State climbed into a first-place tie in the standings with Fresno State.

Whyte Shines on Senior Day
Mackenzie Whyte lifted Boise State to a sweep-clinching win Sunday, against New Mexico with a walk-off home run in her final home game as a Bronco. Fellow senior Brittany McCray hit a walk-off home run in the second game of the series.

Bronco Ace Dealing
Redshirt senior pitcher Rebecca Patton broke the school record for wins in a season. Patton is up to 25 victories on the year. The previous mark was 20 set by Aubray Zell in 2012.

Torrid Torrez
Junior Hailey “Buggs” Torrez is leading the way during Boise State’s eight-game winning streak. Torrez is hitting .429 (12-for-28) with 16 RBI, 10 runs, three doubles and two homers.

Pack Your Broom
Boise State completed a sweep of Utah State in Logan, Utah, April 22-23, its second sweep in as many road trips. The Broncos took all three games at Nevada April 11-13, just the third and fourth road sweeps in program history and the first as a Mountain West member. Before this season, the last came April 22-23, 2011, at Hawai’i, the first time anybody had swept the Rainbow Wahine on the islands since 2005. The only other road sweep was also at Utah State, March 20-21, 2009, the first conference series in program history. Boise State is the first Mountain West team to win at least six conference road games since 2009, when BYU finished 8-1 and San Diego State was 6-1 away from home in MW play.

Early Offense
Boise State has scored in the first inning in 27 of its 49 games this season. The Broncos are 21-6 in those games. They have scored 56 runs in the first inning this season, far and away the most of any inning (42 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 15 times this season, but has been even more productive in Mountain West play. The Bronco have scored in the first inning in 13 of their 21 conference games. Glover has crossed the plate in the first inning 11 times in MW play.