Broncos Host Nevada to Close Regular Season

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
Senior Lela Work earned two wins last week at UNLV

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
Senior Lela Work earned two wins last week at UNLV
GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

May 8, 2013

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Boise State softball hosts Nevada May 9-11, in the final games of the regular season. The games Thursday and Friday are scheduled to start at 3 p.m. (MT). The Saturday finale will have a 1 p.m. (MT) first pitch. Seniors Holly Bourke, Ashley Collier and Lela Work will be honored after the final game.

Nevada (29-21, 8-7 MW) enters the weekend one game ahead of the Broncos (23-25-1, 7-8 MW) in the conference standings. Boise State can finish as high as second in the Mountain West. The Wolf Pack can still share the league title.

The Broncos have won the last seven games in the series against former Western Athletic Conference foe Nevada. Boise State holds a 7-4 edge in the all-time series, including two nonconference wins at last season.

Game Day Info
Tickets: 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. All fans will receive $2 admission to the Saturday season finale.

Parking: 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. Parking at Dona Larsen Park will be on a first-come, first-served with a $5 cost.

Live Coverage
Live video will be available for all three games to Bronco Digital Network subscribers at BroncoSports.com. Live audio will be available for free on the Bronco Digital Network. Live stats can be found at BroncoSports.com on the softball schedule page. 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. The Broncos are 23-25-1 on the season, coming off consecutive series wins against conference-leading San Diego State, Colorado State and UNLV.

The Broncos have been led by a veteran presence in the first 49 games. Juniors Devon Bridges and Tara Glover and senior Holly Bourke are once again atop nearly every offensive category, all hitting better than .340.

Boise State has gotten 144 starts out of its freshmen, starting at least three freshmen in 37 of the 49 games. Another 58 starts have come from transfers.

Scouting Report
Nevada - 29-21 (8-7 MW)

Hitting
The Wolf Pack sports a .310 team batting average to lead the Mountain West. Five regular starters are batting better than .300, paced by Karley Hopkins' .381 average and MW-leading 67 hits. Nevada also leads the conference in runs (268), doubles (97- leading by 32) and home run (43). Three Wolf Pack batters have driven in more than 30 runs, including Megan Fincher who has a team-high 10 home runs.

Pitching
Nevada primarily uses a two-pitcher rotation between Karlyn Jones and Megan Dortch. Jones has started 20 games, going the distance in 18 of them, and appeared in 30 games with 154.2 innings logged. She has a 3.26 ERA and has struck out 126 to just 25 walks. Dortch has a 3.82 ERA in 121 innings with 89 strikeouts and 81 walks issued. Dortch has started nine games in MW play, including a shutout at Fresno State.

Season Outlook
Nevada was picked to finish last in the Mountain West preseason coaches' poll in their first season as members of the conference. The Wolf Pack has instead led the conference in nearly every offensive category and will finish the regular season above .500 for the first time since 2009.

All-Time Series: Boise State leads 7-4
Boise State Streak: Won 7

Around the Conference
San Diego State is in the driver's seat to defend its Mountain West championship and earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Aztecs (10-5) host UNLV (7-8) to close the regular season and need one win to clinch their sixth-straight tournament berth. SDSU holds the tiebreaker against the league's remaining seven-loss teams.

Colorado State (8-7) remains alive for the title, needing to sweep the series at New Mexico (3-12) and for SDSU to drop all three of its games.

Fresno State (11-7) is the only team to have completed its MW slate and sits in the clubhouse with a chance at the automatic bid should UNLV take all three games from the Aztecs and CSU fall once in Albuquerque.

Nevada (8-7) can still finish with a share of the conference title if it sweeps the Broncos (7-8) and UNLV takes two from SDSU. The Wolf Pack cannot earn the automatic bid to the tournament, having lost twice to Fresno State.

Last Time Out
Boise State took two out of three at UNLV May 3-5, for its third-consecutive series win. The Broncos scored 24 runs to win the first two games by scores of 15-6 and 9-7. They dropped the finale 5-0.

Weekend Promotions
Special promotions will be going on all weekend long at Dona Larsen Park, be sure to take advantage! All fans ages 62+ will receive $2 admission to the games Thursday and Friday. All mothers will receive $4 admission to the games Thursday and Friday. ALL FANS will receive $2 admission to the game Saturday.

Bridges Breaks Home Run Record
Boise State junior Devon Bridges scorched a solo home run over the scoreboard at Dona Larsen Park April 28, to become the all-time home run leader at Boise State. Bridges' 38th-career homer surpassed the previous mark of 37 held by Christina Capobianco (2009-12).

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 189 for her career.

Weir's Big Weekend Leads to Big Honor
Boise State freshman Makenna Weir lifted the Broncos to a series win at UNLV May 3-5, with a memorable performance. Weir was 4-for-9 on the weekend with two doubles, a home run, six RBI, four runs scored and three walks. In game two, with the Broncos trailing by a run in the sixth, she hit a two-out game-winning grand slam and tied the school record with six RBI in the game. Weir doubled in each of the first two games, giving her nine on the season, one shy of the Boise State freshman record. Her bases-loaded blast was the eighth grand slam in school history. For her efforts, Weir was listed among the honorable mention selections in the NFCA National Player of the Week Award. She joins Allie Crump (March 7-13, 2011) as the only Broncos to earn the honorable mention nod from the NFCA.

Bourke the Most Experienced Bronco
Senior Holly Bourke started her 207th game May 4, at UNLV, breaking the all-time starts record at Boise State. Bourke also tied the games-played record May 5, seeing action in her 214th contest. With one game played this weekend against Nevada, she will have played in more games in a Bronco uniform than any student-athlete in Boise State history, in any sport.

Record Chasers
Games and home runs are not the only records on watch this season. Devon Bridges is also closing in on Capobianco's runs batted in mark. A complete list of the career and season records in jeopardy is available on page three of the complete release.

Broncos in the RPI
Boise State checks in at No. 129 in the most recent RPI ratings (May 6). This week's opponent, Nevada, is No. 99...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.

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.