Crucial Series Awaits Broncos in San Diego

Boise State heads to conference-leading San Diego State for three games Friday through Sunday with a chance to clinch a share of the Mountain West title. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PT), with the Saturday and Sunday tilts set for 1 p.m. (PT).

A three-game sweep for the Broncos (32-16, 6-3) would guarantee a co-championship and give them the tiebreaker over the Aztecs to gain the Mountain West's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, awarded to the regular-season champion.

The Aztecs (26-19, 6-0) enter the series having won their last nine games in Mountain West play, dating back to last season. San Diego State is seeking to reach the NCAA Tournament for a fifth-straight season and can secure its bid with two wins against the Broncos. SDSU concludes its regular season May 10-12, at UNLV.

Boise State will return home to finish its regular-season schedule May 10-12, against No. 18/16 Texas A&M.

Saturday's game will be telecast live on The Mtn. It will be the first Boise State softball game televised live nationally.

Live stats and live audio will be available free of charge for each game. Links to both can be found at on the softball schedule page. The audio feed will be the SDSU student radio production.

Stay current with all of the happenings in Boise State Softball by following the official twitter account of the Broncos @BroncoSportsSB.

About the Broncos
Boise State softball is in its fourth season and first in the Mountain West. Head coach Erin Thorpe and the Broncos return 13 letterwinners and nine starters from the 2011 squad that finished 33-20 and second in the Western Athletic Conference.

The Broncos welcome back the bulk of last season's production at the plate and in the circle. Returning is 93.5 percent of the Broncos' hits in 2011, 89 percent of the runs scored, 96.4 percent of the home runs and 96.8 percent of the innings pitched.

The team's 32-16 record is tied for the best start in school history and the 2012 squad did it against the toughest schedule yet. The Broncos have played 10 games against teams ranked in the top 20 of both major top-25 polls. Fifteen games featured opponents returning from the 2011 NCAA Tournament, including five games against 2011 WCWS teams.

After three-quarters of its first season in the Mountain West, Boise State is 6-3 and still in contention for the conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Broncos swept UNLV (April 13-15), took one of three at Colorado State (April 20-22) and won the series 2-1 from New Mexico (April 27-29).

Seniors Aubray Zell and Allie Crump anchor the pitching staff for yet another year. Zell is a four-time Mountain West Pitcher of the Week after winning the weekly award three times last season in the WAC. She is 19-10 on the year with a 2.22 ERA and a school-record 163 strikeouts. Crump is 6-3 this season with a 2.91 ERA.

Crump is also a standout at the plate with seven homers, five doubles and 31 RBI. Sophomore Devon Bridges and senior Christina Capobianco continue to be among the biggest power threats for the Broncos. Bridges leads the team with 11 homers and 35 runs driven in. Capobianco has parked six and totalled 31 RBI. The senior first baseman is the career leader in home runs and RBI. Bridges is also second on the team with a .343 batting average.

Boise State's top producer with the bat is at the top of the order. Sophomore transfer Tara Glover is hitting .479 to rank third in the country. Glover set the single-season hits record April 22, at Colorado State and currently has 78. She also leads the team with a .736 slugging percentage thanks in large part to a school-record four triples. Glover has used her speed to score 48 runs and steal 15 bases, both team highs. A native of Grants Pass, Ore., Glover transfered to Boise State from Utah, where she started all 51 games for the Utes as a freshman in 2011.

Scouting Report
About San Diego State
The Aztecs lead the conference with a 6-0 mark after sweeps of Colorado State (home) and New Mexico (road). SDSU features the top pitching staff in the MW with a league-best 2.45 ERA. Rebecca Arbino (2.16) and Bailey Micetich (2.30) share time in the circle nearly equally. Micetich is the reigning Mountain West Pitcher of the Week.Offensively, sophomore shortstop Hayley Miles leads the way with a .437 average and 15 home runs. Miles is 10-for-18 in conference games. SDSU was off last weekend and finishes the regular season May 10-12 at UNLV.
All-Time Series
This weekend marks the first meeting between Boise State and San Diego State.

Top of the Mountain
Sophomore Tara Glover ranks first in the Mountain West in batting average (.479), hits (78) and stolen bases (15). In 2011, while at Utah, Glover led the league in triples and ranked in the top five in runs and hits. Glover has nine career triples, tied for eighth in Mountain West history. The all-time record is 14. Senior Aubray Zell leads the MW in  opponent batting average (.217), wins (19), shutouts (4), strikeouts (163), innings (183), starts (29) and complete games (18). Senior Kellie Caplan leads the conference in sacrifice bunts (12) and checks in behind Glover for second in steals (12). For more on where individuals rank in Boise State and Mountain West history, see page 41 of the complete release.

Glover's Streaks Adding Up
Tara Glover is currently riding an 11-game hitting streak and a 35-game reached-base-safely streak. It is her third double-digit hit streak of the season as she has hit safely in 44 of the Broncos' 48 games this year. Glover's longest hitting streak was 12, coming in the first games of the season (Feb. 10-23). That extended her personal hitting streak to 22 games after recording a base knock in her final 10 games at Utah in 2011. Glover has reached base via hit, walk or hit by pitch in all but one game this season (Feb. 24 vs. Oklahoma). The streak of 35 games since then ties the longest such mark in Boise State history (Devon Bridges, Feb. 25-April 30, 2011). The longest hitting streak in school history is 13 (Vanessa Alvarez, April 17-May 12, 2010).

Glover First to 70
Tara Glover has 78 hits this year. Glover became the first Bronco to register 70 hits in a season with a 4-for-5 performance April 22, at Colorado State. Glover needed just 45 games to reach the milestone and is averaging more than 1.6 hits per game. She eclipsed Kathy Cox' former single-season record of 69, set in 61 games during the 2010 season.

Last Time Out
Boise State took its Mountain West series from New Mexico 2-1, April 27-29, at Mountain Cove Softball Field. The Broncos won the opener 8-5 and clinched the series with an 8-6 win Saturday, before dropping the finale 6-5 in eight innings.

Boise State used early offense to knock off New Mexico 8-5, Friday. The Broncos scored three times in the first inning and jumped out to an 8-1 lead through four innings before holding on for the win.

Aubray Zell pitched a complete game for her 19th win of the year. Zell allowed five runs (three earned) on 11 hits. She struck out three while issuing just one walk. Zell held the high-powered Lobo offense without an earned run through six and two-thirds innings. Back-to-back home runs with two outs in the top of the seventh plated three and provided the final margin.

The first five Broncos to the plate reached base in a three-run first inning. Devon Bridges singled in the first run of the game on a blooper to left. Allie Crump punched a two-run single through the left side to give Boise State some breathing room. The Broncos went on to bring the entire lineup to the plate in the first and set itself up for one of the most productive games of the season.

Boise State jumped out to a big lead early against New Mexico for the second-straight day Saturday, and held on for an 8-6 win to clinch the series. The Broncos used another three-hit performance from Tara Glover to power the offense and a complete-game victory out of Lela Work in the circle.

Boise State pushed five across in the second inning on four hits and a costly error. After a two-out error let a pair of runs in, Bridges took advantage of the extra out when she lofted a 3-1 pitch into the visitor's bullpen. Her 11th home run of the year put the Broncos up 6-0.

New Mexico scored in each of the final five innings, including a leadoff home run in the eighth for a 6-5 win in extra innings against Boise State Sunday, snapping the Broncos' home winning streak at 28 games. Down to its final strike, New Mexico (25-18, 1-5 MW) tied the game in the top of the seventh on Stefanie Carramusa's 20th home run of the year.

The Broncos set up a chance to win the game in regulation with singles by the first two batters of the seventh inning. A fielder's choice, a strikeout and a fly out ended the threat with the winning run stranded at third.

Zell took the complete-game loss for Boise State, falling to 19-10 on the year.

Broncos in the RPI
Boise State slipped two spots to No. 59 in the latest Ratings Percentage Index. Its highest ranking was No. 49, April 15. The Broncos peaked at No. 72 last season before finishing 79th. San Diego State leads the Mountain West in the RPI at No. 40. New Mexico ranks 67th. UNLV (105) and Colorado State (110) round out the MW contingent. The RPI will be released every Monday, through May 7.

Been Here Before
Boise State's senior class has combined for 851 career starts in the batting order. Of the 214 games played in program history, seniors Allie Crump and Aubray Zell have combined to start 185 of them in the circle. Kellie Caplan leads the position players with 208 games played and 200 starts. Zell has pitched in 117 games, starting 97 of them, both school records.

Glover Garners Third Player of the Week
sophomore Tara Glover was named the Mountain West Player of the Week for the week ending April 29, her third weekly honor of the season. Glover helped Boise State take a 2-1 series win against Mountain West foe New Mexico Friday through Sunday, in Boise, Idaho. Glover registered a multi-hit game in each contest on her way to going 8-for-12 (.667) against the Lobos.She ripped two home runs and a pair of doubles while scoring seven runs and driving in three more.

Hundred Hit Club
Devon Bridges became the eighth Bronco and seventh player on the current roster with 100 career hits, April 27 against New Mexico. Bridges joined Holly Bourke and former Bronco Kathy Cox as the only players to accomplish the feat in two seasons in the Blue and Orange. She and Bourke are the only two to do so as sophomores. Kellie Caplan became the second Bronco to reach the milestone March 19, 2011, against Arizona State...Christina Capobianco joined her in the century club March 26, 2011, against Nevada. Capobianco earned her milestone with a pinch-hit, two-run double...Bourke cracked the 100-hit mark April 15, 2011, at Utah State...Allie Crump and Tazz Weatherly notched their 100th hits together, April 23, 2011, in the series finale at Hawai'i.

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