March 22, 2013
Boise State softball closes its nonconference schedule with a trio of doubleheaders. The Broncos travel to Las Vegas Saturday and Sunday, to play twinbills against Texas Tech and No. 19/18 Tulsa, respecitvely. The trip concludes Tuesday with a double dip at Southern Utah.
The Broncos (13-15) head first to Las Vegas to take part in the Rebel Classic, hosted by UNLV. Boise State will not meet the fellow Mountain West member Rebels until conference play in May.
Two games against Texas Tech (25-9) Saturday, will start the weekend. First pitch with the Red Raiders is scheduled for 9 a.m. (PT) and game two will follow immediately.
Nationally-ranked Tulsa awaits the Broncos on Sunday. The games against the Golden Hurricane begin at 9 a.m. (PT).
Boise State will take advantage of the spring break hiatus from classes and travel to Cedar City, Utah, for a midweek doubleheader against Southern Utah. The Broncos and Thunderbirds will meet Tuesday, for two games beginning at noon (MT).
The road trip ends the nonconference portion of Boise State's regular season. After a bye weekend at the end of March, the Broncos will begin the Mountain West schedule April 5-7, at New Mexico.
Live stats will be available for each game. Find links on the softball schedule page at BroncoSports.com. For in-depth, in-game coverage follow on Twitter @BroncoSportsSB.
About the Broncos Boise State softball is in its fifth season and second in the Mountain West. Head coach Erin Thorpe and the Broncos bring back five starters among the 10 returning letterwinners from their 2012 squad that went 34-20 and finished second in the Mountain West.
The Broncos are 13-15 on the season and are currently riding a three-game winning streak. They have dropped six games against nationally-ranked opponents this season.
Boise State has gotten 86 starts out of its freshmen, starting at least three freshmen in 23 of the 28 games. Another 30 starts have come from transfers.
Despite all of the new faces, the Broncos have been led early on by a few familiar names. Senior Holly Bourke and juniors Devon Bridges and Tara Glover are once again at the top of nearly every offensive category and are all hitting better than .310.
Bourke is reaching base at an astoundig clip this season. Bourke owns a .480 on-base percentage with 23 hits and 23 walks. She has reached base safely in 23 of the 28 games this season, getting a hit in 16 of them.
Bridges leads the team with a .374 batting average, five home runs and 28 RBI, nearly double the number of runs driven in by the next highest Bronco (16). Eleven of her 34 hits have gone for extra bases, leading to a team-best .615 slugging percentage. Bridges also paces the Broncos with 11 multi-hit performances and 10 multi-RBI games.
Glover has racked up 15 hits in the last nine games, hitting .500 over that stretch. She has a team-best 35 hits and has hit safely in 10 of the last 12 games as she continues to return to 2012 form when she batted .476 and led the country with 88 hits during the regular season.
Freshman Makenna Weir has supplied the most consistent new bat. Weir has a .328 batting average, .444 on-base percentage, 13 walks, 13 RBI, two home runs and five doubles, ranking in the top three on the team in each category. She has started at five different positions in her debut season.
The pitching staff is led by junior transfer Rebecca Patton's 6-6 record and 4.09 earned run average. Patton was named Mountain West Pitcher of the Week earlier this season. She has struck out 55 and walked 32 in 77 innings this season.
Senior Lela Work and sophomore Kenzie Cole have also shared time in the circle. Cole has pitched 46.2 innings and has a 3-5 record. Work is 1-3 with one save in 32 innings.
The Red Raiders feature seven starters hitting better than .340 on the season, led by Katelyn Williams' .436 batting average. Mikey Kinney is also hitting over .400 (.411), with nine home runs and a .562 on-base percentage. Adriana Perez leads Texas Tech with 12 homers and 40 runs driven in. As a team, the Red Raiders are hitting .344 on the season (ninth in the NCAA) and scoring 7.41 runs per game (fifth nationally). Texas Tech's pitching staff features a combined earned run average of 2.64 with three pitchers logging more than 35 innings and ERAs below 2.50. None of them are big strikeout pitchers, but Cara Custer leads the way with 81 punch outs in 98.1 innings of work. Custer is 10-3 on the year with a 2.49 ERA and a .218 batting average against. All-Time Series: Texas Tech leads 3-0 Boise State Streak: L3
No. 19/18 Tulsa
The Golden Hurricane have ridden ace pitcher Aimee Creger into the national rankings. Creger is 12-1 on the year with a 0.83 ERA in 84.1 innings pitched, striking out 125. Her ERA ranks third in the nation and the 10.4 strikeouts per seven innings is ninth nationally. She is backed up by Lacey Middlebrooks whose 1.26 ERA in 77.2 innings ranks 28th in the NCAA. Tulsa's opponents are hitting .197 on the year. The Golden Hurricane offense is led by Jill Barrett's .406 batting average. They are putting up five runs per game with six different players driving in at least 10 for the year. Tulsa put together a 42-win season in 2012, going on to win the Conference USA title and advance to an NCAA Regional. Eight starters from that team are back on the 2013 roster. All-Time Series: First meeting
The Thunderbirds are 6-18 on the year with a team batting average of .215 and an ERA of 5.76. They are scoring just under three runs per game with nobody on the team scoring more than 10 times. Mikkel Griffin leads the way in nearly every offensive category with a .312 batting average, 10 runs scored, 24 hits, five doubles, four home runs, a .404 on-base percentage and a .532 slugging percentage. Ariel Zimmerman has drawn the most pitching assignments for the Thunderbirds, appearing in 18 contests with 13 starts. Zimmerman has a 6.21 ERA in 82.2 innings with 62 strikeouts. Southern Utah is part of the inaugural season of softball in the Big Sky Conference. The Tunderbirds will take on Boise State after opening conference play at Portland State. All-Time Series: Boise State leads 3-0 Boise State Streak: W3
Bourke Getting Aboard
Senior Holly Bourke has a .480 on-base percentage for the season. Bourke has 23 hits and has drawn 23 walks. She has reached safely in 18 of the last 20 games and 39-of-74 plate appearances (.527) 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 streak was started by a 4-for-4 game Feb. 17 against Rutgers.
Freshman Makenna Weir has reached base safely in 22 of the 25 games she has appeared. Weir is hitting .328 for the year and has drawn 13 walks to reach base at a .444 clip. She is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak...Weir's versatility has also allowed the Broncos flexibility. The freshman has already made a start at five different positions this season, seeing time at catcher, second base, third base, left field and designated player.
Brilliant Hitting Per-FOUR-mances
Senior Holly Bourke, freshman Sarah Barnes and juniors Devon Bridges and Tara Glover have each tied the single-game school record with four hits this season. Bourke's four-hit game came Feb. 17, against Rutgers in 4-for-4 fashion. It was the second four-hit game of her career, becoming the second Bronco in school history to accomplish the feat twice (Laeha Hill). Barnes duplicated the effort with a 4-for-4 game of her own Feb. 24, against San Diego. She became the second Bronco freshman with four hits in a game. Her game also included a home run, making her the second Bronco to have a four-hit game include a homer. Bridges was 4-for-5 March 2, against UCLA. She also drew a walk, becoming the first Bronco to reach base safely five times in a game. Glover was 4-for-4 against Idaho State Feb. 16, at home. It is her second-career four-hit game, joining Bourke and Hill. The Broncos are 0-4 in games someone has four hits this season.