Bronco Softball Set to Make 2013 Debut in Tempe

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Friday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m. vs. Portland State
Saturday, Feb. 9, 11:30 a.m. vs. Northwestern
Saturday, Feb. 9, 4:30 p.m. vs. Stephen F. Austin
Sunday, Feb. 10, 8:30 a.m. vs. No. 5/6 Oregon
Sunday, Feb. 10, 1:30 p.m. at No. 4/4 Arizona State
*All Times Mountain

Boise State Softball Game Notes

Boise State will play one game Friday, followed by two each Saturday and Sunday. Live stats will be available for each game at BroncoSports.com and in-game updates will be provided throughout the tournament on twitter @BroncoSportsSB.
 
The Broncos will face Portland State in its season opener Friday at 10 a.m. (MT), at Tempe Sports Complex. The Broncos won all three 2012 meetings against the NCAA tournament-bound Vikings.

Boise State will see two first-time opponents Saturday, starting at 11:30 a.m. (MT) against Northwestern. At 4:30 p.m. (MT), the Broncos will take on Stephen F. Austin. Both games are at the Tempe Sports Complex.
 
On paper, the final day of the season's first tournament will present the biggest challenge in program history with a pair of top-five opponents.Boise State will take on Oregon at 8:30 a.m. (MT) at the Tempe Sports Complex before closing the weekend at Farrington Stadium against the host Sun Devils at 1:30 p.m. (MT).
 

About the Broncos
Boise State softball is in its fourth season and first in the Mountain West. Head coach Erin Thorpe and the Broncos bring back five starters among the 10 returning letterwinners from its 2012 squad that went 34-20 and finished second in the Mountain West.
 
The Broncos will count on production from 10 newcomers this season, eight freshmen and two transfers. Juniors Brittany McCray (catcher) and Rebecca Patton (pitcher) will add experience to the Bronco lineup. A talented freshman crop is headlined by high school All-American Ashley Palmer.
 
Boise State returns its most experience in the outfield. Bourke, Bridges and Glover all started at least 47 games in the outfield during 2012.

Glover started all 54 games in center field and led the Broncos in nearly every offensive statistical category on her way to being named Boise State's first All-American. She will again roam center where she made 58 putouts last season.
 
Bridges, who has started 97 games in right field during her career, is expected to shift predominantly to first base but could be counted on to play outfield yet again. A 2011 All-Pacific Region selection, Bridges has led the Broncos in home runs each of her first two seasons. She enters 2013 just seven homers away from the career record.
 
Bourke begins her senior year with a pair of 50-hit seasons under her belt. A career .294 hitter, she looks to rebound from hitting .232 as a junior. With a strong senior season, Bourke will threaten many of the career offensive records.
 
Mackenzie Whyte is set to anchor what will otherwise be a young and inexperienced infield. Whyte has made 97 starts at shortstop and is a career .270 hitter.

Sophomore Jordan Kreiger brings back the next most experience on the infield. Kreiger started 29 games as a freshman between second, third and short. She started 11 of the final 14 games at third base. In 10 apperances, nine starts, during MW games Kreiger hit .455 with one home run and two doubles, playing a flawless third base with 11 putouts and 14 assists in 25 chances.
 
The biggest hole to fill for the 2013 Broncos is in the pitching circle. Senior Lela Work has the most pitching experience in a Boise State uniform among the rotation options. Work has seen 214 innings as a Bronco, working mostly in a relief role. Patton, sophomore Kenzie Cole and senior Ashley Collier also figure to be major contributors.
 

Scouting Reports
Portland State
The Vikings enter 2013 having reached three of the past four NCAA Tournaments. Portland State advanced to the Eugene Regional last season after finishing first in the Mountain Division of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference and defeating Saint Mary's in the PSCS Championship Series. The Vikings return 12 letterwinners from that squad, including 2012 PCSC Mountain Division Pitcher of the Year Anna Bertrand and Freshman of the Year Alicia Fine. Portland State will play in the Big Sky this season, the first year the conference has sponsored softball.
All-Time Series: Tied 3-3
Boise State Streak: W 3

Northwestern
The Wildcats were one of the final teams to receive an at-large selection to the 2012 NCAA Tournament and advanced to the final of the Austin Regional. Northwestern welcomes back nine starters, including All-American Marisa Bast and three-time All-Big Ten choice Emily Allard. Bast and Allard were both named to the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List.
All-Time Series: First Meeting

Stephen F. Austin
The Ladyjacks return five starters from last season's 16-33 team. They went 6-14 in Southland Conference games to finish ninth. The coference coaches picked Stephen F. Austin to finish fifth this season. Pitcher Shelby Lancaster and shortstop Sarah Allison were both picked to the preseason All-Southland Conference Second Team.
All-Time Series: First Meeting

No. 5/6 Oregon
The Ducks went 45-18 in 2012, advancing to the Women's College World Series for the second time in school history. All-Americans Jessica Moore and Sam Pappas return for their senior seasons along with six other starters. Moore won 33 games in the circle while Pappas hit .393 and slugged .697. Both are on the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List.
All-Time Series: Oregon leads 6-0
Boise State Streak: L 6

No. 4/4 Arizona State
The Sun Devils finished 2012 at 53-11 and in Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series. Arizona State returns seven starters from that team, including three on the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List. Among the trio is pitcher Dallas Escobedo who guided the Sun Devils to the 2011 National Championship. Catcher Amber Freeman and outfielder Alix Johnson also made the list.
All-Time Series: ASU leads 2-0
Boise State Streak: L 2

Last Time Out
Boise State finished the 2012 season 34-20, including an 8-4 record in Mountain West play. That mark tied the Broncos for second in the league, just one game out of first place. For the second year in a row, the Broncos entered their final conference game of the season with a shot at at least a share of the league championship. Needing a sweep May 4-6, at San Diego State, Boise State won the first two games against the Aztecs but dropped the finale. 

Broncos Picked Fourth in Preseason Poll
The Mountain West head coaches picked Boise State to finish fourth in the conference...The Broncos received one first-place vote and 23 total points to finish behind defending champion San Diego State (35), Colorado State (28) and newcomer Fresno State (26). Boise State placed ahead of New Mexico (15), UNLV (12) and first-year member Nevada (eight points)...Boise Stae was picked to finish third in last season's poll. The Broncos finished 8-4 in league play to take second, one game out of first place.
 
Glover Tabbed One to Watch
Tara Glover was named to the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List. It is the second-straight year Boise State has been represented on the prominent list, recognizing the top 50 returning softball student-athletes in the country. Devon Bridges was selected to the watch list last season. San Diego State junior Hayley Miles also made the cut in 2013, giving the MW multiple student-athletes on the top-50 watch list for the first time in the award's 12-year history. Glover and Miles, the 2012 Mountain West Co-Players of the Year, are the sixth and seventh student-athletes in Mountain West history named to the watch list.
 
CSM.com Pegs Four Preseason All-MW
Tara Glover and Devon Bridges were selected to the  CollegeSportsMadness.com preseason All-Mountain West First Team, both as outfielders. Lela Work and Jordan Kreiger were recognized as preseason second-team selections by the outlet. Work at pitcher and Kreiger at utility.
 
Glover's 2012 NFCA Honors
Tara Glover took home a slew of awards and honors at season's end, the most impressive coming from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Glover earned a spot on the NFCA All-America Third Team, becoming the first All-American in program history. She was also named to the NFCA All-Pacific Region Second Team, giving Boise State an all-region performer in each of its first four seasons.
 
MW Co-Player of the Year
After putting together one of the most impressive individual conference seasons in Mountain West history, Tara Glover was named the MW Co-Player of the Year. Her .622 batting average and .638 on-base percentage rank second and 1.067 slugging percentage ranks third in conference history for conference-only games. Glover's 28 hits against MW foes are tied for seventh all-time, cracking the top 10 with just a 12-game conference schedule when all other spots on the list are occupied by players with at least 18 games. She recorded a hit in 11 of the 12 conference games, including 10 multi-hit games. During league games Glover led the MW in hits, batting average, and stolen bases (six), while ranking second in runs (17), doubles (six) and slugging percentage. She also hit four home runs and a triple. Glover is the Broncos' first conference player of the year in the sport of softball. She shared the top honor with San Diego State's Hayley Miles.
 
Glover's 88 Hits Lead NCAA
Tara Glover recorded 88 hits on the season to lead the country during the regular season. Glover's season average of 1.63 hits per game (54 games) led the country at year's end. She 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. She eclipsed Kathy Cox' former single-season record of 69, set in 61 games during the 2010 season, and came up just short of the Mountain West record of 90 (Utah's Jackie Wong, 2006; 61 games).
 
Record Breaker
Tara Glover not only set the Boise State record for single-season hits, her .476 batting average is the best in school and Mountain West history. She also set school records for runs (54), doubles (14), triples (four), steals (18) and multi-hit games (29).
 
Gone From 2012
The 2013 Broncos will not only be replacing five starters, but six members of Boise State softball's original recruiting class. The departing class of Kellie Caplan, Christina Capobianco, Allie Crump, Kelly Sweeney, Tazz Weatherly and Aubray Zell not only littered their names throughout the record books and led Boise State to 118 wins in the program's first four seasons, but also takes with it an almost irreplaceable amount of game experience.
 
Of the 220 games in program history, Zell and Crump combined to start 188 of them in the circle. Caplan saw action in 214 games during her career, including 206 starts, both school records. Last season's senior class combined for 869 starts in the batting order.
 
Plenty of New Faces for 2013
Boise State welcomes 10 new student-athletes to the roster in 2013, eight freshmen and two transfers. Brittany McCray (North Dakota State/Yavapai JC) and Rebecca Patton (Cal Poly), both come to the Broncos with two years of athletic eligibility remaining. Sarah Barnes, Geena Bonilla, Kayla Clausen, Maddy Foster, Riann Melton, Ashley Palmer, Rose Saenz and Makenna Weir all enter their first year of collegiate softball looking to break into a Boise State lineup that will be replacing five starters from a year ago.
 
Dona Larsen Park Opens in 2013
Boise State moves into a new home for the 2013 season, at Dona Larsen Park. The field is located at 150 South Broadway Avenue. It is also the home site for Boise State Track and Field and high school football....The Broncos open their new home field March 15-17, hosting a tournament with Idaho State, Portland State and Utah State. Dona Larsen Park will also host a trio of three-game Mountain West series against San Diego State (April 19-21), Colorado State (April 26-28) and Nevada (May 9-11).
 
2012 All-MW Team Members
Tara Glover led a quartet of Boise State softball student-athletes named to the 2012 All-Mountain West Team. Glover was named co-Player of the Year and was joined by Devon Bridges, Kellie Caplan and Aubray Zell on the all-conference team.


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