Leaving (For) Las Vegas
Feb. 12, 2015
Stephanie Lynn Craig Complex (Henderson, Nev.)
Feb. 14 -
Eller Media Stadium (UNLV)
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State softball hits the road once again, this time heading to Las Vegas for the Wilson/DeMarini Desert Classic. The Broncos will play five games at the event, beginning with doubleheaders Friday and Saturday at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park in Henderson. The weekend will conclude Sunday against No. 7/6 UCLA at 12:15 p.m. MT at UNLV's Eller Media Stadium.
The Broncos open this weekend's tournament Friday at 4:45 p.m. MT on Field 2 at Stephanie Lynn Craig Complex against their first ranked opponent of the season, No. 25/- Cal State Fullerton. Action continues Friday at 7 p.m. MT on Field 1 against another Big West school in Long Beach State.
Saturday, Boise State returns to Stephanie Lynn Craig Complex, opening on Field 2 at 4:45 p.m. MT against Seattle University. The doubleheader concludes at 7 p.m. MT on Field 1 against Portland State.
The Broncos finish the tournament Sunday at UNLV's Eller Media Stadium, taking on No. 12/10 UCLA at 12:15 p.m. MT.
Against This Weekend's Opposition
The Broncos are 0-2 all-time against the Titans, suffering a 10-3 defeat in last year's contest. Boise State last played Long Beach State in 2013 and is 1-6 all-time against the 49ers. The Broncos have had more success against Saturday's opponents, being 5-1 all-time against Seattle University and 5-4 against Portland State, with the most recent meetings coming in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Against UCLA, the Broncos are 0-2, falling 5-4 in 11 innings in the most recent meeting on March 2, 2013.
About The Opposition
Long Beach State went 3-2 at the same tournament in Fullerton, capturing its first three games before ending the weekend with a pair of losses. The 49ers were led by sophomore infielder Lauren Lombardi, who batted .556 with a team-high six runs batted in.
Seattle University went 2-3 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., picking up wins over Western Michigan and Bradley. The RedHawks were led by Breanna Timmons (.714, HR) and Bubba Morrow (.417, HR, four RBI).
Portland State also went 2-3 at the Kajikawa Classic, capturing wins over Nevada and UTEP. The Vikings were paced by the play of Lexi Goranson (.400, six hits) and Brit Hendrickson (.333, three RBI).
No. 12/10 UCLA dropped a few spots in each poll this week after going 4-2 at the SoCal Collegiate Classic. The Bruins dropped consecutive games to No. 22/21 Notre Dame and No. 24/24 Texas A&M but bounced back with wins in their final two games, led by Allexis Bennet (.529, nine hits, three RBI) and Ally Carda (.400, two HR, eight RBI).
Last Week's Outing
Redshirt senior first baseman and freshman shortstop Sara Ketelsleger paced the Broncos with nine hits apiece, tying the program's opening-weekend record set in 2012 by Tara Glover. Seven Broncos would go on to record at least four hits over the weekend.
In the circle, sophomore Mackenzie McGill went 2-1 and struck out six over four appearances, while Sarah Barnes went 1-1 with six strikeouts while going 2-for-5 with an RBI at the plate and stealing a couple of bases.
Boise State Against Ranked Opponents
The Broncos are 3-35-1 all-time against ranked teams, going 0-4 last year in such contests. Boise State's tie came against No. 19/18 Tulsa on March 24, 2013 in Las Vegas, and all three of the Broncos' wins over a ranked team came in a three-game home sweep of No. -/25 Fresno State from April 29-30. That series concluded with a 12-9 win over the Bulldogs in the second game of a doubleheader on April 30.
Bridges Batters The Opposition
In the weekend finale, a 10-3 win over North Texas, Bridges went 4-for-5 with two doubles, tying the Boise State single-game record for hits and posting the second such game of her career. The first came March 2, 2013 against UCLA.
Bridges played just 13 games in 2014, with her final action coming on March 9 against Valparaiso, due to injury. She is one of the top hitters in program history, being Boise State's all-time leader in six offensive categories including home runs (44), RBI (157) and slugging percentage (.691), while also sitting second with a career batting average of .377. After her nine-hit weekend in Texas, Bridges now needs just 28 hits to supplant Tara Glover (216) atop the program's career list as well as 125 at-bats to pass Holly Bourke's (2010-13) Bronco career record of 625.
Platoon In The Circle
Ketelsleger, Sullivan Lead Youth Movement
Of the seven freshmen on the team, shortstop Sara Ketelsleger and outfielder Makenzie Sullivan wasted no time acclimating to the collegiate game. Ketelsleger, from Chino Hills, Calif., batted .450, matched Devon Bridges with a team-leading and Boise State opening-weekend record-tying nine hits and drove in six runs. In the opener against Seton Hall, she went 3-for-5 with with a double and three RBI.
Sullivan, from Tucson, Ariz., hit .286 for the weekend, displaying her power with two doubles, a home run and team-leading eight RBI. She also drew three walks, tied for the second-best total on the team.
Overall for the weekend, five of the seven Bronco freshmen made their collegiate debuts, combining to bat .368 (14-for-38) with five doubles, two home runs, 14 RBI and 11 runs scored.
Transfers Make An Impact
Broncos Tabbed Sixth in Preseason Poll
Fresno State topped the poll with seven of the nine first-place votes and 63 points overall, while defending champion San Diego State (54 points) and UNLV (44) split the remaining first-place votes to round out the top three.
Colorado State (43) and San Jose State (34) were tabbed fourth and fifth, with the Spartans just ahead of the Broncos. Nevada (26), Utah State (18) and New Mexico (nine) made up the final three slots.
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