VIDEO: Broncos Face Stiff Challenge in San Diego


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Boise State softball travels to San Diego for five games at the Campbell/Cartier Classic, co-hosted by San Diego and San Diego State. Boise State will play its first four games at the USD Softball Complex and finish the weekend Sunday at SDSU Softball Stadium.

The Broncos are scheduled to play three games against 2011 NCAA Tournament teams, including two teams currently ranked in the top 15. Three games will feature first-time opponents.

The action starts Friday at 10 a.m. (PT) against UC Santa Barbara. The Broncos will see their first ranked opponent of the season at 3 p.m. (PT) Friday, when they face off with No. 12/8 UCLA.

Boise State will try to even a couple of all-time series Saturday when it faces San Diego (4:30 p.m. PT) and No. 7/9 Washington (7 p.m. PT).

The weekend wraps up Sunday against Notre Dame, who is receiving votes in both major top-25 polls. First pitch is scheduled for 9 a.m. (PT).

This marks the second-consecutive season Boise State's second week of action will feature two opponents ranked in the top 15. The Broncos are 0-5 all-time against teams ranked in the top 15 of both the NFCA and USA Softball polls and 3-12 all-time against teams ranked in either poll.

Live stats will be available for each game at BroncoSports.com. There is also a Tournament Central page at USDToreros.com and GoAztecs.com.

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.

Seniors Aubray Zell and Allie Crump lead the pitching staff into the new season. Zell enjoyed a career year in 2011, going 14-5 with a 2.52 ERA and ranking third nationally by allowing just 0.80 walks per seven innings. Crump finished the year 13-7 with a 4.00 ERA, and set a school record striking out 6.24 batters per seven innings. Both earned All-WAC First Team honors and Zell was a three-time WAC Pitcher of the Week.

Crump also enjoyed a breakout season on offense and she will team with sophomore Devon Bridges and senior Christina Capobianco to guide Boise State's heavy-hitting lineup.

Bridges paced the Broncos during a record-breaking freshman campaign. She hit .393 with a .531 on-base percentage and slugged .785 while driving in 53 runs and drawing 37 walks, all single-season school records. She also led the team with 16 home runs as she was named first-team all-conference and second-team NFCA All-Pacific Region.

Crump matched her career home run total in the first two weeks of the season and went on to hit 10 in 2011. She was second on the team with a .338 batting average.

Capobianco enters her senior year one home run shy of the career mark at Boise State. She hit nine round trippers in 2011 and drove in 32 to claim second-team All-WAC honors.

Senior Tazz Weatherly used a strong conference season to hit .320 and score 32 runs on her way to being named to the all-conference second team.

Also back are the only three Broncos to start all 53 games last year in senior Kellie Caplan, junior Holly Bourke and sophomore Mackenzie Whyte. Senior Kelly Sweeney returns after starting 52 games at third base.

Junior Lela Work threw 79 innings during 2011, mostly in relief. Work ranked eighth in the country with six saves.

Scouting Reports
UC Santa Barbara
The Gauchos enter the weekend 1-5 after opening the season with a tough slate of games at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. UCSB suffered three losses to teams returning from the 2011 NCAA Tournament. It also split a pair of one-run games against Bradley and Utah, defeating the Utes 6-5. Shelby Wisdom leads the Gauchos in the circle and at the plate. Wisdom has a 4.71 ERA in 21 innings and is batting .357 with three runs scored.
All-Time Series: First Meeting

No. 12/8 UCLA
The Bruins moved up the national rankings after winning three games against then-No. 13 Kentucky in the season's opening weekend. UCLA added single wins against Pacific and Loyola Marymount to start the season 5-0. The Bruins have outscored their opponents 59-7 this season, including Tuesday's 24-2 win against LMU. They have used three different pitchers and all of them own sub-3.00 ERAs. Three Bruin starters are batting over .500, incluiding Dani Yudin who is 9-for-14 (.643) with two home runs and 14 RBI.
All-Time Series: First Meeting

San Diego
The Toreros begin their season this weekend, co-hosting the Cambpell/Cartier Classic with cross-town rival San Diego State. USD was 24-19 in 2011, finishing second in the PCSC Coastal Division. Eleventh-year head coach Melissa McElvain returns eight starters from the first Torero squad that has posted a winning record during her tenure. Senior catcher Taylor Hensley was the 2011 PCSC Coastal Division Player of the Year.
All-Time Series: San Diego leads 3-2
Boise State Streak: W1

No. 7/9 Washington
A 5-0 start has the Huskies back in the top 10. Five starters are hitting .400 or better, including reigning NFCA National Player of the Week Kaitlin Inglesby. A two-way star, Inglesby hit .400 with three home runs while pitching to a 1.50 ERA and a 3-0 record with one save in four apperances. Last season the Broncos left 10 runners on base, in a 4-1 loss against Washington March 20, in Fullerton, Calif.
All-Time Series: Washington leads 1-0
Boise State Streak: L1

Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish will open their 2012 campaign at the Campbell/Cartier Classic. Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season and returns four starters, including All-American Dani Miller. The Fighting Irish are receiving votes in both major polls.
All-Time Series: First Meeting

Last Time Out
Boise State opened the 2012 season with a 4-1 record at the Aggie Stampede Feb. 10-12, in Davis, Calif. The Broncos took two games from Nevada and one each from Loyola Marymount and host UC Davis. The only loss was a 10-9, 10-inning defeat at the hands of the LMU.

Senior pitchers Aubray Zell and Allie Crump started the season strong, each twirling a three-hit shutout on opening day. The Broncos beat LMU 3-0 in the opener and downed Nevada 4-0 in the nightcap.

Zell returned to the circle Feb. 11, against Nevada, pitching five scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. She left with a 7-0 lead and Boise State held on for a 7-3 win and a 3-0 start.

The Broncos let an early 5-0 lead get away against the Lions and eventually lost a 10-inning marathon 10-9, for the first loss of the season.

The team rebounded Sunday, behind another shutout from Zell against UC Davis. Freshman Katie Engelbrecht's two-out, two-run triple in the fourth inning provided the first runs of the game and gave Zell all the offense she needed.

Sophomore Tara Glover led the way offensively, batting .450 in her first weekend with the Broncos. Glover, a transfer from Utah, collected nine hits, including at least one in every game, and stole three bases.

Crump and Tazz Weatherly also hit safely in each game of the tournament. Crump hit .400, while Weatherly checked in at .353 and a team-best .588 slugging percentage.

USA Softball ‘Watching' Bridges
Devon Bridges became the first player in school history to be named to the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List prior to this season. She is the only student-athlete from the Mountain West on the list and one of just eight sophomores, nationally, to make the cut. Bridges is the third player from current MW schools to be named to the watch list in the 11-year history of the award.

Zell MW Pitcher of the Week
Senior Aubray Zell notched Mountain West Pitcher of the Week honors for Feb. 9-12, the Broncos' first week in the conference. Zell went 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 19 innings during the season's opening week. She struck out 12 and walked just one. Zell did not allow a run, pitching two shutouts and five scoreless innings in her other start. She retired the side in order in 11 of her 19 innings.

Shut it Down
Boise State pitchers did not allow a run for the first 20 innings of the season and recorded three shutouts during the opening weekend...The Broncos are the only MW team to throw a shutout this season...Senior Aubray Zell is yet to allow a run in her 19 innnigs.

Kreiger a Quick Starter
Freshman Jordan Kreiger started each of the Broncos' first five games, splitting time between shortstop and third base at the Aggie Stampede. In the opener (Feb. 10 vs. LMU) Kreiger became the fifth Boise State fresman to record a hit in her first-career plate appearance. She hit safely in four of the first five games, including three-straight two-hit games to end her debut weekend...Kreiger batted .438 (7-for-16) with two doubles and five runs scored during the tournament.

Double Up
Senior Tazz Weatherly hit a double in each of the last four games at the Aggie Stampede to claim the Boise State career record. Weatherly now has 20 doubles for her career. Junior Holly Bourke is second on the list with 18.


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