Broncos Off To San Diego for Second Tournament
WHAT’S ON DECK: The Boise State softball team will hit the road again this weekend after taking a week off from competition. The Broncos will head down to San Diego, Calif. for another tournament hosted by the University of San Diego. The tournament schedule places the Broncos against Long Beach St. and San Diego on Friday, Colorado State and the Beach on Saturday and another game against San Diego on Sunday.
ABOUT LONG BEACH ST.: Don’t be fooled by the 49ers 4-5 record that they bring into the tournament this weekend. Three of those five losses have come to nationally ranked teams, including a pair of losses last weekend to No. 8 Stanford and No. 7 Washington. The 49ers other loss to a ranked team came in their season-opener against then No. 22-ranked Georgia. A key win came on Sunday for Long Beach St. as it downed No. 24 San Diego St. in the Aztecs tournament this past weekend. The 49ers also shut out Wisconsin 7-0 in the Cathedral City Kickoff a day before the Broncos dramatic 13-12 victory over the Badgers. WAC-rival Utah State also fell victim to Long Beach St. in an abbreviated 8-0 victory for the 49ers. The preseason Big West favorites are led early on by 2008 first team All-Big West selection Danielle Link. Link sports a .400 batting average with 12 hits and five doubles. Second team selection Jennifer Griffin is also off to hot start in 2009 with a .370 batting average and a team-leading eight runs, seven RBI and three homers. The Beach also returns 2008 Big West Pitcher of the Year Brooke Turner, who has started five games this year, earning a 3-2 record and a 3.82 ERA with two shutouts in 29.1 innings pitched. Turner also leads the team with 31 strikeouts. Second team All-Big West selection Bridgette Pagano has seen better days at the Beach. She is off to a rocky start with a 10.08 ERA and 0-2 record in her 16.2 innings pitched. She also has given up a .421 batting average against.
ABOUT COLORADO ST.: The Rams will charge into San Diego with a 5-5 record after going 3-3 in their opening weekend and 2-2 last weekend. Two of those five losses have come in abbreviated games against the current WAC leader, New Mexico St. The mercy rule was applied after five innings in both contests as the Aggies took the season-opener 9-1 and a later game 8-0. After the loss to New Mexico State to begin the season, the Rams went on a three-game win streak with wins over Ohio, Missouri-Kansas City and Cleveland State. Last weekend, the Rams came away with wins over UC Riverside and San Diego, host of this weekend’s tournament, and dropped a pair of games to Tulsa. In wins, Colorado State has outscored its opponents by only 10 runs, 39-29, but has been outscored 38-4 in losses, including two shutouts. Offensively, Caitlin Stem leads the Rams with a .412 batting average and eight runs scored. Stem is second on the team in RBI with seven to Ashley Munoz, who has compiled 12 RBI in ten games with two home runs. All four pitchers have picked up a win for the Rams this year and put together a staff ERA of 6.16. All four have also started a game with Danielle Chaplin starting four games and leading the staff with a 3.77 ERA while sporting a 1-0 record.
ABOUT SAN DIEGO: The Toreros opened up their season last weekend, going 0-4 in Riverside, Cailf. The Toreros dropped their first game 6-0 to Tulsa, managing only four hits. UC Riverside downed the Toreros twice in the weekend with an 8-3 win on Friday and a narrow 8-7 win on Sunday with the winning run scored in the top of the seventh. Colorado State and San Diego faced off on Saturday with the Rams coming away with a 2-0 victory despite the Toreros outhitting the Rams 7-6. Lindsey Fleet opened the season on a four-game hit streak and his driven in five or the Toreros ten runs on the year, including three against UC Riverside in the 8-7 loss. Katie Nelson and Jennifer Ellenbeck lead the Torero pitching staff in innings pitched although Nelson has taken three of the four losses this year.
STARTING AT THE TOP: Coming off of an All-American season at Sacramento City College, junior Laeha Hill hasn’t missed a beat while transitioning into the world of Division I softball. Hill started in all four games of the Cathedral City Kickoff in the leadoff spot and in left field. She is hitting .429 and holds a .571 on-base percentage, not to mention that she recorded the first hit in Bronco history when she led off the Broncos inaugural game with an infield hit. After four games, Hill is tied for most hits on the team with six, including the game-winning RBI single against Wisconsin that gave the Broncos a 13-12 victory.
STARTING HOT: Freshman 1B/DP Christina Capobianco couldn’t ask for much of a better way to begin her college career despite a pair of losses. Capobianco went 4-for-4 in her first four trips to the plate to begin her career, including a 3-for-3 performance in the Broncos inaugural game against Illinois. Her fourth hit was an RBI single against James Madison that gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. With her hot start, Capobianco is leading the team with a .500 batting average and a .583 on-base percentage. She is also second on the team with three RBI.
OLYMPIAN TO SPEAK AT FIRST PITCH BANQUET: Three-time Olympic gold medalist Lori Harrigan will be making a trip to Boise as the keynote speaker in the Boise State softball team’s first annual First Pitch Banquet held on March 5 in the Stuekle Sky Center. The banquet will include a dinner and silent and live auction. Head coach Erin Thorpe invites all of the Boise community to come meet the team as well as Harrigan on Mar. 5 at 5:30 p.m. For more information, please visit www.broncosports.com.
RARE ENDING TO INAUGURAL INNING: The Broncos looked to be rolling after the first two batters in program history reached base. However, the momentum that they had built was stopped cold by one of the rarest plays in the sport of softball. The Broncos first inning ended with a triple play on a line drive to the Fighting Illini second baseman, who caught the screaming liner, stepped on second and threw to first in the blink of an eye to turn the rare triple play.
DUCKS ON THE POND: From the first game, the Broncos have had little trouble getting runners on base. Against Illinois, Boise State successfully recorded a hit in each inning of the 8-2 loss. The Broncos currently rank second among WAC teams with a .429 on-base percentage and rank third in batting average at .314 behind Nevada (.317) and New Mexico State (.395).
BRONCOS NEAR THE TOP: Three Broncos currently rank in the top-15 in the WAC in individual batting average. Most notably, Christina Capobianco ranks second with a .500 batting average in her twelve at-bats. Laeha Hill ranks eighth with a .429 BA and Allie Crump sits in 11th with a batting average of .364.
REPORT FROM IN THE CIRCLE: Freshman Aubray Zell earned the first victory in Bronco history with a complete game win over Fordham. She also earned the only other victory against Wisconsin by pitching the Broncos out of a jam in the top of the seventh against Wisconsin. Zell leads the young team with a 3.62 ERA and currently ranks tenth among WAC pitchers in that category.
PLUNKSVILLE: Junior Laurel Wyatt hit the first home run in Bronco history as well as collected the first two RBI. However, she was also the first Bronco to get hit by a pitch in history when she was plunked in an 8-4 victory over Fordham. Wyatt continued to “wear a target” as she was plunked three more times against Wisconsin. She is currently tied among WAC hitters for the most times being hit by a pitch with four on the season. Wyatt is tied with Sam Bias of Nevada who has 31 plate appearances to Wyatt’s 12.
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