Softball Heads To Vegas
Feb. 18, 2016

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    BOISE, Idaho - Boise State (0-5) looks to rebound from a winless opening weekend as it travels to Las Vegas for the 2016 DeMarini Desert Classic, set for Friday-Sunday. The Broncos open action Friday against BYU (12:15 p.m. MT) and Southern Utah (4:45 p.m.), continue Saturday against Utah and Weber State, and finish Sunday against Wichita State and Oregon State.

    About The Opposition
    Boise State will play six games in Las Vegas this weekend, taking on BYU and Southern Utah Friday, Utah and Weber State Saturday, and Wichita State and Oregon State Sunday.

    BYU (3-2) opened its 2016 season with thre wins at the Kajikawa Classic last weekend, defeating San Jose State, Wisconsin and Creighton while falling to No. 8/9 Tennessee and No. 24 Notre Dame. Libby Sugg with two homers and drove in nine runs for the Cougars over the weekend, Libby Bell led the team with seven hits and pitcher McKenna Bull went 2-2 with a 2.81 ERA and 27 strikeouts.

    Southern Utah (0-6) went winless in Tucson openign weekend, falling to Purdue, Arizona (twice), UCSB, North Texas and Nebraska-Omaha. The Thunderbirds’ top performers included Jordyn Binnion (team-high eight hits, .571, a home run).

    Utah (3-3) split its six games at the Kajikawa Classic, defeating Georgia State, Portland State and Boston College, and falling to No. 24 Notre Dame, Fresno State and No. 17 Kentucky.

    Weber State (4-2) won four games in Fullerton last weekend, defeating Canisius twice along with UTSA and host Cal State Fullerton. The Wildcats were led by Sara Hingsberger (.526, 10 hits, two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI) and pitcher Kirtlyn Bohling (2-1, 1.78 ERA).

    Wichita State (2-3) beat Colorado State twice lat weekend in College Station, Texas, while falling to No. 7 UCLA and twice to host Texas A&M. Paige Luellen led the Shockers with a .462 batting average and six RBI over the weekend while pitcher Jenni Brooks went 2-1 with a 2.71 ERA.

    Oregon State (4-1) won four of five at the Kajikawa Classic, defeating San Jose State, Kentucky, Cal State Northridge and New Mexico while falling only to Cal Poly. Pitcher Meehra Nelson went 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA and 29 strikeouts for the Beavers.

    Boise State dropped two of three to Weber State last season, and fell to Wichita State, 4-2, last February on a two-out, walk-off home run. The meeting against BYU will be the first since 2013, while the Broncos last played Southern Utah and Oregon State each in 2014.

    Last Time Out
    The Broncos had a rough outing at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., last weekend, going 0-5 on Opening Weekend.

    The weekend started with losses to Creighton (9-6) and Virginia (12-4 in five innings), continued Friday with setbacks against Maryland (9-4) and San Diego (2-1), and concluded Saturday with a 4-2 loss to Bradley.

    Bronco Newcomers Produce
    Despite the winless weekend, Boise State could find some silver linings from the trip to Tempe. One of those silver linings was the performance of some of the Bronco newcomers such as juniors Cassidy Edwards and Jenna Bassler along with freshmen Rebekah Cervantes, Morgan Lamb and Kora Wade.

    Edwards and Wade paced the Broncos at the plate, each batting .375 over the weekend, with Edwards recording a team-high six hits (6-for-16) and Wade going 3-for-8. Edwards also led all Broncos with three RBI over the five games.

    Cervantes hit the lone Bronco home run on the weekend and drove in a pair of runs, while Lamb batted .300 with a pair of doubles.

    In the circle, Bassler tossed a team-high 12.1 innings, and despite going 0-3 also led the team with 10 strikeouts. After a rough outing against Virginia (five earned runs over three innings), Bassler rebounded to give up just three earned runs (five total) over 9.1 innings against San Diego and Bradley.

    Serrano Opens 2016 Well
    Junior Izzy Serrano was the highlight of the weekend amongst Boise State veterans, batting .364 (4-for-11) with an RBI and a pair of runs scored.

    Serrano started four of the five games for the Broncos, also stealing a base and being hit by a pitch.

    Get That W Away From Home
    After last weekend’s 0-5 record in Tempe, the Broncos’ losing streak in games away from home stretched to 24. The last time Boise State won a game away from Dona Larsen Park was last Feb. 27, when it defeated Weber State and Portland State in Long Beach, Calif.

    Looking To Bounce Back
    This season Boise State will be aiming to bounce back from a 2015 campaign in which it went 12-42 and finished ninth in the Mountain West with a 4-20 mark.

    The Broncos suffered through a 16-game losing streak that spanned from early March to mid-April, a spell that included a 0-9 start to conference play. However, the Broncos managed to still claim two home series in Mountain West play, capturing two of three from both Colorado State and Nevada.

    Competitive Non-Conference Slate Ahead
    The 2016 non-conference slate should offer a competitive challenge for Boise State, as the Broncos take on six NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago as well as six teams from Power Five conferences.

    The Broncos will play four teams from the Pac-12, beginning with Utah (Feb. 20) and Oregon State (Feb. 21) in Las Vegas and continuing with Stanford (Feb. 27) at the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., and Washington (March 4) in Seattle.

    This weekend, the Broncos take on Virginia of the ACC as well as Maryland, from the Big Ten.

    The 2015 NCAA Tournament teams that Boise State will face during its non-conference season are Utah, BYU (Feb. 19), Weber State (Feb. 20), New Mexico State (Feb. 26), Cal State Northridge (Feb. 28) and Washington (March 4).


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