Four Games on Tap in Riverside

Tournament Central Page

Boise State softball faces four games against a familiar field at the UC Riverside Softball Invitational Feb. 22-24, in Riverside, Calif. The Broncos (4-6) play one game Friday, two games Saturday and one more Sunday, at Amy S. Harrison Field.

Boise State will open the tournament at 9 a.m. (PT) Friday, against Weber State. The Broncos will also play at 9 a.m. (PT) Saturday and Sunday, both games against San Diego. The second game on Saturday pits Boise State against host UC Riverside at 11:30 a.m. (PT).

The Broncos have played a combined 13 games against the three opponents in the past three seasons, posting a 10-3 mark during that stretch. Last season Boise State knocked off San Diego (once) and Weber State (twice) in the only meetings. The Broncos also won their last game agasint UC Riverside in 2011.

Quick Hits
-Senior Holly Bourke went 4-for-4 at the plate in the Broncos' last game, Feb. 15 against Rutgers. The four hits tie the school's single-game record. It is Bourke's second four-hit performance of her career, joining Laeah Hill as the only Broncos to accomplish the feat twice.

-Junior Devon Bridges homered twice at the UTSA Classic, bringing her season total to three. Bridges tied and then moved passed Kathy Cox (32; 2009-10), for second place all-time on the career home run list at Boise State. She is four shy of Christina Capobianco's school record (37).

-Freshman Makenna Weir has reached base safely in her last six games and is riding a three game hitting streak. Weir has also scored a run in four-straight games she has played.

About the Broncos
Boise State softball is in its fifth season and second in the Mountain West. Head coach Erin Thorpe and the Broncos bring back five starters among the 10 returning letterwinners from their 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 started 97 games in right field during her first two seasons, 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. With one already this year, she is just six homers away from the career record.

Bourke entered her senior year with a pair of 50-hit seasons under her belt. A career .298 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. She started hot with six hits in Tempe.

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 started two games during the opening weekend, dropping both decisions. Patton also started two games, winning once in complete-game fashion. Sophomore Kenzie Cole pitched 11 innings over two games, including a complete-game win.

Scouting Reports

Weber State
The Wildcats enter the tournament looking for their first win of the season. Weber State, 0-5, was off last week after opening the season Feb. 8-10, at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah. The Wildcats are batting .177 as a team and have a 6.93 staff earned run average. Alyson Kulp leads the team with six hits and three runs. Morgan Allaband heads up the pitchers, having appeared in all five games this season with three starts. Allaband has a 5.73 ERA in 18.1 innings with eight walks and 12 strikeouts. Weber State came to Boise last season for the SpringHill Suites Invitational #2, taking on the Broncos twice. The teams battled to a 2-1 decision in the first meeting with the Broncos prevailing thanks to back-to-back two-out home runs by Devon Bridges and Allie Crump in the sixth inning to break a 0-0 tie. The Broncos also won the second game behind a complete game from Kenzie Cole.
All-Time Series: Boise State leads 6-0.
Boise State Streak: W6

San Diego
The Toreros split a doubleheader with McNeese State to open the season Feb. 7, before traveling to Fresno, Calif. Feb. 15-17, where they went 2-3. Four of the five games San Diego played last weekend were decided by one run. The other was a 5-0 loss to No. 7 Missouri. Danielle Mavridis has the hottest bat, hitting .421 in 19 at bats with one home run. As a team San Diego is hitting .270. The Toreros are holding opponents to a .237 batting average but have been outscored 24-19 on the season. Cassidy Coleman (three starts) and Jenny Lahitte (four starts) have split the seven games, both going the distance in each of their starts. Coleman is 2-1 with a 2.13 ERA and one shutout. The Toreros and Broncos met in San Diego last season, with Boise State winning 4-0.
All-Time Series: Tied 3-3
Boise State Streak: W2

UC Riverside
The Highlanders enter their first homestand with a 2-7 record and have lost six straight. Their last time out was a four-game tournament in San Diego where they lost to three top-25 teams and host San Diego State and were outscored 35-4. UC Riverside is led at the plate by Marissa Escalante's .350 batting average. Escalante has seven hits, including a home run, and has driven in a team-high five runs. Alyssa Razo has started seven of the team's nine games in the circle, tossing 31 innings to the tune of a 2-3 record and 4.29 ERA. Razo has struck out 12 and walked 14. The Broncos and Highlanders met last in 2011, with Boise State winning 13-11 and starting a 12-game winning streak.
All-Time Series: Boise State leads 2-1
Boise State Streak: W1

Last Time Out
Boise State went 2-3 at the UTSA Classic Feb. 15-17, in San Antonio. The Broncos opened the tournament with a win against Rutgers and picked up a win against the host Roadrunners on the second day of action. They suffered losses to MIssouri State, Iowa State and Rutgers.

The Broncos came from behind to defeat Rutgers 3-1 in the tournament opener. Devon Bridges belted a two-out, three-run home run in the third inning to get Boise State on the board and Bridges also doubled in the game as she had two of the Broncos' four hits, her second multi-hit game of the year.

Boise State was outhit by Missouri State 10-3 on its way to a 6-0 loss in the second game.

Iowa State scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning Feb. 16, to come from behind and defeat Boise State 9-4. The Cyclones tied the game on a bases-loaded infield single and added five two-out runs to take and pad the lead.

All nine batters in the Bronco order recorded a hit, including four multi-hit performances, as Boise State won its second game of Feb. 16, against UTSA, 9-6. The Broncos racked up 14 hits, led by three from Tara Glover.

Glover doubled to start the game and went on to get a base hit in each of the first three innings. She had an RBI double in the second for her fourth-career game with two doubles.

Holly Bourke tied the school record with four hits, but Boise State lost to Rutgers 9-2 Feb. 17, in its final game at the UTSA Classic. The Broncos fell behind early after a first-inning grand slam and never fully recovered.

The Broncos had two runners on base in the top of the first, but a line-drive double play ended the inning. The Scarlet Knights used the momentum immediately, loading the bases with the first three batters. The cleanup hitter, Ashley Alden, came to the plate and swatted a home run over the fence in left to put Rutgers up 4-0 before recording an out.

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