WHAT'S ON DECK: The Boise State softball team is looking to stay on the winning track this weekend when it travels to Lubbock, Texas to take on Texas Tech and Wichita State. The Broncos (2-7) ended their seven-game slide with a 10-2 thrashing of San Diego on Feb. 20 to earn their second win of the season. This is the Broncos first trip to the Lonestar State and will be their first time facing both teams.
ABOUT TEXAS TECH: The Red Raiders opened the 2010 season red hot with a 13-1 record over the first few weeks. Two notable wins came over Oregon and San Diego State in their opening weekend. Leah Legler leads the Red Raiders, who are hitting .327 as a team, with a .444 average although she has only played in eight games. Raven Richardson leads the regular starters with a .385 average and also has three homers and 12 RBI. Six other players have batting averages of .300 or better, including Emily Bledsoe and Mikey Kenney who also have four homers a piece and double digit RBI. In the circle, the Red Raiders have limited opponents to a .199 batting average while boasting a 2.16 team ERA. Ashly Jacobs leads the way with a 1.37 ERA and 34 strikeouts. Karli Merlich leads the squad with 35 innings in the circle and has already raked in a 6-0 record. The Red Raiders are already clicking on all cylinders as they also have 13 homers and 22 stolen bases as a team.
ABOUT WICHITA STATE: The Shockers have battled their way to a 6-6 record to open the season. Three players are hitting over .300 with Jamie Hull leading the way in that category. She is hitting .364 in 10 games played this year. Heather Gerritse is providing the power so far with four of the team's five homers and 11 of their 39 RBI. The Shockers pitching staff has put together a 3.94 ERA and has tossed two shutouts. Katie Armagost leads the staff with a 2.57 ERA and a 3-1 record but has recorded only nine strikeouts in 28 innings of work. Kasha Kolb leads the team with 32 innings pitched and holds a 2-4 record with 3.94 ERA. Through 12 games, the Shockers have swiped 16-of-18 bases and made only seven errors as a team.
WHEN THEIR POWERS COMBINE: Kathy Cox and Christina Capobianco have provided a 1-2 power punch for the Broncos' offense. Both have proved that they can leave the yard at anytime. Once again, both went deep in the Broncos last two games. Capobianco hit a game-tying home run against Oklahoma and Cox smashed on in a 10-2 rout of San Diego. Cox leads the team with three homers and Capobianco is close behind with two. However, Capobianco has the edge with nine RBI to Cox's eight. Both power hitters make the middle of the Broncos lineup a very dangerous place for opposing pitchers.
RESTORING THE MAGIC OF MARCH: In 2009, the Broncos sported a slightly better record of 5-6 after the month of February. Once March hit, the Broncos hit their stride and turned in a record of 12-7 through the month of March. The 12 wins included a seven-game win streak that spanned through the Broncos first two weekends in the confines of Mountain Cove. This year, the Broncos will spend those first two weekends of March on the road but have their home-opener Mar. 19 against Minnesota. The Broncos will then play seven consecutive games at Mountain Cove before finishing the month in California.
OVER .300 CLUB: The Broncos bats have come around early this year as the team has posted a .281 batting average through their first nine games. Laeha Hill is leading the way with 12 hits and a .387 average. The senior leadoff hitter has smacked two doubles and drawn six walks while only striking out three times. Christina Capobianco and Tazz Weatherly join Hill in the .300+ club with .333 batting averages. Both Broncos have eight hits in 24 at-bats.
LEAVING THE PARK: Home runs have not been hard to come by this year if you're watching a Boise State softball game. The Broncos have already smashed eight round-trippers this year compared to the two they had through nine games last year. Unfortunately, opponents have combined for 13 homers against the Broncos compared to only two in 2009 at this point in the season. The Broncos and their opponents have left the yard 21 times already this year and have already combined for 108 runs.
CIRCLE DEBUTS: Freshmen Lela Work and Ashley Collier have put together impressive Bronco debuts in the circle. Work strung together eight scoreless innings in her first few games as a Bronco and Collier has given up only two runs through 4.2 innings of work. Collier made her debut on Feb. 19 and held Indiana to two runs through four innings while striking out five. She also shut the door on an Oklahoma rally in the sixth with two quick outs.
PUSHING EAST: The Broncos trip to Texas will be the farthest east that the Broncos have traveled in their short history. It is their first trip to Texas and first trip to the central time zone. It is also their first time playing both Texas Tech and Wichita State or any team from the Missouri Valley Conference. The Broncos are currently 0-1 against the Big XII with their recent loss to Oklahoma.
LOSING SKID: With their 10-2 win over San Diego, the Broncos ended their longest losing streak in their short history. Previously, the Broncos had only lost six in-a-row spanning from Apr. 24-May 2, 2009. Those dates are series sweeps from Fresno State and Hawaii. The Broncos are looking for their first winning streak of the year when they face Wichita State on Friday at noon (MT).