Boise State Set for Home Opener

BOISE, Idaho-After spending the first three weeks of the 2011 season on the road, Boise State softball brings the action to Mountain Cove Softball Field March 4-6, for the Boise State SpringHill Suites Invitational.

The Broncos (4-8) welcome Seattle and Southern Utah to the second annual tournament. Boise State will host Southern Utah (3-9) for a doubleheader Friday, before taking on each team Saturday.

The weekend comes to a close Sunday as the Broncos face Seattle (1-11).

The Thunderbirds and Redhawks will face each other twice during the tournament, once each Saturday and Sunday.

Live stats will be available for every game of the tournament. Live audio will be streamed on for each of the Broncos' five games.

About the Broncos
Boise State softball is in its third season. Head coach Erin Thorpe and the Broncos return 15 letterwinners and eight starters from the 2010 squad that finished third in the Western Athletic Conference.

Juniors Allie Crump and Kellie Caplan have led the Broncos through their first twelve games.

Crump homered in three of four games spanning the two weekends, and still paces the Broncos with her three home runs. The All-WAC Preseason Team selection has also led the way in the circle, starting seven games and going the distance in four of them for a 4-3 record.

Caplan went on a tear at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic (Feb. 18-20) in Las Vegas and has not let up. She went 10-for-17 at the plate in Las Vegas and holds a .395 batting average for the season, while scoring six runs and driving in five.

Sophomore catcher Megan Harvey leads the team with a .500 on-base percentage and is riding a six-game hitting streak.

Last Time Out
The Broncos took one step backward before taking two giant leaps forward at the Amy S. Harrison Classic Feb. 25-27, in Riverside, Calif.

Boise State lost 9-0 to UNLV in the opener of the tournament. The bottom of the Bronco order was 0-for-16 as the team managed just three hits.

In the night cap the offense came to life and Boise State pounded out 18 hits, the second-most in school history, to take down UC Riverside, 13-11.

The onslaught was led by Vanessa Alvarez, Allie Crump and Tazz Weatherly who each tied career highs with three hits in the game. Alvarez broke out of a season-long 4-for-25 slump in a big way with her three hits and four RBI. Kelly Sweeney also drove in four runs. Megan Harvey hit her first home run of the season in the fourth inning.

After rain washed away Saturday, the Broncos took on Cal State Northridge Sunday to wrap up their weekend. The offense picked up where it left off and Crump dominated in the circle as Boise State won 8-4.

Weatherly notched three more hits and Devon Bridges reached base four times to lead the charge at the plate. Timely hitting kept the game close for the Matadors, but Crump went six innings, allowing just two hits. Lela Work earned the save.

About Southern Utah
The Thunderbirds enter the weekend on a three-game slide, dropping their season record to 3-9. Southern Utah has not played since falling to Tennessee and UNLV Feb. 22, in Las Vegas. The Thunderbirds are led by junior utility player Heather Richardson, batting .306 with a team-high 15 total bases. Junior Heather Black has seen the most time in the circle with 39 innings pitched, earning all three wins for the Thunderbirds this year.
The Series
First meeting.

About Seattle
The Redhawks earned their first win of the season Sunday, Feb. 27, knocking off San Diego on the road, 4-3. Seattle (1-11) is led by sophomore third baseman Allegra Wilde with a .286 batting average and four RBI. In the circle the Redhawks lean on sophomore Jessica Ulrich. A native of Lewiston, Idaho, Ulrich has tossed a team-high 34.2 innings and is still in search of her first win this season. As a team, Seattle is batting .177 on the year.
The Series
Tied 1-1. Boise State won the first meeting 3-2, Feb. 28, 2009, in Seattle at Washington. The Redhawks answered a day later with a 14-1 win in five innings.

Boise State in Home Openers
The Broncos are 1-1 all-time in home openers. Boise State lost to Minnesota, 3-2, in the opener at last season's SpringHill Suites Invitational. Boise State was 2-3 in the inaugural tournament. In the opening weekend at Mountain Cove during the 2009 season the Broncos went 4-0 on their way to winning the first seven games at their home park.

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