Home At Last
March 4, 2015
Game Day Info
Parking: Free parking will be available for softball patrons at two different locations, depending on the day. Parking Friday is in the Bronco Stadium East Lot and a continuous shuttle will be running to Dona Larsen Park. On Saturday and Sunday, parking will be available in the lot at the URS Building at 720 E Park Blvd. Parking at Dona Larsen Park will be on a first-come, first-served basis with a $5 cost all three days.
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State Opens Home Slate This Weekend Boise State finally gets to stay home for the weekend as the Broncos host the Springhill Suites Invitational at Dona Larsen Park from March 6-8. Along with the Broncos, the tournament will feature Montana, Saint Mary's, Utah State and Weber State, with action beginning Friday with Saint Mary's and Weber State facing off at 8:30 a.m.
Boise State opens its 2015 home campaign Friday at 3:15 p.m. with the first of two games this weekend against Weber State. The Broncos defeated the Wildcats, 9-8, last Friday in Long Beach.
The Broncos play two Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. against Saint Mary's and concluding at 3:15 p.m. against Montana. Boise State closes the tournament with the weekend finale Sunday at 3:15 p.m. against Weber State.
Against This Weekend's Opposition: Boise State has already met Weber State before this season, capturing a 9-8 decision last Saturday at the Long Beach Louisville Slugger Invitational. With that win the Broncos remain perfect in eight all-time meetings against the Wildcats ahead of this weekend's two scheduled matchups.
The Broncos also own a perfect record against Saint Mary's, having captured both meetings between the schools, with the most recent a 9-1, six-inning victory in Moraga last March 1.
Saturday's meeting between Boise State and Montana will be the first between the schools, as Montana's softball program is in its inaugural season.
About The Opposition: Weber State, which Boise State plays twice this weekend, comes to Boise with an 8-7 record. The Wildcats went 3-2 at the Long Beach Louisville Slugger Invitational last weekend, with its two losses coming to the Broncos and Stanford. Weber State is led by the play of Molly Horne (.409, two HR, eight RBI) and MaCauley Flynt (4-3, 2.75 ERA).
Montana, in its inaugural season, is 2-12 entering this weekend's tournament. The Griz were 1-3 last weekend at the Libby Matson Classic at Pacific, dropping their first three decisions before ending the weekend with a 6-2 win over the host Tigers. Montana is paced at the plate by Lexie Brenneis (.385, one HR, 13 RBI) while in the circle Kenzie Cole (1-6, 4.61) is the team's top starter.
Saint Mary's brings a record of 5-10 into this weekend's tournament and are currently on a four-game slide. The Gaels went 0-4 at the Fresno State Louisville Slugger Bash last weekend, falling to Oregon State, Rutgers, UC Santa Barbara and the host Bulldogs. The Gaels are led at the plate by Monika Reichhardt (.357, three triples, one HR, 10 RBI) and in the circle by starter Katlyn Whitt (1-2, 4.72 ERA).
Saturday's opponent, Cal State Fullerton (9-6), is led by Courtney Rodriguez (.469, nine RBI) and Missy Taukeiaho (.429, six HR, 12 RBI).
Last Week's Outings: Boise State went 2-3 last weekend at the Long Beach Louisville Slugger Invitational in Southern California.
The Broncos opened the trip with a pair of heart-breaking walk-off losses Thursday, falling 4-2 to Wichita State and 4-3 in eight innings to Seattle University. In the opener, the Broncos led 2-0 in the seventh with two outs, when the Shockers got three singles and the game-winning home run in succession to steal the win.
Boise State rebounds Friday in Long Beach, routing Portland State, 9-3 in the opener behind a pinch-hit three-run home run from Ashley Palmer, then outlasting Weber State, 9-8, as Makenzie Sullivan went 2-for-3 with three RBI.
The weekend ended with a tough 2-0 loss at Cal State Fullerton, as a fourth-inning, two-run homer by the Titans was the only blemish on an otherwise fine outing from Rachel Rodriguez (CG, five hits, two runs, one earned).
In A Pinch: Junior infielder Ashley Palmer has been used in a pinch-hitting role for much of this season, and has excelled at it. Palmer went 3-for-6 over the weekend in Southern California, making her mark with key pinch hits in Saturday's sweep of Portland State and Weber State.
Against Portland State, Palmer was called upon with two on and two out in the third inning and the Broncos leading the Vikings, 4-3. The Peoria, Ariz. native stepped up and delivered the blow that broke the game open, slamming an opposite-field homer to right, her first of the season, to put the Broncos ahead 7-3 en route to a 9-3 win.
Later that afternoon, against Weber State, Palmer was called up in the bottom of the sixth with a runner on second, one out, and the Broncos down 6-5. Once again she went opposite field, doubling to right to plate Jordan Kreiger with the tying run, igniting what would become a four-run rally en route to a 9-8 win.
Developing An Ace: Freshman pitcher Rachel Rodriguez continued her evolution into the ace of the Bronco pitching staff in Southern California, tossing three complete game, going 1-2 with a save and a 2.03 earned-run average.
Rodriguez opened the weekend with a tough walk-off loss to Wichita State. After shutting down the Shocker over 6.2 innings, she was beaten by three straight singles and a game-winning home run in the 4-2 loss.
She would bounce back with a fine Friday, allowing just three runs (one earned) on six hits in a complete-game win over Portland State, then picking up the save by giving up just one hit over the final inning in the 9-8 win over Weber State.
Sunday, Rodriguez kept the Broncos in the game at Cal State Fullerton, giving up just two runs (one earned) and five hits in Boise State's 2-0 loss to the Titans.
Rodriguez' strong weekend helped lower her ERA this year to 3.69 and up her complete-game total to four.
Even at the plate Rodriguez is helping both the Broncos' and her own causes, batting .267 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI.
Continuing A Breakout Year: Junior outfielder Kayla Clausen continued to hit the ball well and play perfect defense in the outfield this weekend in Southern California. The Irvine, Calif. native batted .375 (6-for-16) with a pair of doubles and three runs scored, improving her average this year to .417, second-best on the team.
Clausen's improvement from 2014 to this season has been significant, as her current batting average of .417 is more than double the .183 average she turned in last year. Her 2015 total of 15 hits, six doubles, one home run and five RBI already exceed or come close to exceeding her 2014 numbers of 11 hits, zero doubles, one homer and six RBI.
Defensively, Clausen has proven to be a valuable asset to the Bronco outfield, being perfect in 22 chances. Sunday in center field at Cal State Fullerton, she demonstrated that value by chasing down a pair of long drives to make key outs for the Broncos.
Building Momentum: Another Bronco to put out a strong showing in Southern California last weekend was junior first baseman Teauna Hughes. The Mount Hood CC transfer batted a team-high .385 (5-for-13) over the weekend with a pair of RBI and a walk.
Hughes' weekend effort, which included a 3-for-3, two-RBI showing against Portland State, improved her average to .255 this season, as the junior is now fifth on the team with 13 hits.
Sullivan Stays Sluggin': Freshman Makenzie Sullivan has been one of many bright spots this season among Boise State's newcomers. The freshman outfielder leads the team with eight doubles and 21 RBI while sharing the team lead with three home runs. She is also tied for second with 18 hits and alone in second with nine walks.
In Southern California, Sullivan drove in a team-high five runs with two of her three hits going for doubles. Her top performance came in Friday's 9-8 win over Weber State, as she went 2-for-3 with three RBI, including a two-run double in the sixth inning that put Boise State ahead 9-6 and proved to be the game-winner in the 9-8 victory.
Record Watch: Redshirt senior first baseman Devon Bridges continued her march towards the top of numerous Boise State career hitting records this past weekend. The Danville, Calif. native batted .333 (4-for-12) with seven walks and three RBI over five games in Southern California.
One of the top hitters in program history, Bridges is already Boise State's all-time leader in six offensive categories including home runs (46), RBI (164) and slugging percentage (.683), while also sitting second with a career batting average of .378. With her four hits this past weekend, Bridges now needs just 12 to supplant Tara Glover (216) atop the program's career list as well as 84 at-bats to pass Holly Bourke's (2010-13) Bronco benchmark of 625.
Already this season Bridges has twice matched the Boise State single-game record of four hits. She first pulled off the feat Feb. 8 at North Texas, then again against Portland State Feb. 14. Bridges now has three four-hit games in her career, matching Glover (2012-14) for the most four-hit games as a Bronco.
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