Three-Game Set at No. 16/20 Arizona Up Next

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Weekend Schedule

Thursday at No. 16/20 Arizona - 6 p.m.
Saturday at No. 16/20 Arizona- 5 p.m.
Saturday at No. 16/20 Arizona - 7 p.m.
*All Times Mountain

Boise State Softball Game Notes

Boise State softball will break from its early-season  tournament schedule for a three-game series at No. 16/20 Arizona Thursday and Saturday, in Tucson, Ariz.

The Broncos (9-10) will meet the Wildcats (15-5) for the first time in program history Thursday at 6 p.m. (MT), at Hillenbrand Stadium. The game was originally scheduled for Friday evening, but impending weather concerns pushed the game up one day.

The Saturday doubleheader remains as scheduled, beginning at 5 p.m. (MT). Boise State enters the weekend 56-33 all-time in the month of March.

Arizona is providing a live video stream of each game free of charge. A link to the video stream is available at BroncoSports.com, on the softball schedule page. Live stats are also available on the schedule page. For more in-depth, in-game coverage follow the action on Twitter @BroncoSportsSB.

Broncos Against The Best
The Broncos will be looking for its first win against a team ranked in both the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Poll and the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll.

After falling to No. 12/10 UCLA in 11 innings March 2, Boise State is 0-25 all-time against teams ranked in the NFCA poll. The Broncos are 3-28 all-time against schools ranked in either poll. All three wins came in a series sweep against Fresno State April 29-30, 2011, in Boise.

Boise State is 3-18 all-time against current Pacific-12 Confernce member institutions, including a 0-3 mark this season. Twelve of those 21 games were against ranked foes.

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 are 9-10 on the season, going 2-3 and three of the first four early-season tournaments and 3-1 at the other.

Boise State has gotten 62 starts out of its freshmen, starting at least three freshmen in 18 of the 19 games. Another 19 starts have come from transfers.

Despite all of the new faces, the Broncos have been led early on by a few familiar names. Junior Devon Bridges is once again the biggest  run-producing threat in the Boise State order. Bridges leads the squad with a .359 average on a team-best 23 hits, including four home runs. Her 19 RBI not only lead the team, but are nearly doubles the next highest Bronco in the category (10).

Senior Holly Bourke is reaching base at an astoundig clip this season. Bourke owns a .514 on-base percentage with 17 hits and 17 walks. Her OBP is tops in the Mountain West.

Freshman Makenna Weir has supplied the most consistent new bat. Weir has a .310 batting average, .442 on-base percentage, 10 walks, 10 RBI and four extra-base hits, ranking in the top three on the team in each category. She has played five different positions in her debut season.

The pitching staff is led by junior transfer Rebecca Patton's 5-4 record and 3.30 earned run average. Patton was named Mountain West Pitcher of the Week two weeks ago, going 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA in 13 innings Feb. 22-24, at a tournament in Riverside, Calif. Most recently Patton pitched 10.1 innings against No. 12/10 UCLA, taking the complete-game loss desipite holding the Bruins to five hits. She has struck out 38 and walked 20 in 53 innings this season.

Senior Lela Work and sophomore Kenzie Cole have also shared time in the circle. Cole has pitched 31.2 innings and has a 3-4 record. Work is 1-2 with one save in 30 innings. Each earned a complete-game win in their last outings. Cole tossed her first-career shutout March 3, against Utah State.

Tara Glover is hitting .308 with 20 hits, including two home runs, nine runs scored and nine RBI. Glover has four multi-hit games as she tries to get back to last season's form when she batted .476 and led the country with 88 hits during the regular season.

Scouting Report
No. 16/20 Arizona
Hitting
Arizona is has scored more than 100 runs in its 20 games, outscoring opponents 102-65. The Wildcats feature five starters hitting better than .300, led by Hallie Wilson's .393 batting average. Wilson, a sophomore outfielder, is Arizona's leadoff batter and has a team-best .486 on-base percentage. She has drawn 11 walks to go along with her 24 hits. Sophomore catcher Chelsea Goodacre is the Wildcats' top power hitter. Goodacre has five of Arizona's 15 home runs and three doubles for a .672 slugging percentage to go with her .362 batting average. Goodacre leads the team with 20 RBI.

Pitching
The Wildcat pitching staff is led by junior Shelby Babcock's 2.21 earned run average. Babcock has appeared in 13 games, including nine starts, with an 8-2 record. One win came in shutout fashion and she has a save. Babcock, who was 21-10 with seven shutouts in 2012, has tossed 63.1 innings this season with 53 strikeouts and 28 walks. Junior college transfer Estela Pinon has started eight games in the circle with a 3.38 ERA in 49.2 innings. Pinon sports a 5-2 record but has walked 25 and allowed nine home runs. As a team, the Wildcats boast a 2.86 ERA and are holding opponents to a .217 batting average.

History
Arizona's softball team finished 38-19 in 2012 with a trip to the Super Regionals, but it was the first time in more than 25 years the perennial title contenders did not reach 40 wins. The Wildcats have reached 22 Women's College World Series, winning eight national titles, most recently in 2007. Head coach Mike Candrea's 1,325 career wins are the most among active coaches in the NCAA and second all-time.

Familiarity
Arizona sophomore outfielder Chelsea Suitos is the younger sister of former Bronco Megan Suitos. Chelsea is batting .345 this season with 19 runs scored and is a perfect 10-for-10 on steal attempts. Megan appeared in 33 games for the Broncos during the inaugural 2009 season.

Wildcat pitcher Estela Pinon and Boise State catcher Brittany McCray were the battery  at Yavapai Junior College last season. Pinon was 21-3 with a 1.55 ERA while McCray hit .406 with eight home runs to lead the Roughriders to a 57-10 record.

All-Time Series: First Meeting

Last Time Out
Boise State went 2-3 at the San Diego Classic I March 1-3, in San Diego. The Broncos dropped their first three games of the tournament before winning the final two games against San Diego and Utah State.

Boise State softball dropped two games on the first day losing to BYU and Long Beach State. Holly Bourke reached base in five of her eight plate appearances.

BYU handed Boise State an 8-1 loss Friday, in a game that saw the teams combine to walk 17 batters, hit two and strand 25 runners. The Broncos had a base runner in each of the first six innings but could not push one across the plate until the sixth.

Boise State scored a run in the fifth and the sixth innings but it was not enough to overcome an early deficit to Long Beach State in the nightcap. The Broncos trailed 2-0 after the first and 5-0 before scoring in the bottom of the fifth.

Boise State erased a pair of deficits but settled for a split Saturday, falling to No. 12/10 UCLA 5-4 in 11 innings before defeating San Diego 5-3. Rebecca Patton and Lela Work each pitched complete games. Patton took the loss against UCLA and Work earned her first win of the year against the Toreros.

Patton allowed five runs (two earned), limiting the Bruins to five hits. She walked seven and struck out three. Devon Bridges had four hits against UCLA including an RBI triple in the ninth. The game ended on a sacrifice fly.

Makenna Weir was 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored, including her first-career home run to help Boise State battle back from a 3-0 deficit against San Diego. Work allowed three runs (all unearned) on five hits and one walk. The Broncos scored three runs in the sixth to take the lead, capped by a two-run double from freshman Ashley Palmer.

Kenzie Cole tossed a shutout and Bridges scorched a two-run home run in the sixth inning to lead Boise State softball to a 2-0 win Sunday, against Utah State. Cole surrendered just three hits and one walk while striking out seven for her first-career shutout. She retired the side in order in the first, fourth, sixth and seventh innings.

Bourke led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk to extend her reached-base-safely streak to 11 games. Bridges was the next batter to the plate. After working the count full, the junior slugger unloaded on a pitch and put it over the wall just left of dead center where the fence reaches 235 feet.

Killer Bs
Barnes, Bourke and Bridges have become a lethal combination for the Bronco offense. The trio leads the way for Boise State in nearly every offensive category. Junior Devon Bridges paces the Broncos in batting average (.359), slugging percentage (.594), hits (23), homers (four) and RBI (16). Senior Holly Bourke has the top on-base percentage (.514) and his hitting .340. Bourke has 17 hits and 17 walks on the year. Freshman Sarah Barnes has 14 hits with a .373 on-base percentage and a .412 slugging percentage, including two home runs.

Consistent Makenna
Freshman Makenna Weir is riding a six-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 13 of the 16 games she has appeared. Weir is hitting .310 for the year and has drawn 10 walks to reach base at a .442 clip...Weir's versatility defensively has also allowed the Broncos some lineup flexibility. The freshman has already seen time at catcher, second base, third base, left field and designated player.

Brilliant Hitting Per-FOUR-mances
Senior Holly Bourke, freshman Sarah Barnes and junior Devon Bridges have each tied the single-game school record with four hits this season. Bourke's four-hit game came Feb. 17, against Rutgers in 4-for-4 fashion. It was the second four-hit game of her career, becoming the second Bronco in school history to accomplish the feat twice (Laeha Hill). Barnes duplicated the effort with a 4-for-4 game of her own Feb. 24, against San Diego. She became the second Bronco freshman with four hits in a game. Her game also included a home run, making her the second Bronco to have a four-hit game include a homer. Bridges was 4-for-5 March 2, against UCLA. She also drew a walk, becoming the first Bronco to reach base safely five times in a game.

Bourke Getting Aboard
Senior Holly Bourke has a .514 on-base percentage for the season. Bourke has 17 hits and has drawn 17 walks. She has reached safely in 27-of-her-last-44 plate appearances (.614), starting Feb. 16 at UTSA. The span included a streak of reaching in seven-straight plate appearances between Feb. 17 and 22. That streak was started by a 4-for-4 game Feb. 17 against Rutgers.

Cole Making Quick Work of Opposition
Sophomore Kenzie Cole has pitched in 42 innings this season, retiring the side in order in 16 of them. Cole has retired at least six-consecutive batters seven different times this year. In Cole's season debut Feb. 9, against Stephen F. Austin she sat down 16 of 17 batters from the end of the first inning through the sixth...She needed just four pitches to sit down the Ladyjacks in the fifth and five pitches to get three outs in the sixth...Cole threw six pitches in a perfect fourth inning against No. 5/6 Oregon, Feb. 10...In her shutout of Utah State March 3, only one of the final 14 batters reached and that was via a Bronco error.


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