WHAT'S ON DECK: The Boise State softball team will close out its season-opening road trip with a trip to Oregon this weekend to face North Dakota, Oregon and Oregon State. The Broncos (3-11) will face North Dakota and Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. on Friday before making the trek to Eugene to face Oregon twice and North Dakota once more on Sunday. The five games will cap a 19-game road trip to open the season.
ABOUT NORTH DAKOTA: The Fighting Sioux bring a 3-10 record when they travel to the Northwest this weekend. As a team, they are hitting only .232 and hold a team ERA of 7.08. Every pitcher holds an ERA over seven, but Emma Gronseth owns all three wins for the Fighting Sioux this year. She holds a 3-4 record with a 7.28 ERA in 38.1 innings pitched. She is also tied with Michelle Frank for the team lead with 25 strikeouts. As a team the Fighting Sioux have struck out 96 times this year, which is an average of aver seven times per game. Casie Hanson can't be blamed for their offensive woes as she has powered her way to four homers, eight RBI and a .410 batting average. Hanson has also scored 14 of the team's 42 runs.
ABOUT OREGON STATE: The Beavers (8-11) will host both of the Broncos games on Friday in Corvallis. The Beavers lineup features five players with over-.300 batting averages and two players with over 15 RBI. Paige Hall leads the way for the Beavers with a .460 average and a .557 on-base percentage. Mary Claire Brenner and Audrey Roderfield pose the power threat with seven and five home runs, respectively. Brenner also leads the team with 19 RBI while Roderfield has 18. Lea Cavestany can also be very dangerous on the basepaths as she has swiped eight bases this year in eight tries. In the circle, Hall has eaten up the bulk of the innings with 83.1 innings of work. She boasts a 3.78 ERA with 57 Ks and a 6-10 record. Kelly Dyer holds a 2-1 record with a team-leading 3.58 ERA. The Beavers have been outscored 97-92 on the year but have outhit their opponents 148-146. However, the Beavers also strikeout six times per game on average.
ABOUT OREGON: The Ducks are enjoying a lot of preseason success with a 14-5 record, including a win over then-No.19 Texas A&M. As a team, the Ducks are hitting .315 with three players hitting .440 or better. The pitching staff has also combined for a 1.64 team ERA, allowing only 45 runs through their first 19 games. Blaire Williamson leads the Ducks with a .472 average but has only started in 12 games this year. Sam Pappas has started every game and boasts a .467 average while leading the team with six homers and 18 RBI. Allie Burger has also started all 19 games and rounds out the above.400 club with a .440 batting average. Jessica Moore has eaten up 68.0 innings in the circle with a 6-2 record and a 1.34 ERA. Moore also leads the team with 84 strikeouts. Brittany Rumfelt has also started three games for the Ducks and holds a perfect 3-0 record with a miniscule 0.40 ERA in 17.1 innings of work. The pitching staff has held opponents to a .205 batting average while only allowing five home runs. The Ducks have also outscored their opponents by 39 runs this year.
RUNS BY THE HANDFUL: Actually, it was two handfuls. In the third inning of the Broncos game on Mar. 5, The Broncos put up a season-high five runs. Texas Tech responded with five runs of their own to push the total number of runs in the inning to 10. The Broncos and their opponents have never combined for that many runs in an inning. Utah Valley and Boise State combined for nine runs in the sixth and seventh innings on Mar. 23, 2009, which was the previous high. The Broncos scored five runs in the sixth inning and the Wolverines scored four. In the seventh, the Broncos scored all nine runs, which is the team record for runs in an inning.
SWIPING MORE THAN EVER: After only 14 games, the Broncos have already swiped 14 bases in 15 attempts. In all of their inaugural season in 2009, the Broncos swiped 14 bases in 20 attempts. The Broncos have 36 regular season games remaining to steal one more base and set a new team-high for stolen bases in a season.
TOUGH LUCK ON THE ROAD: It has been a long month for the Broncos, who have spent the first month of the season on the road. This weekend will be the conclusion to a 19-game road trip to open the season. The trip has been less than memorable as the Broncos hold a 3-11 record and are 0-6 in true away games. All three Bronco wins have come in neutral site games with the Broncos holding a 3-5 record in those games. This weekend the Broncos will face a tough road test with three true away games and two neutral site games.
WINNING THE FIFTH: There seems to be something special about the fifth inning for the Broncos. In the inning, the Broncos have outscored their opponents 15-11 this year. The 15 runs ties for the highest total in an inning with the fourth inning. However the Broncos have been outscored 16-15 in the fourth.
EMPTY IN THE SEVENTH: Through the first 14 games, the Broncos have yet to put up a run in the seventh inning. Bronco opponents have only scored four times in the seventh but have held the Broncos scoreless.
BACK TO THE OLD STOMPING GROUNDS: Assistant coach Brianne McGowan-Durfee will return to the field in Corvallis, Ore., where she dominated in the circle and in the batter's box as a student-athlete. McGowan-Durfee was named the PAC-10 Pitcher of the Year and was named an All-American twice in her career. McGowan-Durfee will face her alma mater, Oregon State, on Friday at 2 p.m. (MT).