WHAT’S ON DECK: The Boise State softball team will try and stay perfect at home this weekend when they host a pair of doubleheaders against Utah Valley and Idaho State. Utah Valley will try its luck at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Idaho State will attempt to avenge its loss at Mountain Cove last weekend in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
ABOUT UTAH VALLEY: The Wolverines are making their first-ever trip up to Boise wit ha 4-9 record on the year. This will be the first doubleheader of two scheduled for the season between the Broncos and Wolverines. A notable win for Utah Valley is a 7-3 victory over Idaho State in the beginning of the season. The Wolverines have since dropped abbreviate games to WAC teams San Jose State, 14-4, and Fresno State, 12-1. The Wolverine bats are almost guaranteed to be ready to go with seven hitters above the .300 mark. Magan Niemann poses the biggest threat with a lofty .450 average. Niemann has four of the team’s 16 stolen bases and leads the way for an offense that is hitting .306. The Wolverines have three players with two homers or more, but only Kylee Steadman has reached double digits in RBI with 12. Despite the high team average, the Wolverines have only brought 55 runs across the plate as opposed to allowing their opponents to plate 97. The pitching staff sports a team ERA of 7.15. Amanda Perez has earned all four wins this year and leads the team with 4.53 ERA in 34 innings pitched.
ABOUT IDAHO STATE: The Bengals will be making the trip from Pocatello to Boise for the second straight week. Last weekend, they went 3-2 in the State of Idaho Tournament, but lost their only game against the Broncos, 7-4. Caitlin McGrath leads the Bengals with a .365 average, followed closely by Megan Miller at .333. Miller now has five homers on the year, including two this weekend at Mountain Cove. Miller became the hero of Idaho State’s last game when she hit a two-run homer in the top of the tenth inning to five the Bengals the lead and eventually the win over the College of Idaho. Kandis Clesson leads the way in the circle with 3.41 ERA. She pitched all 10 innings against the College of Idaho, giving up only one earned run and getting the win.
LAST TIME VS. IDAHO STATE: The Broncos celebrated the opening of their new facility with a first pitch ceremony with WAC commissioner Karl Benson. The celebration continued as the Broncos brought in a 7-4 victory after jumping out to a 7-1 lead. Christina Capobianco went 2-for-3 with two homers and four RBI to lead the Broncos. Ashleigh Viers-Gordillo went deep for the first time in her career to give the Broncos a 2-1 lead in the third. Capobianco’s first homer came two batters later to push the lead to 3-1. In the fifth, Capobianco broke the game open with a three-run homer, making the lead 6-1. Aubray Zell went the distance and gave up six hits and only one earned run while striking out three to earn the victory. Megan Miller went deep for the Bengals in the top of third, giving them the early lead, and went 2-for-4 on the day. Caitlin McGrath also went 2-for-4 for the Bengals.
WELCOME HOME: The Broncos did not disappoint in their home debut in the State of Idaho Tournament. The team went 4-0 to open its new park and boosted its overall record to 9-7, not to mention outscoring their opponents 35-12 over the four games. Boise witnessed an offensive onslaught as the Broncos used six home runs to score their 35 runs and put up an eight-run inning over Idaho State. The Yotes and Broncos gave Bronco Nation a nail biter on Sunday as the Broncos pulled out a 4-3 victory on the back of Christina Capobianco’s seventh-inning homer that gave the Broncos the lead and eventual win.
CAPO CANAVERAL: NASA recently found an alternative fuel source for launching satellites into orbit - freshman Christina Capobianco’s swing. The 1B/DP became the team leader by launching five homers out of Mountain Cove in its inaugural weekend. On the weekend, the freshman went 10-for-11 for a .909 batting average with 12 RBI as well as the five round-trippers. Her performance earned her a spot in the record books as she became the first Bronco to earn WAC Player of the Week honors.
FITTING IN WITH BRONCO NATION: There is just something about Boise. Bronco teams don’t lose very often when they are playing in front of the Bronco faithful. The football team was 6-0 this year, men’s basketball was 13-3, women’s basketball was 10-6, wrestling was a perfect 8-0 and the women’s tennis team is currently 5-0. The softball team is looking to duplicate that success at home as they opened up 4-0 at Mountain Cove with four more games on the schedule this weekend.
SUCCESS STARTS AT THE TOP: For the Broncos, the top of the order is exactly what they ordered. Junior Laeha Hill has been everything a coach could ask for at the top of the lineup this year. She has led off the game 15 times for the Broncos this year and has reached first in 10 of those plate appearances. Hill is also on her second hit streak of the year, which stands at a team-high seven games. On top of all that, she is the toughest strikeout in the conference with only one K on the year.
WAC NOTABLES: The upstart Broncos sport an average of .300, which places them at third in the WAC as a team. Freshman Lexi Straton and Christina Capobianco have cracked the top-10 in batting average. Straton has the fourth-best average with a team leading .441 while Capobianco ranks sixth with a .432 average. Laeha Hill also cracked into the top-15 with an average of .377, the 14th best in the WAC. In the circle, Aubray Zell continues to dominate opponents with a 2.48 ERA and an 8-2 record. She ranks sixth in the conference in ERA and has the second-most wins.
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