Broncos Hit The Road For Eight Game Road Trip, Begin WAC Play on Friday
BOISE, Idaho - WHAT’S ON DECK:  It’s off to Utah for the Boise State softball team after going 7-1 in their inaugural eight-game homestand. The Broncos will be touring the state of Utah over the next two weeks, starting with a doubleheader in Salt Lake City against Utah on Wednesday. The Broncos will then travel up to Logan for their conference-opener against Utah State. The Aggies and Broncos will square off once on Friday and play a doubleheader on Saturday.

ABOUT UTAH:  The Utes will be playing in their home-opener when the Broncos stroll into town. It will be a very welcomed change of pace for the Utes (12-18) as they are just above .500 with a 12-11 record on neutral sites, but are winless with a 0-7 record when they are away. As a team, the Utes are hitting only .214 and have plated only 85 runs in their 30 games. Many of those runs have come off the long ball, and more specifically, off the bat of Kara Foster. Foster leads the Utes with a .326 average, 12 home runs, 23 RBI and four stolen bases. Whitney Holm has been another force at the plate with seven homers on the year and 19 RBI. In the circle, the Utes have a 3.99 ERA as a team. Ashley Smuda leads the team with an 8-6 record and 63.2 innings pitched, but sports an ERA of 3.96. Joni Cook is second on the staff with eight starts and 52.1 innings pitched. However, she has the highest ERA of the staff with a 4.55 ERA. Brittney Parker and Lindsey Palmer have also put in significant time in the circle and lead the staff with a 3.60 and 3.65 ERA, respectively. However, the two pitchers have a combined 3-5 record. The Utes have gone 2-1 against the WAC this year with wins over San Jose State and Utah State and a shutout loss to Nevada.

ABOUT UTAH STATE:  The Aggies and Broncos will open conference play on Friday in one of the toughest softball conferences in the nation. The two teams were picked seventh and eighth in the conference, respectively. The Aggies sit in eighth place in the WAC with a 6-16 record. One of their wins came over Idaho State, with whom the Broncos are 2-1 against, with a 6-2 victory on Feb. 8. The Aggies rank seventh in the WAC in batting average (.204) and eighth in ERA (4.86). Jasmine Harris has led the way this year with a .286 average and four home runs as well as leading the team with nine of their 56 runs scored. Rayna Bradshaw is the only Aggie with double digits in RBI with 10 on the year. The Aggies also average just under one stolen base per game with 21 swipes on the year. Lindsey Benson has spent the most time in the circle with nine starts and 66.2 innings pitched. She sports a 1-8 record and a 4.94 ERA. Kate Greenough leads the staff with a 3.57 ERA and a 3-4 record. She has chewed up 53 innings and made seven starts for the Aggies. As a staff, the Aggies have given up 22 home runs and have allowed opposing batters to hit .317.

BRONCOS ON THE ROAD:  The Broncos definitely prefer the friendly confines of Mountain Cove with a 7-1 record in Boise. The blue and orange are 1-1 in away games and 4-6 on neutral turf. Their only true away games came when they faced San Diego in a pair of games at the San Diego Tournament.

THE FRIENDLY CONFINES:  The Bronco hitters just love their new ballpark. They also love to leave it. After hitting six home runs in the inaugural weekend, the Bronco hitters sent three deep balls out of the friendly confines of Mountain Cove this weekend. Four different players launched the home run ball, including Jessi Hanna’s first hit as a Bronco that cleared the wall in center field.

KATHY “CRUSHIN THE BALL” COX:  Junior Kathy Cox broke out of her shell this weekend with a pair of long balls. Cox hit a couple of towering shots out of Mountain Cove to help the Broncos go 3-1. The third baseman had a .538 average over the four games and drove in four RBI. One of those RBI came in a huge spot as she tied up the first game against Utah Valley in the bottom of the eighth an moved the eventual winning run up to third. Cox’s weekend performance increased her overall average to .391, which ranks tenth among WAC hitters. She now leads the team with 25 hits and 17 runs scored.

STRIKEOUT QUEEN:  Freshman Allie Crump set a new team-high with 11 strikeouts in her 7-0 win over Utah Valley on Saturday. Crump dominated from the first batter as she allowed only one hit that came in the top of the fifth. Crump also allowed five walks but did not allow any runners past second base in seven innings of work. Crump’s one hitter became the first shutout victory in Bronco history. On Sunday, Crump earned another win over Idaho State with another complete game performance. After allowing the tying run to reach third base in the top of the seventh, she got two consecutive groundouts to keep the tying run from scoring. The victory was her third win in her last three appearances.

MOVIN ON UP:  When the season began, no one would have thought that the upstart Broncos would be four games over .500 and have the third best record in the WAC when it came time to start the season, except for the Broncos. The young team has pushed aside its youth and inexperience, having 11 freshman and no players with NCAA softball experience, and find themselves with a 12-8 record only week away from opening WAC play. As a team the Broncos also sport the third-best batting average in the conference at an even .300 and are fourth in home runs with 13.

WAC NOTABLES: The upstart Broncos sport an average of .300, which places them at third in the WAC as a team behind only New Mexico State and Nevada. Freshman Christina Capobianco is still among the elite WAC hitters with a .426 batting average, ranking her fourth among all WAC hitters. Capobianco is also third in slugging percentage (.796), fifth in on-base percentage (.508) and tied for sixth in home runs with six. Kathy Cox’s monster weekend moved her up to tenth among all WAC hitters with a .391 batting average. Capobianco and Laeha Hill pose two of the hardest strikeouts in the WAC. Hill ranks second and Capobianco ranks third averaging only 0.10 and 0.20 strikeouts per game, respectively. Aubray Zell still ranks fourth in the WAC with eight wins and sixth among all WAC pitchers with a 2.39 ERA. She also leads the WAC, allowing only 1.19 walks per game. Meanwhile, junior Mandy Klein is the only pitcher in WAC to not allow a home run yet this season.

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