Boise State Opens MW Slate In San Jose
March 18, 2015
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State (8-22, 0-0 MW) makes its third trip to California in four weekends as it begins Mountain West play at San Jose State (19-11, 0-0 MW). The Broncos and Spartans will play a three-game series Friday through Sunday, with each day's game beginning at 1 p.m. MT.
Against San Jose State
About The Opposition
The Spartans boast a potent offense, batting .342 as a team, led three regulars batting over .400. That trio consists of senior outfielder Michelle Cox (.457, 43 hits, two triples), junior infielder Jessie Hufstetler (.449, eight doubles, eight HR, 46 RBI) and junior outfielder Jessica Madrid (.432, eight doubles, 16 RBI, 20 BB).
In the circle, the Spartans are led by Madison Fish (10-3, 3.50 ERA, 51 K) and Allison Lang (6-5, 3.27 ERA, 44 K).
Last Week's Outings
The weekend opened Friday as the Broncos, despite taking an early 2-0 lead, fell in six innings to Nebraska, 11-3. In the evening, Boise State took on host Cal State Fullerton for the third time this season, but fell once again, this time by a score of 3-0.
The Broncos suffered two heart-breaking losses Saturday to Charleston Southern and DePaul. Boise State led going into the sixth inning of each game, but in the opener allowed a two-run home run that stood up as the winner in a 2-1 loss to Charleston Southern, then allowed a game-tying homer to DePaul with two out in the seventh before falling 6-5 in eight innings.
Boise State struck first in Sunday's first game at CSU Bakersfield but could not hold its slim lead, falling 4-1 to the Roadrunners. In the second game of the doubleheader, the Runners got out to a big lead early and cruised to a 9-1, five-inning win.
Sullivan Swings A Heavy Bat
Sullivan batted .462 (6-for-13) with two doubles, a home run, and three RBI. She started the weekend with a 3-for-3 performance against Nebraska, falling just a triple short of the cycle and hitting her team-leading fifth homer. In Sunday's opener at CSU Bakersfield, she reached base in all three plate appearances, recording a single and a pair of walks.
For the year, Sullivan has emerged as the Broncos' most productive hitter, leading the team in home runs (five), doubles (10) and RBI (26) while ranking second on the team in hits (25).
Boise State In MW Openers
The only time of those three series in which the Broncos opened the conference campaign on the road was also the one opening series that they lost, dropping two of three at New Mexico in 2013.
Of those Broncos, only redshirt senior Devon Bridges, from Danville, is from the northern half of the state, as six Broncos hail from Southern California and one, Rachel Rodriguez, represents the San Joaquin Valley (Fresno).
Irvine native Kayla Clausen has batted .321 (9-for-28) with three doubles over Boise State's 11 games in California this season, while Bridges has batted .250 with three RBI and Rodriguez has added two doubles and a homer in her home state.
So far the Broncos are 2-9, however, in California, with both wins coming at Long Beach State, against Portland State and Weber State on Feb. 27.
Another cold spell the Broncos will be aiming to snap in regards to California is a seven-game Mountain West losing streak in the state. Boise State has played three MW series in the state, and is 1-8 in those games, suffering sweeps in its past two trips (at San Diego State May 8-10, 2014; at Fresno State April 12-14, 2013).
Wilson Dealing Well Junior pitcher Nicole Wilson, a transfer from St. Peter's, has begun to come into her own in the circle for the Broncos with strong starts last weekend in Fullerton and Bakersfield.
Despite going 0-2 over her three starts, Wilson allowed just eight runs (five earned) in 15.0 innings. Unfortunately for Wilson, she received just seven runs of support over her three starts.
On the year, Wilson leads the Broncos with an earned-run average of 3.67 and two saves, and is 1-4 with three complete games.
Record Watch Redshirt senior first baseman Devon Bridges continued her march towards the top of numerous Boise State career hitting records this past weekend.
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 (166) and slugging percentage (.666), while also sitting second with a career batting average of .373. With her two hits this past weekend, Bridges now needs just six to supplant Tara Glover (216) atop the program's career list as well as 60 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.
Broncos Tabbed Sixth in Preseason Poll
Fresno State topped the poll with seven of the nine first-place votes and 63 points overall, while defending champion San Diego State (54 points) and UNLV (44) split the remaining first-place votes.
Colorado State (43) and San Jose State (34) were tabbed fourth and fifth, with the Spartans just ahead of the Broncos. Nevada (26), Utah State (18) and New Mexico (nine) made up the final three slots.
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