MW Play Begins In Reno
March 23, 2016

Boise State at Nevada
Christina M. Hixson Softball Park - Reno, Nev.

Thursday (March 24) - 5 p.m. MT
Friday (March 25) - 5 p.m. MT
Saturday (March 26) - 1 p.m. MT

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    BOISE, Idaho - Boise State (8-20, 0-0 MW) opens Mountain West play this weekend, traveling to the Biggest Little City in the World, Reno, to face the Nevada Wolf Pack (19-5, 0-0 MW). The three-game series opens Thursday at 5 p.m. MT, and continues Friday (5 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m.).

    Crammed Stretch Ahead
    This weekend’s series at Nevada begins a busy stretch of nine games over 11 days for Boise State. The Broncos play this Thursday-Saturday against the WolfPack and immediately jump into its one midweek conference series March 29-30 (Tuesday-Wednesday) at home against Fresno State. Two days after that, the Broncos are in Fort Collins to face Colorado State for a three-game set April 1-3 (Friday-Sunday).

    “Second” Season, Favorable Opening
    The Broncos begin their “second” season this weekend, as all teams are back to 0-0 as Mountain West play begins.

    Boise State will aim to avoid repeating last year’s 0-9 start to conference play, and this year’s opening series could give hope to a strong start. Two of the first three series for the Broncos come against the oinly two teams they defeated in a series, Nevada (March 24-26) and Colorado State (April 1-3). Boise State took two of three against each of those teams at Dona Larsen Park, and will try to repeat or better that on the road. Although Boise State got swept by Fresno State, which it hosts March 29-30, the Broncos had the tying runs on base in each of the first two games, falling 4-2 and 4-3, respectively.

    About The Opposition
    Nevada (19-5) is coming off of a weekend in which it went 4-1 at the Grizz Classic in Missoula, beating Nebraska-Omaha twice and going 2-1 against host Montana.

    The Wolf Pack owned a 12-game winning streak from mid-February to early March, but have gone 5-3 since having it snapped by Sacramento State on March 4.

    Nevada is led offensively by Jennifer Purcell (.446, 10 doubles, four HR, 17 RBI) and Megan Sweet (.405, six doubles, six HR, 25 RBI), while in the circle the Wolf Pack boasts a team ERA of 2.47 thanks to the trio of Chase Redington (4-0, 1.77 ERA), Brooke Bolinger (8-2, 1.98 ERA, 54 strikeouts) and McKenna Isenberg (7-3, 3.40 ERA, 58 strikeouts).

    Boise State is 14-6 all-time against Nevada, and out of six all-time three-game series against the Wolf Pack, has only lost one (a three-game sweep in 2009). The Broncos are also 5-1 against the Wolf Pack in Reno.

    Last Time Out
    Boise State went 2-3 at the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic in Lubbock, Texas, this past weekend. The Broncos played host Texas Tech thrice, going 1-2, and split two games against Georgia Southern.

    Mackenzie McGill picked up both wins in the circle for the Broncos, going 4.2 innings in the 13-5, six-inning win over Georgia Southern Friday, and followed with a complete-game effort with three strikeouts in Sunday’s 8-4 win over Texas Tech.

    At the plate, Shaelee Pearson and Rebekah Cervantes each hit .500, with Pearson leading the team for the weekend with eight hits and a triple, and Cervantes’ seven hits including a double, home run and four RBI. The pair also combined to score 11 runs.

    Teauna Hughes hit two homers in Sunday’s win over Texas Tech, the second two-home run game of her career, and for the weekend drove in a team-high six runs while batting .385 (5-for-13). Corey Hendrickson also swung a big bat, hitting .368 (7-for-19) with a pair of doubles and five RBI.

    Hughes Keeps Hammering
    Senior first baseman Teauna Hughes continued her recent offensive tear in Lubbock, batting .385 (5-for-13) with two home runs and six RBI over the five games.

    Over the last three weeks Hughes has been one of Boise State’s hottest hitters, batting .462 (18-for-39) with three doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI.

    Over this span (eight games), Hughes has racked up seven multi-hit games, with a three-hit performance against Pacific on March 4, and a two-homer game March 20 at Texas Tech. On March 5, Hughes hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning to give Boise State a 5-2 lead that would hold in a win at Seattle University.

    For the season, Hughes leads the Broncos in batting (.347), hits (25), home runs (four), RBI (22) and slugging (.583).

    Pearson Breaks Out
    Sophomore Shaelee Pearson’s strong weekend at the plate in Lubbock continued her climb out of an early-season slump.

    Pearson batted .500 over the five games in Lubbock, leading the Broncos with eight hits and adding her first triple of the season. She also scored five runs to bring her season total to 12, just one back of co-leaders Rebekah Cervantes and Teauna Hughes.

    Over the last eight games, Pearson has batted .500 (11-for-22) with two RBI and five runs scored. This effort has helped overcome a season-opening slump in which she batted just .171 (7-for-41) over the first month of the season, and has brought her season batting average up to .286.

    McGill Powers Through
    Another Bronco overcoming a rough start to her 2016 campaign is junior pitcher Mackenzie McGill. The Bronco hurler has gone 3-1 with eight strikeouts over her last five starts, recovering from her first three appearances in which she gave up 15 earned runs over just 3.2 innings.

    Minus one bad outing in which she gave up five earned runs over just a third of an inning against Idaho State (March 11), McGill has looked strong over the other four since March 5, including complete games at Seattle University (March 5) and Texas Tech (March 20).

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