Broncos Off to Beaver State for Five

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

Boise State softball packs up its nine-game winning streak and sets back out on the road for five games in Oregon. The Broncos will travel to Portland State Tuesday, before playing at No. 17/16 Oregon Wednesday and Thursday.

Boise State and the Vikings (10-11) will play two games, starting at 1 p.m. (PT) from Erv Lind Stadium. The visit to Portland State was originally scheduled as a single game, but a game was added after the teams had a previous meeting in Boise (March 18) canceled due to inclement weather during the SpringHill Suites Invitational #1. The Broncos and Vikings did manage to play once at Mountain Cove Softball Field, with the Boise State winning 6-5 on a walk-off home run. This is the Broncos' first game at Portland State's home park.

The trip to The Beaver State continues with three games against the Ducks in Eugene. Boise State and Oregon (19-6) will square off in a doubleheader Wednesday, starting at 3 p.m. (PT) at Howe Field. The teams will return to the diamond Thursday, for a noon start.

Boise State is seeking its first win against a Pacific-12 Conference opponent. The Broncos' only wins against current member institutions caem versus Utah while the Utes were in the Mountain West.

Live stats and live audio will be available for every game at BroncoSports.com. Live video is also available for the games against Oregon, at GoDucks.com.

Stay current with all of the happenings in Boise State Softball by following the official twitter account of the Broncos @BroncoSportsSB.

About the Broncos
Boise State softball is in its fourth season and first in the Mountain West. Head coach Erin Thorpe and the Broncos return 13 letterwinners and nine starters from the 2011 squad that finished 33-20 and second in the Western Athletic Conference.

The Broncos welcome back the bulk of last season's production at the plate and in the circle. Returning is 93.5 percent of the Broncos' hits in 2011, 89 percent of the runs scored, 96.4 percent of the home runs and 96.8 percent of the innings pitched.

After a 15-10 start on its season-opening 25-game road swing, Boise State won its first eight home games and is riding a nine-game winning streak. The 23-10 record is the best 33-game start in school history and the 2012 squad did it against the toughest schedule yet. The Broncos played seven games against teams ranked in the top 12 in both major top-25 poll. Nine games featured opponents returning from the 2011 NCAA Tournament, including five games against 2011 WCWS teams.

Seniors Aubray Zell and Allie Crump anchor the pitching staff for yet another year. Zell is a three-time Mountain West Pitcher of the Week after winning the weekly award three times last season in the WAC. She is 14-6 on the year with a 1.50 ERA and is on pace to break the single-season strikeout record. Crump, the career stirkeout leader, is 4-2 this season with a 3.10 ERA.

Crump is also a standout at the plate with five homers, four doubles and a team-best 23 RBI. Sophomore Devon Bridges and senior Christina Capobianco continue to be among the biggest power threats for the Broncos. Bridges leads the team with six homers. Capobianco has parked four and has 22 RBI, while Bridges is hitting .350 with 16 driven in.

Boise State's top producer with the bat is at the top of the order. Sophomore transfer Tara Glover is hitting .450 and leads the team with a .631 slugging percentage thanks in large part to a school-record three triples. Glover has used her speed to score 28 runs and steal nine bases, both team highs. A native of Grants Pass, Ore., Glover transfered to Boise State from Utah, where she started all 51 games for the Utes as a freshman in 2011.

Zell and freshman Kenzie Cole have combined for two historic pitching performances this season. Against Cal Poly (Feb. 24) Cole started and pitched 3.2 hitless innings. Zell finished the game and kept the combined no-hitter in tact. Against Alcorn State (March 9) the roles were reversed. Zell struck out 14 in six innings before Cole finished the game with two punchouts to set the team record at 16.

Scouting Reports
About Portland State
The Vikings Last took the field March 17, in Boise, during the SpringHill Suites Invitational #1, beating Utah State 11-5. Portland State and Boise State also squared off at the tournament, as Allie Crump scorched a walk-off home run for the Broncos with two away in the seventh for a 6-5 win. The Vikings were led by first baseman Karmen Holladay in Boise. Holladay went 4-of-6 with two homers to earn PCSC Mountain Division Player of the Week honors. Anna Bertrand leads the pitching staff with a 2.24 ERA, appearing in 18 of 21 games.
All-Time Series: Portland State leads 3-1. Before Crump lifted the Broncos to their first win in the series, the Vikings beat Boise State once in 2009 and twice in 2010.

About No. 17/16 Oregon
The Ducks enter the week 19-6 after dropping their opening conference series 2-1 at Oregon State. Head coach Mike White has led Oregon to NCAA Super Regional berths in each of his first two seasons. The Ducks return eight starters from the 2011 squad, and have been ranked in both major top-25 polls all season. Jessica Moore is Oregon's ace, starting 19 games this season and compiling a 1.69 ERA. Samantha Pappas paces the offense with a .391 batting average whil Kaylan Howard's six home runs and 28 RBI are both team highs.
All-Time Series: Oregon leads 3-0. The Ducks have outscored Boise State 22-1 in the series, including a 10-0 win last season.

The Broncos in Oregon
Boise State played four games in the state of Oregon during the 2010 season, going 1-3 on the trip. The Broncos fell twice at Oregon and once at Oregon State. They picked up a win against North Dakota in Eugene. The trip was marred by rain as a contest with the Fighting Sioux in Corvallis was canceled and the loss to the Beavers was cut short. Boise State rallied from a 4-0 deficit to score five in the seventh inning and take a lead before the second rain delay resulted in the game being called and the score reverting to the last completed inning.

Three Broncos Coming Home
Boise State's roster features three Oregonians. Junior Megan Harvey (Eugene), sophomore Tara Glover (Grants Pass) and freshman Jordan Kreiger (Hillsboro) all call Oregon home. Harvey was a two-time league MVP and two-time all-state selection while graduating as valedictorian from North Eugene High School. Glover was the 6A State Player of the Year in 2008 and 2010, leading Grants Pass High School to the state championship each season. Kreiger guided Glencoe High School to a 111-10 record in her four seasons, including three trips to the 5A state title game.

Last Time Out
Boise State continued its first home stand of the season March 22-25, with the SpringHill Suites Invitational #2. The Broncos went 5-0, outscoring their opponents 31-9.

Boise State softball took two from Seattle on the opening day of the Tournament. The Broncos won a run-shortened, five-inning game 9-0 to start the day and earned a comeback win in the second game, 8-3. Aubray Zell and Kenzie Cole combined to hold the Redhawks to one hit in the first game while the Broncos rallied from a three-run deficit with eight runs in the fourth inning in the second game.

In the first game, Holly Bourke drove in a career-high five runs in the first game, including a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Katie Engelbrecht followed with her first-career home run as the Broncos went back-to-back to cap the scoring. Zell started and went four innings, allowing one hit and two walks to earn her 12th win of the season. Cole finished the game with a perfect fifth inning as Boise State threw a combined one hitter.

Seattle struck first in the second game, taking a 3-0 lead after the top of the fourth inning. The Broncos came to life in the bottom of the frame, hanging eight runs on the board. They tallied six hits in the inning and did all of the damage without the benefit of a home run, snapping a streak of 20-straight home games with a round-tripper.

Three home runs and a strong outing from Zell guided Boise State to a 5-3 win against UTSA on the second day. The Broncos scored the first five runs of the game, all via home runs, before the Roadrunners scored three and brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh. Tara Glover, Allie Crump and Devon Bridges each hit home runs. Zell recorded all 21 outs, but did not face every batter. She was not charged with any runs allowed.

Bridges and Crump struck again Saturday, against Weber State. The duo hit back-to-back home runs with two outs in the sixth to give Boise State a 2-0 lead. Zell allowed a solo homer in the seventh but finished her complete game to preserve the victory.

Cole went the distance in the finale agaisnt Weber State, allowing just two unearned runs to get her second win. The Bronco offense poured it on early with five runs through two innings. Glover scored three times as Boise State went on to beat the Wildcats 7-2.

Zell registerd a 0.39 ERA for the week and picked up three wins. She struck out 17 in 18 innings and held a .138 batting average against. Glover hit .467 for the week with four doubles and a homer.

Home Sweet Home
Boise State is riding a 23-game home win streak after eight wins over two tournaments at Mountain Cove Softball Field March 15-25. It is the third-longest active streak in the country. The last time the Broncos lost at home was May 1, 2010, in the first game of a doubleheader against San Jose State.

Broncos in the RPI
The first Ratings Percentage Index of 2012 was released March 26, by the NCAA. Boise State is No. 56, the highest ranking in school history. Boise State peaked at No. 72 last season before finishing 79th. New Mexico leads the Mountain West with a No. 38 rating. The RPI will be released every Monday, through May 7.