Back on the Road at Colorado State

March 27, 2014

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BOISE, Idaho -

Boise State softball hits the road for the first time in nearly a month for a three-game Mountain West series at Colorado State, Friday through Sunday, in Fort Collins, Colo.

The Broncos (17-13, 2-1 MW) and Rams will face off Friday and at 4 p.m. (MT) and at 1 p.m. (MT) on Saturday and Sunday. Colorado State (15-9, 0-3 MW) was swept last weekend at Utah State to open Mountain West play.

The Last Meeting
Colorado State5
Boise State4
April 28, 2013
Dona Larsen Park
Bridges' Historic Homer, Late Rally Not Enough
Boise State mounted a furious rally in the seventh, but came up a run short in a 5-4 loss against Colorado State Sunday, in the series finale at Dona Larsen Park. Devon Bridges broke the Boise State career home run record with a solo shot in the sixth.

Live video and live stats will be available for each game. Both are free and both are compatible with mobile devices. Check the schedule page at BroncoSports.com for more information.

Return to Fort Collins
Boise State returns to Fort Collins, where it went 1-2 in a series loss to Colorado State in 2012. It was Boise State's only series loss of the year, their first in the Mountain West. The Broncos finished second in the conference and missed out on the automatic NCAA berth by one game that season. Boise State avenged the series loss last season by taking two from the Rams in Boise, but now look to come full circle on Colorado State's home field.

Conference Road Openers
Boise State is 2-3 all-time in its first road conference series of the season, with an overall record of 8-7 in those games. The Broncos have dropped the first road series of the season each year in the MW.

POW For Palmer
Boise State sophomore Ashley Palmer was named Mountain West Player of the Week for the week of March 18-24. Palmer lifted the Broncos to a series win against Fresno State going 5-for-10 at the plate with two home runs and five RBI. She homered in each of the Broncos' wins and drove in at least one run in all three games of the series. It is the first weekly honor of Palmer's career.
 
About the Broncos
Boise State softball enters Mountain West play with a 17-13 record and having won 10 of its last 13 games. The senior class leads the charge, as Rebecca Patton has factored in all 17 winning decisions (15 wins and two saves) and Mackenzie Whyte is hitting .373.

Whyte Hot and Senior Strong
Senior shortstop Mackenzie Whyte is hitting .373 on the season with 31 hits, including nine for extra bases. She entered her senior year with a career .275 batting average. In addition to the career-best 18 steals, Whyte is already nearing career highs for hits (39), runs (31), doubles (9), homers (4), walks (22) and RBI (26). Whyte had five-straight multi-hit games from March 8-14.

Colorado State Scouting Report
Pitching
The Rams entered 2014 seeking to replace Kacie McCarthy in the circle. McCarthy was the 2012 MW Pitcher of the Year as a junior before turning in another All-MW campaign in 2013. Holly Reinke, Molly Randle and Larisa Patakoff have split the pitching duties quite evenly through the first 24 games with each starting at least six and none starting more than 10. Reinke has been the steadiest so far with a 7-4 record and 1.44 ERA in 14 appearances (nine starts) across 68 innings. Petakoff also sports a sub-3.00 ERA, sitting a 2.61 with a 5-4 record in 56.1 innings over 11 games (nine starts). None of the three strike out more than 5.5 batters per seven innings, but as a staff they limit the opposition to a .268 batting average and hold a 3.00 staff ERA.

Hitting
Colorado State boasts three regular starters with a batting average of at least .320. Danielle Wikre leads the way at .397 and is tied for the team lead with six home runs. Ashlie Ortega (.338) and Haley Hutton (.320) also hit better than .300 for the Rams. Chelsea O'Connor is the top run producer, matching Wikre's six home runs and driving in a team-best 30 runs. Two-time All-MW honoree Chelsea Biglow is still looking to break out this season. Biglow is hitting .279 with two home runs and eight RBI. She averaged better than 40 hits and 37 RBI the last two seasons. Ortega was also named All-MW in 2012 and 2013.

Season Outlook
Colorado State was picked to finish fourth in the Mountain West preseason coaches' poll. The Rams finished second in the MW each of the past two seasons. The Rams enter the weekend 15-9 overall and on a four-game slide. They had seven games canceled due to weather during the first four weeks of the season, but managed to enter Mountain West play 15-5. The confernce schedule started at newcomer Utah State. The Aggies were picked to finish last in the preseason poll, but pulled off a sweep against Colorado State. The Rams dropped a pair of one-run games to open the series before falling 7-2 in the finale. CSU hit .176 for the series and scored six runs, but seven of its 15 hits went for extra bases. The pitching staff held a 2.75 ERA over the three games, but five errors led to five unearned runs.

All-Time Series History
Colorado State leads the all-time series 4-3. The Broncos and Rams met once before becoming Mountain West mates. Boise State droppe a 5-4 decision against Colorado State Feb. 21, 2009, in San Diego, during the Broncos' inaugural season. The teams swapped home series wins the past two seasons, each going two games to one. No game in the series has been decided by more than four runs, including a trio of one-run games. Boise State dropped the first two games of the series in Fort Collins 5-3.

Watch It Live Online
The remainder of Boise State's home games will be streamed for free at BroncoSports.com, via the Mountain West Network. There is no cost to subscribe or watch as many live games as you want. The games will also be available as an archive almost immediately after their conclusions. Most of the Broncos' road games during Mountain West play will be available the same way.


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