Boise State softball heads back on the road for five games in Utah, including its fourth Western Athletic Conference series of the season at Utah State. A doubleheader Monday, at Weber State will end the road trip.
The Broncos (25-13, 8-1) are tied for first place in the WAC standings with New Mexico State, having won the first three series of the year. Boise State has won seven-consecutive WAC series dating to 2010.
Utah State (7-34, 2-7) is in a three-way tie for fifth place in the conference after snapping a 19-game losing streak to win a road series April 8-9, at San Jose State.
The three-game set begins with a single game Friday, followed by a Saturday doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. (MT) Friday, and 1 p.m. (MT) Saturday.
Weber State (8-24) will host six games in four days, including a 3 p.m. (MT) doubleheader, Monday, with the Broncos
Live audio and stats will be available for each game. For more information, check the schedule page at BroncoSports.com.
About the Broncos
Boise State softball is in its third season. Head coach Erin Thorpe and the Broncos return 15 letterwinners and eight starters from the 2010 squad that finished third in the Western Athletic Conference.
After a 2-8 start, Boise State posted a school-record 12-game winning streak behind dominant pitching. The Bronco pitching staff combined for a staggering 0.65 ERA in the last 10 games of the streak, a span that included a 41-inning scoreless streak.
The win streak helped the Broncos win 15 games in March, a single-month school record. Boise State kept the momentum into the first weekend of April, winning a conference series at San Jose State 2-1, and taking a single game at Saint Mary's. After a sweep of Louisiana Tech, the Broncos are 6-1 in the month and tied for first place in the conference standings.
Juniors Allie Crump and Aubray Zell lead the team in the circle. Crump sports an 11-5 record with a 3.97 ERA. Zell has used a school-record four shutouts to achieve a 9-1 record with a 1.94 ERA. Zell has not lost since Feb. 12. She is benefiting from not making mistakes. Zell has allowed the fewest home runs in the WAC, and ranks 10th nationally in walks allowed per seven innings.
Sophomore Lela Work has appeared in a team-high 20 games, coming on in relief 18 times. Work has converted six saves to rank third nationally.
Devon Bridges is enjoying a breakout freshman campaign, pacing the Bronco offense. Bridges is batting .418 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI, leading the team in each category. She has reached base safely in 28-consecutive games. Bridges has three grand slams this season, tying an NCAA record. She has picked up the pace in WAC play, posting a slash line of .522/.645/1.478 with seven home runs and 21 RBI to lead the conference in all categories.
Sophomore Holly Bourke has joined Bridges as the Broncos' hottest hitters since conference play started. Bourke is batting .488 with 21 hits in the last 13 games. She has scored 10 runs and driven in 14 during the span with a home run and five doubles. Bourke is tied for the team lead with 13 multi-hit games this year.
About Utah State
The Aggies are looking to finish above last place in the WAC for the first time since 2007. While Utah State has been limited to three runs or fewer 29 times this season, winning just one of those games, the offense is making strides in conference play. The Aggie lineup fetures four players hitting over .400 in WAC games and are averaging 5.6 runs the last five conference games.
The pitching staff is led by Mandy Harmon, who has appeared in 31 games making 20 starts. Harmon has compiled a 5-19 record with a 5.71 ERA for the year. Shelbi Tyteca has thrown the most innings (31) in WAC play, posting a 2.94 ERA in those contests. As a team, Aggie pitching has allowed the most walks in the conference while striking out the second fewest.
Boise State leads 6-0. The Broncos swept each previous series, outscoing the Aggies a combined 39-17.
About Weber State
The Wildcats are in their second season as a program, and already showing improvement. Weber State was 2-48 in its inaugural 2010 season, including four losses to the Broncos.
The offense is led by Erika James' .340 batting average. James is the only regular starter batting better than .300. Weber State is batting a collective .228, and scoring 2.9 runs per game.
The team ERA is 5.14, down from 9.35 a year ago. Three pitchers have each seen more than 50 innings of work.
Boise State leads 4-0. The Broncos scored 48 runs in four games at home last season against the Wildcats.
Broncos Cleaning Up in the Circle
Juniors Allie Crump and Aubray Zell have combined for three Verzon WAC Pitcher of the Week awards this season. Zell earned the first in Bronco history for the week of Feb. 28-March 6, after tossing the program's first no-hitter. Crump took home the award the following week, earning three wins at the Santa Clara Bronco Classic and allowing just one unearned run on the weekend. Zell repeated as WAC Pitcher of the Week April 4-10, going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA against Louisiana Tech. She is the first Bronco to earn multiple weekly awards in her career.
Devon Bridges is among the most accomplished freshmen across the country. Bridges ranks in the top seven in her class, nationally, in five categories: slugging percentage (fourth); RBI per game (fourth); batting average (sixth); on-base percentage (sixth); and home runs (seventh).
Hundred Hit Club
Junior Kellie Caplan became the second Bronco to record 100 career hits March 19, against Arizona State...Junior Christina Capobianco joined her in the century club March 26, against Nevada. Capobianco earned her milestone with a pinch-hit, two-run double. Sophomore Holly Bourke is one hits shy of the plateau. She looks to join former Bronco Kathy Cox as the only players to reach 100 hits in their first two seasons.