WHAT'S ON DECK: The Boise State softball team will wrap up its non-conference schedule this week when Idaho State makes the trip to Boise for a Tuesday doubleheader at 2 p.m. Western Athletic Conference competition will resume this weekend when the Broncos make their first trip to Ruston, La. for a three-game series with Louisiana Tech on Apr. 23-24. The Broncos are riding a five-game winning streak and sit in third place in the WAC, just one spot in front of the Lady Techsters.
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ABOUT IDAHO STATE: The Bengals gave the Broncos all they could handle last week but the Broncos came away with a pair of victories in a 4-3, 6-4 sweep in Pocatello. The Bengals went 1-3 against conference rival Northern Colorado this weekend, which gives them a 9-28 this year. The Bengals only win in the two-year history against the Broncos came in their last visit to Mountain Cove when Kandis Clesson dominated the Bronco lineup for a 6-1 win in the nightcap of a doubleheader. Taylor Marchione still leads the Bengals with a .421 batting average, followed by Desirae Hoffman at a .407 clip. Clesson lowered her ERA to 5.13 and is now 8-18 on the year. The Bengals are just 4-12 on the road and have hit just 13 homers in 2010, which is three less than Bronco 3B Kathy Cox.
NON-CONFERENCE FINALE: Idaho State's visit to Mountain Cove on Tuesday will be the non-conference finale for the Broncos in 2010. The Broncos hold a 13-20 record in non-conference games this year but are 9-4 in non-conference matchups since Mar. 20.
ABOUT LOUISIANA TECH: The Lady Techsters are the most recent victim of a three-game sweep at the hands of Hawaii. The sweep dropped their WAC record to 6-6 and dropped them into fourth place in the standings, just one game behind the Broncos. Reigning WAC Player of the Year Amberly Waits leads the Techster offense, which is hitting just .237, with a .400 batting average and a .353 average in WAC games. Kylie Bassett's nine round-trippers leads the Techsters while Jessica Kirby leads the team with 30 RBI. As a team, they have launched 35 homers in 36 games while giving up just 21. Meghan Krieg has been a workhorse in the circle with a 2.31 overall ERA in 175.2 innings pitched and leads the WAC with 215 strikeouts. Michelle Jones has started in nine games this year, including three in WAC play, but holds a 5.05 ERA. The Techsters rely more on their power to win ballgames as they have just 14 sacrifices and 13 stolen bases this year.
PLAYING FOR THIRD: Only one game separates the Broncos and the Lady Techsters in the WAC standings. Basically, the winner of the series will have the edge and finish the weekend in third place in the standings. If the Broncos win one game, they will end up tied with the Techsters with an 8-7 record although the Techsters would own the tiebreaker.
WALKOFF WONDERS: In the last two weeks, the Broncos have found some late inning magic as Jessi Hanna and Megan Harvey have launched walkoff homers to lift the Broncos to victory. Hanna ripped a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh to beat Utah 2-1 in the first game of a Tuesday doubleheader while Harvey's three-run blast capped a four-run seventh for the Broncos to steal a game from Utah State. Harvey, a freshman, gave the Broncos the 5-3 win after Utah State held a 3-0 lead as late as the fifth inning and held the Broncos hitless through the first 3.2 innings.
SEASON TURNAROUND: After a successful inaugural year in 2009, the Broncos seemed to have hit a sophomore curse in the 2010 season as they started the year 4-16. With only a doomed season looming in the distance, the Broncos found a sparkplug and have completely turned their season around. The Broncos are 16-9 since that dismal start, including 7-5 in WAC, and sit in the driver's seat as they try to earn their second WAC Tournament berth. The Broncos are just five games below the .500 mark for the first time since they were 1-6 to start the year, and have nearly doubled their WAC win total form 2009.
PUTTING IN WORK: Freshman Lela Work had the best week of her short career as she earned her first collegiate win in a five-inning relief effort at Idaho State and then earned her first career save in a three-inning relief effort over Utah State. Work also fanned a career-high eight batters in the Broncos' 6-4 win over Idaho State and added three more Ks in her one appearance against Utah State. The freshman has been phenomenal out of the bullpen as of late and has lowered her ERA to 3.76.
CLUTCH CAPO AWAKENING: Christina Capobianco has struggled a bit at the plate this year after a phenomenal freshman campaign, in which she tied for the team-high with 11 home runs. Her batting average had dropped to .202 prior to the Utah State series. However, Capobianco had slump busting weekend at the plate as she collected six RBI - all coming with two outs - and five hits in the three game series. She blasted her seventh homer of the year and boosted her RBI total to 26. In the first three weekends of WAC play, Capobianco had just one hit but has boosted her WAC average to .231 and her overall average to .239.DOMINATING THE AGGIES: With a series sweep of Utah State, the Broncos now own a perfect 6-0 all-time record against the Aggies. Utah State is the only WAC team without a win over the second-year program. The Broncos also improved to 6-0 this season over all Aggie teams as they swept New Mexico State to open the WAC season.