Boise State hosts New Mexico in a pivotal Mountain West series Friday through Sunday, at Mountain Cove Softball Field. First pitch Friday and Saturday is scheduled for 3 p.m. (MT), with the Sunday finale set for 1 p.m. (MT).
The Broncos (30-15, 4-2) are two games behind conference leader San Diego State at the halfway point of their MW schedule. Boise State travels to the Aztecs next weekend (May 4-6), to wrap up its conference docket.
The Lobos (24-16, 0-3) enter the series on a six-game slide, including their first three games of MW play. New Mexico was swept at home April 20-22, by SDSU after having a bye to start the league slate. New Mexico leads the country in home runs per game and is scoring 6.7 runs per contest. Opponents are averaging nearly 5.4 runs against the Lobo pitching and defense.
Live audio and live stats will be available free of charge for each game at BroncoSports.com. Live video will be available for the entire series, and requires a subscription to BroncoVision. The games will also be aired on tape delay on The Mtn., beginning Wednesday, May 2. The Friday game can be seen Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. (MT) and Saturday's contest will run at 8:30 p.m. (MT). The series finale (Sunday) will air Thursday, May 3, at 11 p.m. (MT). Check your local listings for channel information and additional air times.
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.
The team's 30-15 record is tied for the best start in school history and the 2012 squad did it against the toughest schedule yet. The Broncos have played 10 games against teams ranked in the top 20 of both major top-25 polls. Fifteen games featured opponents returning from the 2011 NCAA Tournament, including five games against 2011 WCWS teams.
Boise State started their stint in the Mountain West with a home sweep of UNLV April 13-15. The Broncos dropped the first two games on a road trip to Colorado State (April 20-22) before regrouping to win the finale and stay in the hunt for a conference title and automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Seniors Aubray Zell and Allie Crump anchor the pitching staff for yet another year. Zell is a four-time Mountain West Pitcher of the Week after winning the weekly award three times last season in the WAC. She is 18-9 on the year with a 2.08 ERA and a school-record 157 strikeouts. Crump is 6-3 this season with a 2.91 ERA.
Crump is also a standout at the plate with seven homers, five doubles and 29 RBI. Sophomore Devon Bridges and senior Christina Capobianco continue to be among the biggest power threats for the Broncos. Bridges leads the team with 10 homers and 31 runs driven in. Capobianco has parked five and totalled 28 RBI. The senior first baseman is the career leader in home runs and RBI. Bridges is also second on the team with a .349 batting average.
Boise State's top producer with the bat is at the top of the order. Sophomore transfer Tara Glover is hitting .464 to rank fourth in the country. Glover set the single-season hits record April 22, at Colorado State and currently has 70. She also leads the team with a .676 slugging percentage thanks in large part to a school-record four triples. Glover has used her speed to score 41 runs and steal 14 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.
About New Mexico
The Lobos jumped out to a 17-2 start including wins over a pair of top-15 foes. The hot start shot New Mexico into the top 25 for the first time since 1999. Since winning five games at the SpringHill Suites Invitational #2 (March 23-25) in Boise to move to 22-6, New Mexico has gone 2-10 and is currently riding a six-game losing streak. The Lobos are led by one of the most daunting top-of-the-order lineups in the country, boasting three players with at least 12 home runs. Carrie Sheehan and Kaela DeBroeck have shared time in the circle, posting 4.02 and 5.64 ERAs, respectively.
This weekend marks the first meeting between Boise State and New Mexico.
Top of the Mountain
Sophomore Tara Glover ranks first in the Mountain West in batting average (.464), hits (70), triples (4) and stolen bases (12). In 2011, while at Utah, Glover led the league in triples and ranked in the top five in runs and hits. Glover has nine career triples, tied for eighth in Mountain West history. The all-time record is 14. Senior Aubray Zell leads the MW in earned run average (2.08), opponent batting average (.204), wins (18), shutouts (4), strikeouts (157), innings (168), starts (27) and complete games (16).
Home Sweet Home
Boise State is riding a 26-game home win streak after eight wins over two tournaments at Mountain Cove Softball Field March 15-25, and the conference-opening series with UNLV. It is the second-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.
Mountain Cove Magic
During the 26-game home winning streak, the Broncos have made a habit of thrilling the home fans with exciting games and comeback wins. Boise State has come from behind in 11 games during the streak, including seven games in which the Broncos were tied or trailing in the fifth inning or later.
Glover First to 70
Tara Glover became the first Bronco to register 70 hits in a season during her 4-for-5 performance April 22, at Colorado State. Glover needed just 45 games to reach the milestone and is averaging more than 1.5 hits per game. The sophomore eclipsed Kathy Cox' former single-season record of 69, set in 61 games during the 2010 season. Glover is riding an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base in 32-consecutive games.
Been Here Before
Boise State's senior class has combined for 842 career starts in the batting order. Of the 211 games played in program history, seniors Allie Crump and Aubray Zell have combined to start 183 of them in the circle. Kellie Caplan leads the position players with 205 games played and 197 starts. Zell has pitched in 115 games, starting 95 of them, both school records.
Junior Lela Work has pitched in 66 games in her caeer, 56 of them coming in relief roles. Overall Work owns an 11-12 record and a 3.63 ERA, but out of the bullpen she is even stronger. In 143.2 innings of relief duty, the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, prouct is 9-5 with a 2.79 ERA and a school-record 10 saves. She averages a strikeout an inning and 1.27 walks per seven innings...Work ranked eighth in the NCAA last season with six saves...In just two seasons in the WAC, Work tied for sixth in career saves in conference history.