Softball Announces Inaugural Schedule

BOISE, Idaho Three months and counting until Boise State throws out the first pitch on a brand new sports program. Softball officially released its 2009 inaugural season schedule, which will officially begin on Feb. 6 at 3:30 p.m (PT) when the Broncos take on the University of Illinois in the Cathedral City Kickoff in Cathedral City, Calif.

The schedule includes several teams projected to finish in the top-25, including the University of Washington who is projected to be a top-10 team. The Broncos will meet the Huskies in the University of Washington Tournament that will take place in Seattle, Wash. on Feb. 28-Mar. 1.

“We have a pretty tough schedule,” said head coach Erin Thorpe. “We’re jumping right into the mix of things, and it will definitely show us how we can compete right off the bat.”

Tough may be an understatement as the Broncos jump into one of the best conferences for softball in the nation in the Western Athletic Conference. The WAC sent four teams to the NCAA Regionals last year and all four teams are projected to be ranked in the top-30 to begin the 2009 season. The Broncos will host three of those four teams Louisiana Tech, Nevada and Fresno State in the confines of Mountain Cove Field, but travel to Honolulu to take on Hawaii.

As if the conference wasn’t enough of a challenge, the Broncos will face a number of challenges in non-conference play. In addition to the highly ranked Washington, Boise State will also meet the likes of Cal from the powerhouse Pac-10 conference in its third game of the season in the Cathedral City Kickoff. Two weeks later, the Broncos will travel to play in the University of San Diego Tournament, where they will meet Long Beach State who finished the 2008 season in the top-25.

“Of course, we have some tough games, but I know we will be able to compete with the majority of our schedule,” said assistant coach Justin Kloczko.

Boise State will also host the State of Idaho Tournament from Mar.6-8 that will include Northwest Nazarene, the College of Idaho and Idaho State. The Broncos will celebrate their home-opener in the first day of the tournament when they take on the Crusaders at 10 a.m. In addition to the tournament, the Broncos will meet in-state rivals Idaho State and the College of Idaho in double-headers on Mar. 15 and Apr. 14, respectively.

“I don’t see our schedule changing much in the upcoming years, so this first year will really show us exactly where we stand,” said Thorpe. “It’s going to be tough, but I think we are all excited to just get on the field and start a winning tradition at Boise State.”

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