Bronco Softball Announces 2010 Schedule
BOISE, Idaho – Boise State head softball coach Erin Thorpe announced the 55-game, 2010 schedule that includes 21 home contests. The schedule also includes six teams that made the NCAA Tournament in 2009, one of which ended the year in the top-25.

“We are very excited for the upcoming season. We have really tried to increase the level of our non-conference opponents to try to better prepare us for the challenging conference schedule we will face in the WAC,” said Thorpe. “Having one year under our belt should give us some much needed confidence going into our second season as we try and build another strong softball program in the WAC.”

The Broncos, who finished their inaugural season 22-30, will face a much more difficult schedule this year with a lot of new teams slated for competition. The greatest challenges may come in the second week (Feb. 18-20) of the season as the Broncos face three teams that made the postseason in 2009 in a tournament in Las Vegas. The Broncos will meet the host team, UNLV, and Long Beach State, who the Broncos went 1-1 against last year in addition to facing Oklahoma. The Sooners finished the 2009 season by being upset in NCAA Regionals but still finished the season ranked 16th and 17th in the two major polls. The two other games in this tournament will be against Indiana and the University of San Diego.

In their first eight games, the Broncos and Toreros will meet three times, including twice in the season-opening weekend. The Broncos will also meet UC Riverside twice on Feb. 13-14 to open their season. Other tournament action includes a trip to Lubbock, Texas and a trip to Oregon. Wichita State will meet the Broncos twice on Mar. 5-6 and Texas Tech will host the Broncos three times (Mar. 5-7) in the tournament in Lubbock. North Dakota State and Oregon will square off with the Broncos twice on Mar. 12-14 in addition to Oregon State hosting the Broncos for one game on Mar. 12.

The Broncos home-opener comes on Mar. 19 when Big Ten opponent, Minnesota, visits Mountain Cove at 3 p.m. The game will kick off the Springhill Suites Invitational, which includes the host Broncos, Minnesota, Portland State and Weber State. The tournament will include four games on Mar. 20-21 with the Broncos facing Portland State and Weber State twice and Minnesota once over the course of the tournament. Portland State will be the only team that made the postseason in 2009 to visit Mountain Cove.

“We are very excited to play in front of our home crowd 21 times in what we anticipate to be some extremely difficult games,” commented Thorpe.

The next week will kick off the WAC season as New Mexico State visits for a three-game series in Mountain Cove on Mar. 26-27. Hawaii makes their first appearance in Boise on Apr. 9-10. The Broncos will also play host to Utah State (Apr. 16-17) and San Jose State (Apr. 30-May 1) during the WAC season.

The Broncos will travel to WAC defending champs Fresno State, Nevada and Louisiana Tech to round out the WAC schedule.

Other non-league games include a spring break trip to northern California where the Broncos will visit Sacramento State and Pacific for a pair of doubleheaders before heading south to Fresno. Utah will make the trip north for a doubleheader in Mountain Cove on Apr. 6. The Broncos will also play a home-and-home with in-state rival Idaho State with the Broncos travelling to Pocatello for a doubleheader on Apr. 13 and the Bengals returning the trip a week later for a doubleheader in Mountain Cove on Apr. 20.

Of all the non-conference games, only five opponents appeared last year on the Broncos’ inaugural schedule. The 2010 season will mark the first time the Broncos will face teams from the Pac-10, Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conference.

The regular season will conclude in Las Cruces, N.M. in the WAC Tournament, which only the top six teams in the conference will make.

Click here from the complete schedule.

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