Thursday, June 16, 2011

Boise State joins Mountain West in two weeks


Two weeks from tomorrow, the Boise State Broncos officially depart the WAC and join the Mountain West Conference.

Boise State softball has been on a quick rise to the top in its three years as a member of NCAA Division I softball. The Broncos finished tied for second place in the WAC with perennial power Fresno State this season.

Boise State went 33-20 in 2011 and has improved its win total each year of the program's existence. The Broncos went 29-32 in the 2009 season after an inaugural campaign where they went 22-30 in 2008.

In the RPI, Boise State's rise has been rapid as well. The Broncos finished 79th in the RPI in 2011, which would have ranked third-best among Mountain West teams, behind only NCAA Tournament entrants BYU and San Diego State. Boise State had never finished in the Top 100 of the softball RPI until this past season.

Coach Erin Thorpe is expected to return her entire team in the 2012 season, making Boise State an instant threat to compete for the Mountain West title. The Broncos will be an upperclassmen-dominated team with as many as six returning senior starters. Expected to return are All-WAC sophomore Devon Bridges, senior All-WAC pitchers Aubray Zell and Allie Crump, and second team All-WAC position players Christina Capobianco and Tazz Weatherly. Also returning: All-WAC Tournament pick Lela Work.