Coming off a sweep at the hands of Colorado State, the Boise State softball finds themselves facing a must win series this weekend.
The Broncos currently sit at eighth place in the MWC standings at 2-4 but a pivotal series against UNLV this weekend has the potential to vault the Broncos to the top of the standings.
“This [past] weekend was a pretty rough weekend,” Broncos head coach Erin Thorpe told The Arbiter. “We have to be able to rebound from that and get some wins against UNLV.”
Thorpe, the only head coach in Broncos softball history, understands how important for Boise State to notch some wins in conference play in order to avoid falling too far back in the rankings.
UNLV is currently sits tied for first in league play with San Jose State, Fresno State and San Diego State.
Boise State notched two wins over the Bulldogs to begin conference play at Dona Larsen Park March 21-23.
With the amount of depth in the MWC, Thorpe knows that even the last place team in the league can earn a win over the first place team.
“I think theres so many good teams in the Mountain West that I think we need to get wins whenever we possibly can,” Thorpe said. “Anything can happen in this conference on any day.
“We just need to play our best ball we can. We can’t worry about what anyone else is doing.”
Despite the added pressure of needing to compete well against MWC teams, Thorpe believes Boise State needs to play in the present to avoid letdown.
“It’s about keeping things light and trying to have fun while also having small goals within the game,” Thorpe said. “We just need to stay in the present time and give it all we have.”
Excellent pitching has spelled doom for Boise State thus far this season. According to Thorpe, the Broncos have faced two of the best pitchers in the conference thus far this season in Fresno State’s Jill Compton and Colorado State’s Holly Reinke.
With the Runnin’ Rebels’ Amanda Oliveto — who led UNLV to an upset win over ranked Texas — coming to town, Thorpe knows the Broncos will have another challenge on their hand this week.
If history is any indicator however, the Broncos will have no problems keeping pace with the Runnin’ Rebels — Boise State leads the overall series 5-3 over UNLV, and is 5-1 since joining the conference.
“We’re hoping [to continue the streak against UNLV] but you never know, Thorpe said. “You just have to show up to play.”
History is not the only advantage Boise State has this weekend over the Runnin’ Rebels — the Broncos hold a 10-3 record from the sanctity of Dona Larsen Park.
Thorpe credits the impressive home record to the enjoyment of playing at home, the excellent facilities at Dona Larsen Park, as well as the fans of Bronco Nation.
Play beings at 3 p.m. Friday April 4 at Dona Larsen Park and continues through Sunday.