Friday, May 6, 2011

New Mexico State Beats Lady Broncos On Homer in the Eighth

Boise State didn't have this one at all tonight.  The Broncos fell behind several times, battled back but never took the lead.  In the bottom of the eighth inning, New Mexico State won it with a home run.

Here's how it unfolded:

The Aggies had the bases loaded with one out in the first inning.  Zell uncharacteristically had walked two and the Broncos allowed two stolen bases in the inning.  Zell pitched her way out of the jam, striking out Maroda and Conrad to end the inning.

Zell may have gotten through that unscathed, but the second inning is another story.  New Mexico State exploded for four runs.  Nerves may be getting to Zell--a wild pitch and a hit batter allowed another run--5 to 0 Aggies.

Holly Bourke smashed a homer in the top of the third, Boise State's first hit.  No one was on base so it's just a solo shot for a 5-1 deficit after two and a half.

The down side to that is that Swedberg equaled that with a solo blast of her own, leading to an early shower for Zell.  Lela Work has come in to pitch for the Broncos.  6-1 NM State.

The baseballs are flying out tonight--Christina Capobianco  homered, this time good for two runs, and the score stood at 6-3.  Looks like the winning team may have to score 9 or 10 tonight.  Kelly Sweeney followed that with a homer of her own to make it 6-4.  Three consecutive errors by New Mexico State led to another run and Boise State closed within one at 6-5.  Mackenzie Whyte then came through with a single to score Caplan and tie the game up. 

A single and a double have led to another Aggie run in the bottom half of the inning.  Boise State has had to fight uphill the whole game and looks like they'll have to battle back again.  Aggies 7, Boise State 6.

New Mexico State scored three in the sixth to make it a 10-6 game.  Boise State came back for two runs (Sweeney doubled in two) and Tazz Weatherly came through in the clutch with a single that scored two more when the Aggies were charged with their fifth error of the game.  The game is tied at 10.

Ashley Maroda sent a rocket into the seats in the bottom of the eighth to win the game for New Mexico State.  The Aggies are now in first place in the WAC, tied with Boise State.  First pitch tomorrow is at 2 p.m.

Boise State Needs 14 Points to Clinch Commissioner's Cup

The magic number is 97 to clinch the Commissioner's Cup in the WAC.  Boise State currently has 83.25 points.  The maximum that Fresno State can get is 97, a total that can be attained if they win the regular season and postseason championship in both softball and baseball, win the WAC in men's track and win the title in women's track. 

Boise State will likely get anywhere from 5-7 points in softball.  That is one of the sports that splits awarded points based on the regular season and postseason.  In other words, the regular season champion gets 3.5 points, second place gets you 3 points, third is worth 2.5, etc.  The same is true for the postseason except there will be several ties for position.  If two teams tie for fifth, for example, in the posteason, they will share the postseason points for fifth and sixth.  In this example, each team will get 1.25 points (2.5 divided by 2).  There are seven teams that participate in softball so 7 is the maximum that can be earned.  The Broncos have clinched at least a tie for third in the regular season but obviously they want more than that.  If they can capture the regular season championship, they get some byes and advantageous postseason scheduling that would make it hard to not score at least 2 points in the softball championship. 

Currently, I am projecting a tie for the regular season title with New Mexico State (worth 3.25 points) and a second-place finish in the tournament, worth 3 points.  This is because their series with NM State is away from home and I am giving the benefit of the doubt to the home team to win 2 of 3.  Similarly, the postseason championship is hosted by Fresno State and I am giving the advantage to the Bulldogs until someone topples them.  Thus, the total of 6.25 for Boise State in softball.  If this scenario occurs, Fresno State would get third in the regular season and first in the postseason for a total of 6 points, one less than the maximum.

If this hypothetical proves correct, Fresno State would lose one point from their maximum and the new magic number would be 96.  Boise State would be up to 89.50 and need 5.5 points from its track teams to clinch the Cup.  The Bronco men's team is currently seeded third but has some upside.  I don't see them finishing worse than third and, as my article earlier in the week showed, they are one decathlete away from winning the title.  The women's team is currently seeded last so they have nowhere to go but up.  What these projections show is that Boise State must do better than projected to clinch the Cup outright.  If they are unable to do so, they must rely on Fresno State not winning all four remaining championships.  I show that to be the case, but Fresno knows what it has to do as well, and you can bet the message has been passed on to its coaches and student-athletes.

The outdoor track championships get started next Tuesday in Honolulu with the softball tournament getting underway next Wednesday in Fresno.  As you have come to see, you can get up-to-the-minute results on both of those events first on this blog. 

Boise State Softball Team Goes for Title This Weekend

The Bronco softball team has a chance to clinch the WAC title this weekend in Las Cruces, New Mexico in a three-game set with New Mexico State.

The Aggies have led the conference for much of the season, except for four short times when Boise State had the upper hand.  Here is the situation--the Lady Broncos currently lead the WAC by one game over New Mexico State and two games over Fresno State.  If Boise State wins one of the three games, they will clinch a tie for the title; if they win two or more, the Broncos win the regular season championship outright.  Of course, they would then have to prove it in the conference championship but it would still be a major achievement. 

Tonight's game gets underway at 6 Mountain Time with a doubleheader scheduled for tomorrow beginning at 2 p.m.

Destination Distinction Goes Over the Top

A few short years ago, Boise State launched its Destination Distinction program with the goal of becoming a metropolitan research university of distinction.  Under the goals of the campaign, new buildings would be built, new professors hired, new programs started, attention would be focused on research in all disciplines, the university would attract higher quality students and new masters and doctorate programs would be added.  The university announced yesterday that it has not only reached the $175 million goal but that $189 million had been raised.