The Boise State softball team has won eight of its past nine Mountain West games to climb into a familiar spot.
The Broncos (27-19, 11-7 MW) are in a three-way tie for second place, one game behind Fresno State. The conference champion advances to the NCAA Tournament.
Two years ago, the Broncos needed a sweep at San Diego State to claim the crown and couldn't do it.
Last year, they were one of six teams in contention going into the final two weeks.
This year, they'll need to finish strong against struggling New Mexico - the Lobos visit Dona Larsen Park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - and in a three-game series at San Diego State, one of the second-place teams (the third is Colorado State).
"We need to play our game and we need to be focused and work hard every time we get out there," coach Erin Thorpe said. "We need to take it personal and we need to remember where we've been before, and we need to have the confidence that we can get it done."
The Broncos hold the tiebreaker over Fresno State (they won the series 2-1) but dug themselves a hole with a 1-5 stretch against Colorado State and UNLV before the recent surge.
"In the past we've learned that we tend to tense up (late in the season) and usually when we go out there and have fun is when we go out there and compete hard and win," senior Tara Glover said. "Staying loose and having fun is going to get the job done."
Glover is one of five seniors who will conclude their home careers this weekend. She broke the Mountain West career hits record Tuesday at Idaho State. She recorded 55 hits as a freshman at Utah and has averaged 70 per year at Boise State, where she holds the school career record.
"It's a great feeling," Glover said of the Mountain West record. "Just knowing that I'm really helping my team and helping get those wins and hopefully getting that conference title is the biggest thing for me."
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat