As the Boise State softball team gathered for practice Tuesday at the Caven-Williams Sports Complex, it was business as usual, except for one topic never mentioned to any squad in the program’s 10-year history.
The Broncos are ranked for the first time.
On Tuesday, Softball America ranked Boise State at No. 24, the team’s first appearance in a Top 25 poll. The Broncos also received votes in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches’ Poll and ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll, marking the first time they’ve appeared in all three the same week.
“It’s important. It’ll help us when it comes to where we’ll want to be in the postseason,” Boise State first-year coach Maggie Livreri said. “But in the end, it doesn’t change anything, because we’ve got to this point by being ourselves, just going to work every day.”
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Boise State (14-2) is off to its best-ever start and riding a 13-game winning streak, the fourth-longest active streak in the nation. There have been comeback wins, there have been offensive showcases (seven games with seven or more runs) and some ace pitching (primary starters Kelsey Broadus and Gianna Mancha have ERAs of 1.85 and 1.88, respectively).
“We’ve been able to come together and win ballgames in different ways, so that reliance upon each other, that’s been fun to see,” Livreri said. “... They’re so hungry, and they’re coming off a successful year, so that’s not easy to do, but we have some veterans that had some tough years when they were young, and they never want to experience that again.”
The Broncos will play four games Friday and Saturday in the Louisville Slugger Tournament in Stockton, Calif. Their home opener is March 24 against San Diego State.