Boise State

Boise State softball’s greatest power hitter Devon Bridges takes final swings this week

For much of Devon Bridges’ career, she played the sport without a fence.

For the past five years, the fence has defined her game.

Bridges will be honored Saturday at the Boise State softball team’s senior ceremony after the season finale against Utah State at 2 p.m. at Dona Larsen Park.

Bridges holds Broncos career records for games (221), starts (218), at-bats (628), hits (232), home runs (52), RBIs (188), slugging percentage (.666), on-base percentage (.472), total bases (418) and walks (114).

Her homer record, in particular, seems built to last. No other Bronco has even hit 40.

“A lot of times when you play in travel ball, you don’t play with fences,” said Bridges, a first baseman and designated hitter from Danville, Calif. “I wouldn’t necessarily say I was considered a home-run hitter. It wasn’t necessarily something I was taught. It just kind of happened — and has been happening.

“It’s a pretty awesome feeling, especially when you round third and see the team going crazy for you, smiles everywhere.”

Bridges doesn’t track her own records but says RBIs mean the most to her. She has 188 — 45 more than any other Bronco.

“It means you’re making your team get those runs,” she said, “and hopefully that leads to a win.”

Bridges’ career lasted one more year than expected because of a back injury she sustained in the weight room last season. She tried to play through the pain — she hit one homer in 13 games — before applying for a medical redshirt. She was granted a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA in July.

This year, Bridges leads the team with a .359 batting average, 52 hits, nine home runs, 32 walks and 35 RBIs.

She also hit her favorite college home run — a game-winning grand slam April 24 against Colorado State that erased a three-run deficit. It was the first walk-off homer of her life.

This week’s homestand — the Broncos and Aggies also play at 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday — will be “bittersweet,” she said, but she plans to enjoy it.

“Once I got (the extra year), I was just going to enjoy every experience,” Bridges said. “I just was really grateful for it. I wanted to take everything in and not stress.”