Rebels Win On Walk-Off, Sweep Opening Day Doubleheader|
Feb. 10, 2018
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV softball made the debut of new head coach Kristie Fox a memorable one with a sweep on opening day, which included a 3-2 walk-off win over North Dakota State in the ninth inning of the Rebels' first game of 2018. The Scarlet and Gray wrapped up the night with a 4-2 win over Creighton, marking the second straight year UNLV has beat the Blue Jays at Eller Media Stadium.
Remarkably, UNLV (2-0) beat the Bison with just one hit - the game-winner by sophomore second baseman Justine Federe. The Rebels made up for it in the second game as they managed 10 hits over the first four innings and 12 total in the victory over Creighton.
The UNLV pitching staff stole the show Friday with a pair of sophomores in Charlie Masterson and Breana Burke and senior Janine Petmecky, as the trio combined to give up four runs, three earned, on 10 hits in the two wins. Masterson was particularly impressive, going all nine innings and allowing just one earned run on five hits against a Bison team that is a NCAA tournament participant year-in and year-out.
GAME 1: UNLV 3 North Dakota State 2 (9 innings)
THE TURNING POINT: After giving up a run in the top of the ninth to the Bison, the Rebels came to the plate with their last chance to extend or win the game. With the international tiebreaker rule in effect for extra innings, UNLV had senior catcher Brooke Stover on second to start the inning, then fellow senior Janine Petmecky was intentionally walked with one out. Sophomore Reina Bondi came out to pinch run for Petmecky and that brought Federe to the plate, still looking for the Rebels' first hit of the game. She made it count with a single up the middle that brought Stover in from second. An errant throw trying to get Bondi at third allowed her to keep going all the way home and to the UNLV walk-off victory.
REBEL OF THE GAME: Masterson put in a gutty performance against the Bison - the reigning Summit League Champions and a 2017 NCAA tournament team. The sophomore was tough throughout, scattering five hits over the nine innings, allowing just one earned run. The Bison only took the lead on Masterson in the top of the ninth after the runner placed on second made it home on a sacrifice and a passed ball.
STAT OF THE GAME: The Rebels were being no-hit by Bison ace Jacqueline Sertic until Federe's game-winner and were out-hit 5-1 overall, but still found a way to get the victory. Their other score come on a sacrifice fly early in the game.
GAME 2: UNLV 4 Creighton 2
THE TURNING POINT: After Creighton took the early 1-0 in the top of the second, the Rebels responded an inning later in the bottom of the third. A pair of freshman got the rally going, starting with shortstop Samantha Diaz, who knocked a single to center. First baseman Mia Trejo stepped up to the plate next and sent a towering ball just over the left field wall that stayed fair for her the first home run of her collegiate career and a 2-1 UNLV lead. The Rebels added one more run in the inning and never trailed again.
REBEL OF THE GAME: Freshman Mia Trejo's two-run shot put UNLV ahead for good and showed why the freshman found her way into the starting lineup to open the 2018 campaign.
STAT OF THE GAME: After being no-hit through nine innings in game one, the Rebels collected 10 hits over the first four innings against Creighton.
- "I was really proud of our girls, they handled facing a real tough pitcher the first game well, they kept their heads on straight and the kept competing. Defensively we took care of the ball like we talked about all fall. Our pitching staff overall did a great job in the circle, they kept us in the game and kept it close so we could get the wins. Charlie pitched really well in the first game, it was a big for us. It was really exciting to be out here today and it was great having so much fan and staff support." - Head coach Kristie Fox
* UNLV goes 2-0 to start the season for the 17th time in program history (since 1985) and just the third time since 2010.
* Fox is the third UNLV head coach to go 2-0 in debut with program, the others were UNLV Hall of Fame coach Shan McDonald - who took the team to three Women's College World Series - and former coach Pete Manarino (2009)
* UNLV improves to 22-12 all-time in season opening games
* Senior Janine Petmecky, who led the team in RBI a year ago, picked up where she left off with two on the day
* This is the 11th straight year UNLV has hosted the Sportco Kick Off Classic to open the season