Rebels Suffer Narrow Loss, Bounce Back With Dominant Victory|
March 2, 2018
South Dakota 1 UNLV 0 | UNLV 7 Princeton 1 | @UNLVSoftball
PHOENIX, Arizona (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV softball suffered its second straight loss and first loss on a Friday during the 2018 season, but rebounded with a dominant victory to split its doubleheader at Grand Canyon's 'Lopes Up Classic in Phoenix. The Rebels, now 12-5 on the season, dropped a narrow 1-0 game to South Dakota - who they beat 6-2 in Las Vegas on Feb. 17 - in the weekend opener, but their bats came alive in the second game with a 7-1 win over Princeton.
Sophomore Charlie Masterson (3-2) was solid in the circle, only giving up a sixth-inning run that ultimately decided the game. Run support was again an issue as the Rebels were were shut out in Masterson's last two starts - 2-0 in the final game in Houston and 1-0 Friday morning - both losses for the right-hander.
In game two, senior Janine Petmecky picked up where she left off in Houston, notching her fourth win in as many games. Princeton's third-inning run was the first Petmecky had given up in her last 16.1 innings as a starter. For the game, the right-hander allowed just three total hits in 6.0 innings while striking out eight Tiger batters.
GAME 1: South Dakota 1 UNLV 0
THE TURNING POINT: After five and a half scoreless innings between the Rebels and the Coyotes, South Dakota broke through in the bottom of the sixth. Up until that point, Masterson had only give up two hits, but USD tagged her for four in the inning to break the scoreless tie and give the Coyotes the run they needed for the win.
REBEL OF THE GAME: Despite suffering her second loss in as many starts, Masterson was strong in the game, giving up the late earned run in the sixth on four hits while allowing six total in the game with two strikeouts. Unfortunately, the Rebel offense has been shut out in those last two starts as well.
STAT OF THE GAME: A fourth inning error by the Rebels ended a streak of four straight games without committing one and was just the eighth error all season.
GAME 2: UNLV 7 Princeton 1
THE TURNING POINT: The back-to-back Ivy League champions struck first in the third inning, with Petmecky allowing her first run in the last 16.1 innings pitched over three starts. The Rebels responded immediately in the bottom half of the inning. The rally started with a leadoff single by freshman Devynn Marshall, who was making her first start of the season at designated player. After Reina Bondi walked, Stover moved the runners over to second and third with a sacrifice bunt, which was followed by a walk to pinch hitter Kiley Harrison to load the bases. That brought up sophomore second baseman Justine Federe, who leads the Rebels in RBI this season and entered the weekend hitting .462 with runners in scoring position. Federe delivered once again, clearing the bases with a double to center to score three and give UNLV its first lead. The Rebels added one run in the fourth and three in the fifth for the final 7-1 margin.
REBEL OF THE GAME: Like she has all season, Federe came through with the timely hit the Rebels needed. The bases-loaded double broke a streak of 18 scoreless innings by the Rebel offense and gave the Scarlet and Gray the lead after falling behind in the top half of the frame. Federe added a fourth RBI in the fifth to give her a team-leading 16 on the year. For the game, she went 2-for-4 with four RBI, one run scored and one double.
STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV scored in three straight innings (third, fourth and fifth) after going just over 18 innings without a run.
QUOTABLE: Head coach Kristie Fox -
"We learned a lesson today about making sure we show up every game ready to compete. The other team strung all of its hits together in one inning and sometimes that's all it takes. Charlie worked too hard on the mound to just be giving away our at bats. On the flip side, once again I was impressed with how this team responded to constructive criticism and were able to bounce back. We got a key two-out RBI and that is all it took to get our bats loose again."
* UNLV has a 12-5 record through the first 17 games for the second straight year and fourth time in program history
* The loss to South Dakota was the Rebels' second straight and longest losing streak of the young season, but that was snapped immediately with the win over Princeton
* Justine Federe leads the team with 16 RBI after another four in Friday's win over Princeton. The sophomore is now hitting a whopping .500 (8-for-16) with runners in scoring position
* Dating back to Feb. 17, Petmecky has given up just three earned runs on 19 hits in her last 27.1 innings pitched, which includes four complete game performances, four wins, two shutouts, a save and 33 strikeouts
* An error in the fourth inning against the Coyotes ended a streak of four straight games without committing one, but was just the eighth on the season, compared to 21 made by UNLV opponents. Overall, the Rebels have committed zero errors in 10 games this season and have just one game where they committed more than one.
UP NEXT FOR THE REBELS: UNLV will have another doubleheader Saturday where they will face Valparaiso at 2 p.m. MT/1 p.m. PT and tournament host Grand Canyon at 7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT, both at GCU Softball Stadium.