March 10, 2017
REBEL CLASSIC//ELLER MEDIA STADIUM//MARCH 9-12
BOX SCORES: Southern Illinois 1 UNLV 0 // UNLV 7 DePaul 2
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV Softball dropped a close one to Southern Illinois on a seventh-inning homer in its opening game of the 2017 Rebel Classic, but responded with a resounding 7-2 win over DePaul in the afternoon contest to split the day and move to 14-8 on the year.
Rebel ace Morgan Ettinger pitched another seven-inning gem, but a mistake in the top of the seventh was sent over the left field wall by Southern Illinois' Katelyn Massa, breaking a scoreless tie and giving the Salukis the 1-0 win. It was Ettinger's third loss of the season against a career-high 11 wins, while she went the distance for a team-leading seventh time this season. Outside of the home run, Ettinger gave up six hits and three walks. Her five strikeouts brought her season total 53, which is one shy of her single-season career high of 54.
Saluki starter Nicole Doyle also turned in a complete-game performance and was able to stifle the Rebel bats, giving up just four hits while recording seven strikeouts in the shutout. Centerfielder Myranda Bueno was a bright spot in the game, collecting three of those four UNLV hits as part of a 3-for-3 day at the plate. It was also just the second time the Scarlet & Gray has been shut out this season.
The UNLV offense heated up against DePaul in game two of Friday' doubleheader, scoring seven runs on 11 hits. After the scoreless streak from game one stretched into the first inning against the Blue Demons, the Rebels managed at least one run in the next five-straight to pick up the victory. Junior Janine Petmecky got the scoring started in the bottom of the second, leading off with a single and scoring after a fielder's choice and an error allowed her to cross home plate. Petmecky helped extend the lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the third with her team-leading 15th RBI of the season as her single brought pinch runner Jamie Hatch home.
The Rebels doubled their lead in the bottom of the fourth after Kiley Harrison and Myranda Bueno opened the frame with back-to-back singles and moved to second and third with one out on a Jadelyn Yadao-Valdez groundout. Chrissi Omalza came up next to pinch hit for shortstop Karly Bunderson and her single scored Harrison from third. That brought starting pitcher Mara Kemmer to the plate, who singled to bring Bueno home and make it a 4-0 UNLV lead.
The bottom of the fifth saw two more runs by UNLV, extending its lead to 6-0. The first came on a two-out RBI single by pinch hitter Abby Howard that brought Harrison -- who had doubled earlier in the inning - home from third, while the second was on a Yadao-Valdez grounder that allowed Bueno to score before Yadao-Valdez was tagged out trying to take second.
The Rebels added a seventh run in the bottom of the sixth after Bunderson led off the inning with a single and a Kemmer groundout and Brooke Stover single moved her to third base. Senior Brianna Gatlin's fielder choice groundout allowed Bunderson to score from third for the final run.
Kemmer, making her third start of the season, had her second-straight solid performance, giving up just two hits over five scoreless innings. Her longest appearance of the year helped the freshman collect her second-career win and moved her record to 2-1. Fellow freshman Breana Burke entered the game in relief for the final two innings and gave up two runs to the Blue Demons, but the Rebels built a large enough cushion that it ultimately didn't matter.
UNLV has another doubleheader set for Saturday at Eller Media Stadium, starting with an 11:15 a.m. contest against New Mexico State followed by a 3:45 p.m. game against Portland State.