Rebels Fall to Aggies in Series Opener|
March 17, 2017
LOGAN, Utah (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV Softball dropped its Mountain West opener to Utah State, falling to the Aggies 10-2 in five innings in Logan, Utah, on Friday afternoon. With the loss, the Rebels' record moved to 16-10 on the year and 0-1 in conference while the Aggies improved to 17-5 on the season and 1-0 to start league play. UNLV is now 7-11 all-time in Mountain West openers.
Rebel ace Morgan Ettinger struggled early for the second-straight game, giving up three runs in the first inning and another one in the third before giving way to freshman reliever Breanna Burke in the fourth.
After USU starter Kelli White set down the Rebels in order to start the game, the Aggies struck first in the bottom half of the inning, getting a two-out two-RBI double and a pair of two-out singles to take a 3-0 lead. UNLV responded quickly in the top of the second on freshman Justine Federe's second home run of the year to make it 3-1. Utah State managed to get the run back in the bottom of the third on a one-out RBI double to extend the margin to three again.
The Rebels were able to cut it to 4-2 in the top of the fourth after Janine Petmecky led off the inning with a single and her pinch runner Jamie Hatch made it to third on a fielder's choice. That brought Kiley Harrison to the plate, who doubled to left centerfield to bring Hatch home. That was as close as they would get, as the Aggies managed to score six runs on six hits -- including a three-run homer and a two-run homer - off of Burke in the bottom half of the inning. With the run-rule in play, the Rebels had three more outs to try to extend the game, but they went down in order in the top of the fifth and that was it. It was the first time in 2017 the Rebels had been the victim of the fifth-inning run rule.
With the defeat, Ettinger moved to 12-5 on the year, while the Rebels lost two straight for just the third time this season. They have yet to lose more than three in a row in all of 2017, so they will hope that streak continues tomorrow in game two. First pitch for Saturday's contest is set for 2 p.m. PT and will be streamed live once again.