Series Sweep Eludes Rebels After Broncos Walk It Off In Wild Finale|
April 15, 2018
Boise State 12 UNLV 11 (9) | @UNLVSoftball
BOISE, IDAHO (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV softball came close to its first series sweep of the season, but ultimately left Boise with just the series victory after the Broncos used a three-run walk-off home run in the ninth to win a wild game three 12-11 Sunday at Dona Larsen Park. With the loss, UNLV fell to 24-16 on the year and 6-9 in Mountain West play, while Boise State improved to 28-13 and 7-5 in conference.
Game three was not like the other two as the finale became a shootout after the first two games were pitcher's duels. The two teams combined for 23 runs on 28 hits Sunday after the weekend had seen 4 runs on 21 hits total in games one and two. The Broncos came from behind three times throughout the game to tie the score before scoring four in the ninth - three on the home run by Makenzie Sullivan - to end the extra-inning affair.
The offensive onslaught started from the beginning as the Rebels led off the game with back-to-back homers by senior Janine Petmecky and sophomore Justine Federe after entering the game with 10 team home runs all year. By the end of the first, UNLV led 4-0 and extended its lead to 5-2 midway through the second inning. The Broncos, however, responded to score three runs in the bottom of the second to knot the game at five after two.
With the score still tied in the fourth, Petmecky hit her second home run of the game and third of the season to give the Rebels the lead again at 6-5. It would stay that way until the bottom of the sixth, when Boise State's Sullivan hit her first homer of the game to tie it right back up at six all.
After a scoreless seventh, the battle would extend to extras for the second time in the three games. UNLV would re-take the lead in the eighth after freshman Mia Trejo and senior Jade Yadao-Valdez led off with a double and a bunt single and were brought home on a Reina Bondi double to make it 8-6. For a third time, Boise State erased the deficit in the bottom half on a home run and a UNLV error that allowed the tying run to score.
That set up the dramatic ninth when UNLV grabbed the lead back for the second consecutive inning with three runs to make it 11-8 and again needing just three outs to secure the sweep. The Broncos had other plans though, as they used two singles and a fielder's choice to cut the UNLV lead to two before Sullivan's game-winner.
Petmecky was the starter in the circle, but gave way to Charlie Masterson in the third. Masterson held the Broncos to one run over the next five innings before they tagged her for six over the final two to hand her a seventh loss this season.
THE TURNING POINT: Twice in extras UNLV looked as if it were headed towards victory - once after taking an 8-6 lead in the eighth and again in the ninth after going up 11-8. The Rebels had avoided a walk-off in the bottom of the eighth after Federe made a spectacular diving grab on a liner at second base for the third out with the winning Bronco run on third. Boise State was able to get to Masterson again in the ninth after two singles and fielders choice cut the lead to two with two runners still on. That brought up Sullivan, who sent her second homer of the day to center to put the Rebels away.
CO-REBELS OF THE GAME: Petmecky, Bondi and junior Myranda Bueno all took turns giving the Rebels the lead throughout the day. Both of Petmecky's jacks gave UNLV a one-run lead, while Bondi's double in the eighth put them up by two runs and Bueno's bloop single in the ninth completed a three-run inning to make the score 11-8.
STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV scored a season-high 11 runs on 12 hits in the game. This came after the Rebels had scored a combined nine runs in its last five games.
QUOTABLE: Head coach Kristie Fox
"I thought we competed well. We made some huge plays to keep us in the game and had some really clutch hits. Offensively, we need to build off this performance and I think it is a perfect time for our pitching staff to get some rest to finish out strong."
* Despite the loss, the Rebels leave Boise with the series win - their second of the season - with both coming on the road
* In total, the game featured 13 extra base hits, including six home runs - three for each team
* The 11 runs were a season-high for UNLV while Boise State's 12 were also the most allowed by UNLV this year
* Seven different Rebels registered at least one hit in the game with the top of the lineup - Petmecky, Federe and Trejo - going 5-for-14 (.357) with two home runs, four runs scored and four RBI
* Sophomore Reina Bondi had a stellar game, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and one run scored
* It was the first time in her career Petmecky has hit two home runs in a single game* At 24-16, the Rebels are one win shy of matching their total from all of 2017 with nine regular season games left to play. If the Rebels can win two more, it will be their most wins in a season since they won 27 in 2011
UP NEXT FOR THE REBELS: The Rebels will have next weekend off as part of their conference bye week before returning to action at home the following weekend for their annual Governor's Series matchup against UNR, April 27-29.