Rebels Suffer Sweep With Sunday Loss to Fresno State|
April 30, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV Softball seemed to be on the verge of salvaging one win on the weekend in the series finale Sunday against Fresno State (29-20, 9-8), but instead it was another late-inning heartbreaker as the Bulldogs scored three runs with two outs in the top of the seventh for a come-from-behind 4-3 victory. With the win, the Bulldogs handed the Rebels their first series sweep in conference play and first sweep in a three-game set this year. The loss drops UNLV to .500 for the first time this season at 23-23 while their Mountain West mark falls to 6-12.
Leading 3-1 after six innings, senior Morgan Ettinger needed three outs to secure her first win since March 10. Up until that point she had pitched another solid game, giving up just one run on five hits entering the final frame, but she couldn't quite find a way to close this one out. The Bulldog rally began with a leadoff double and after a groundout, a walk put two on with one-out. That brought the top of the lineup up for Fresno State, but Ettinger was able to get leadoff hitter Malia Rivers to foul out for the second out. She wasn't as successful with the next batter as FS's Miranda Rohleder sent the second pitch she saw over Brianna Gatlin's head in right field for a double, scoring both runners to even the score at three. That sequence was followed by another single to right field that was deep enough to score Rohleder from second and give the Bulldogs the lead for good.
The defeat moved Ettinger's record to 12-14 on the year, but the right-hander did notch her career-high 14th complete game of the season.
The Rebels faced Fresno State's ace, Kamalani Dung, for the third-straight day and did find more success against Dung than they had on Saturday when they managed just two hits in the shutout loss. All three UNLV runs came in the bottom of the third against Dung. The scoring sequence started with a leadoff single by center fielder Myranda Bueno, which was followed by a bunt single by Jadelyn Yadao-Valdez to put two no with no outs. RBI-machine Janine Petmecky was up at the plate next and knocked in her team-leading 27th RBI of year with a single to left field. A sacrifice bunt by Brianna Gatlin moved the runners to second and third and a groundout RBI by Alyssa Navarro scored Yadao-Valdez to make it 2-0. With Petmecky on third, second baseman Justine Federe connected on a two-out RBI single to center to extend the lead to 3-0 before Emily Vela struck out to end the inning.
The Bulldogs got one back in the top of the fourth with a towering home run to left center by Fresno state's Savannah McHellon.
Dung was tough all weekend, picking up all three wins for Fresno State with three complete-game performances, allowing the Rebel offense just seven runs on 19 hits in 23.0 innings pitched. The Scarlet & Gray did record its most hits against Dung with nine on Sunday while Ettinger only gave up seven to the visiting Bulldogs.
The weekend sweep also ended a pair of undefeated streaks UNLV had going in the 2017 campaign. Sunday marked the first time the Rebels had lost when out-hitting an opponent as they were previously 11-0 in games they had accomplished that feat. The team had also entered the weekend 17-0 when leading after four innings, but that streak was cut short after giving up a late lead in two of the three losses to Fresno State.
The Rebels have just two series left, one on the road and one at home. First up is a three-game set next weekend, May 5-7, at San Diego State.