Rebels Stumble In Season Finale
May 4, 2003
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The UNLV softball team dropped both ends of its doubleheader against Colorado State on Sunday, falling 7-1 and 4-2 at Ram Field.
The Rebels (20-37, 4-14 MWC) struggled in the opener, collecting just four hits and one late-inning run off CSU starter Megan Masser. The run, which snapped a string of more than 32 consecutive shutout innings by Masser, came in the seventh inning after the Rams had established a 7-0 lead.
The Rams (34-13, 13-7 MWC), meanwhile, took advantage early. They scored an unearned run in the second to take the lead and increased the margin on a solo shot by cleanup hitter Ricki Walker.
The game remained tight through four innings, but the Rebels could not generate much offensively. Masser struck out six and permitted only a leadoff infield hit to Bridget Byrne and a single to left by Morgan Bostwick.
CSU improved upon its 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Melanie Laffoon crushed a two-run shot to center, the second homer on the day given up by UNLV starter Jacqueline Kerrigan.
The Rebels turned to freshman Becky McDonald to get them out of the inning, but not before CSU tacked on a fifth run after a walk and an RBI single by Carly Allen.
In the sixth, Walker hit her second homer of the game, a two-run shot to center that put CSU up 7-0.
UNLV finally broke up the shutout in the top of the seventh. A leadoff walk by Pauline Glenn came around to score on Byrne's second hit of the game. But Masser recorded the final out in the next at bat to preserve the victory.
In the nightcap, Walker again was the Rebels' worst enemy. The Rams' junior first baseman hit her third bomb of the day, this one a two-run blast to give her team the early lead.
Another home run, the Rams' fifth of the day, was delivered by leadoff hitter Steph Roberts in the third to put CSU up 3-0.
Colorado State managed an insurance run in the fifth before UNLV got on the board in the top of the sixth. Bostwick kicked the inning off with a single, and two batters later, Kacey Ellis hammered a pitch down the left field line that cleared the fence. It was Ellis' first home run of the season and cut the lead to 4-2.
The Rebels pounded out a total of nine hits in the game, but could not generate any more runs. Masser, pitching in relief, retired four of the last five to earn her seventh save of the year.
Sunday's outcomes secured both teams' positions in the final conference standings. The Rebels finished sixth overall and will meet No. 3 seed BYU in the first round of the MWC Tournament that begins Thursday in San Diego. The winner of that game will advance to meet the second-seeded Rams.