Another Late Inning Heartbreaker in Home Loss to Spartans |
May 11, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV Softball saw another solid performance in the circle from senior Morgan Ettinger, but for the fourth-straight game at Eller Media Stadium the Rebels lost in heartbreaking fashion with a late-inning 1-0 defeat to San Jose State (36-15, 16-6) Thursday night. Ettinger gave up just one hit in her career-high 17th complete game of the year, but that hit led to the game-winning run for the Spartans in the top of the sixth. The defeat drops UNLV to 23-27 overall and 6-16 in Mountain West play while it marks the Rebels' eighth consecutive loss.
Ettinger (12-17) had a no-hitter going through five innings and hadn't allowed more than one baserunner in any inning up until that point. The right-hander put two on with one out after a walk, a sacrifice bunt and another walk. The next SJSU batter, Cassidy Clark, sent Ettinger's third pitch to right center, scoring the runner from second to break up the no hitter and the stalemate.
The UNLV offense had a tough assignment with SJSU pitcher Katelyn Linford, who entered the game fourth in the conference in ERA and second in strikeouts and wins. The Rebels did have some success of Linford as they recorded seven hits off her, but each time they strung together a couple in a row, they couldn't bring them home.
The best chances to score came in the first and fifth innings. In the first, Janine Petmecky and Brianna Gatlin led off with two singles to put two on with no outs, but a pop up, a tag out and a fly out ended the threat. In the fifth, Myranda Bueno connected on a one-out single that was followed by a two-out single by Petmecky, but again both runners were stranded. In all, Linford struck out the Rebels five times in her 17th complete game of the season. It was also just the second time all year the Scarlet & Gray out-hit its opponent and still lost the game.
Ettinger did add five more strikeouts Thursday to reset her career high with 104 in her final collegiate season. She is the first Rebel to reach the 100 strikeout mark since Amanda Oliveto had 140 in 2014.
Game two is set for Friday at 6 p.m. at Eller Media Stadium.