Marucci Desert Classic Up Next For The Rebels|
Feb. 15, 2018
Game Notes | 2018 Marucci Desert Classic Tournament Page | Purchase Tickets | @UNLVSoftball
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - After a 4-1 start on opening weekend, UNLV softball will host its second tournament in as many weeks - the newly named Marucci Desert Classic. Marucci Sports, the new provider of UNLV softball and baseball gear, has sponsored a joint tournament for both programs, Feb. 15-19. Over the next five days, 17 Division I softball teams will compete at Eller Media Stadium and on three fields at Stephanie Lynn Park in Henderson.
UNLV will play six games from Friday to Monday, all at Eller Media Stadium, with doubleheaders set for Friday and Saturday. The Rebels will open the tournament Friday, Feb. 16 at 1:30 p.m. against Idaho State, then take on Buffalo immediately after. Saturday's slate features a 3:45 p.m. game against UTEP followed by a 6:00 p.m. matchup against South Dakota, who is taking the place of Bradley. The Braves' flight was canceled on the way to Las Vegas, forcing them to withdraw from the tournament. Sunday the Rebels will face Seattle University at 1:30 p.m. in the first matchup between the two schools since 2011, then finish the weekend Monday at 2 p.m. against Hawaii.
The Rebels began the 2018 season on an exciting note, going 4-1 on opening weekend for the first time since 2010 and just the 10th time overall in program history. The Rebels wasted no time making the debut of new head coach Kristie Fox a memorable one as the Scarlet and Gray used a walk-off ninth-inning win in game one on Friday to beat 2017 NCAA Tournament team and reigning Summit League champion North Dakota State 3-2. UNLV's only loss of the weekend came against then-16th-ranked Minnesota in a game they out-hit the Gophers, but couldn't get any runs across the plate in the 3-0 loss. The Rebels wrapped up the weekend with two straight shutouts - an 8-0 five inning victory over Utah Valley and a 3-0 win against Southern Utah.
Sophomore pitcher Charlie Masterson highlighted several strong Rebel performances from the weekend. The right-hander notched two of the four wins, giving up just two runs - one earned - on nine hits in 14.0 innings pitched. It marked the first two complete games and first shutout of her career, earning the Boulder City native a College Sports Madness Mountain West Pitcher of the Week award.
Fox became the third UNLV coach to go 4-1 through the first five games of their first season, joining UNLV Hall of Fame coach Shan McDonald (1987-2003) and former coach Pete Manarino (2009-12).
Full tournament schedule can be found at UNLVRebels.com. To purchase tickets in advance, visit UNLVtickets.com.
RANKING THE REBELS
• Mountain West: Overall UNLV sits atop the MW in pitching (1.54 ERA) and fielding percentage (.986), while ranking fourth overall with a .294 team batting average. The Rebels are first in both ERA and opposing batting average (.194) and are tied for second in innings pitched (35.0). UNLV has committed the least amount or errors in the conference (2) and is tied for second with 105 putouts. Indivdiually, Myranda Bueno's .538 batting average is third in the MW, while her seven hits are tied for 10th. Janine Petmecky is tied for first with a 0.00 ERA after her shutout win Sunday and is fifth in opposing batting average (.188), with Charlie Masterson sitting in fourth at both ERA (0.64) and opposing batting (.180). Sophomore Breana Burke is also in the top-10 for ERA at 3.86.
• NCAA: UNLV is tied for 25th in the nation in team ERA and 12th in the country in fielding percentage.
• This is the first time since 2010 the Rebels have started the season 4-1 and just the 10th time overall since the program's first season in 1985
• Fox is the third UNLV coach to go 4-1 through the first five games in their first season, joining UNLV Hall of Fame coach Shan McDonald (1987-2003) and former coach Pete Manarino (2009-12)
• The back-to-back shutouts to finish the weekend were the first for UNLV since March of 2013
• Friday's walk-off win over North Dakota State was UNLV's first since Feb. 17, 2017, when current senior Janine Petmecky hit a home run to beat Weber State 6-5 in the same tournament a year ago
• Sophomore Charlie Masterson was named College Sports Madness' Mountain West Pitcher of the Week after going 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA and seven strikeouts on opening weekend, including the first shutout of her career. Masterson also sent the game-winning run across the plate with hit to left field in the 8-0 five-inning win over Utah Valley on Saturday.
• The trio of Masterson, Petmecky and sophomore Breana Burke gave up a combined seven runs over a five games, good for a 1.54 ERA - the top mark in the Mountain West after the first weekend. Opponents are hitting just .194 against them, also the top mark in the MW
• Junior Myranda Bueno turned in a strong offensive opening weekend for the Rebels as she went 7-of-13 (.538) with four runs scored, one RBI and one walk. The left-fielder had three mulit-hit games and enters weekend two with a four-game hitting streak
• Five different Rebels registered at least two RBI on the weekend - freshman Mia Trejo, sophomores Charlie Masterson and Justine Federe and seniors Jade Yadao-Valdez and Janine Petmecky - with Petmecky recording a team-high three.
• UNLV committed just two errors over five games, good for .986 fielding percentage - the best mark in the league
• Petmecky returned to the circle after not pitching at all a year ago and was impressive with a complete-game 3-0 shutout over Southern Utah - marking the first complete game and first shutout of her career
SCOUTING IDAHO STATE
• The Marucci Desert Classic will serve as the 2018 season-opening weekend for the Bengals, who are coming off an 18-27 season in 2017
• ISU returns five major contributors from last season, including Big Sky Conference Co-Newcomer of the Year in junior Haley Harrison. Harrison hit .346 with four home runs and 26 RBIs, garnering honorable mention all-conference honors
• Mariah Mulcahy is the Bengals' leading returning pitcher. Mulcahy pitched 60.2 innings and went 5-9
• Idaho State is coached by Candi Letts, who is entering her second season
• The Bulls went 1-3 on opening weekend, with two losses to Mercer, a win over Appalachian State and a loss to Morehead State
• Freshman Anna Aguon had an outstanding first collegiate weekend, going 7-for-13 (.538) with two home runs, five RBI, one double and five runs scored
• Junior Ally Power led the way in the circle, going 1-1 with a 4.31 ERA with nine strikeouts
• The Bulls are coached by first-year head coach Mike Roberts
• UTEP is coming off a 1-4 weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The Miners one win was a 7-0 victory over Saint Mary's College on Feb. 10. The losses came to Missouri, #3 Oregon, UC Davis and San Jose State
• Getting the win for the Miners was junior transfer Kira McKenchnie, throwing 4.1 scoreless frames and allowing only three hits
• Freshman Ilena Santos started her collegiate career with a bomb - making her first collegiate hit a home run
• Despite losing four of five games games, the UTEP defense turned five double plays on opening weekend.
• The Miners are coached by Tobin Echo-Hawk, who is inter fifth season at UTEP
SCOUTING SOUTH DAKOTA
• The Coyotes went 0-6 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., last weekend, losing to Boise State, San Jose State, UC Davis, Notre Dame, Purdue and Northwestern
• USD had a whopping 10 home runs and seven other extra base hits, but gave up 63 runs over in 35-plus innings of work and committed 20 errors.
• At the plate USD was led by senior Taylor Steinfeldt, who went 10-for-20 with a home run and two triples, while senior Emily Winckler and Jamie Holscher combined for 11 hits and five home runs
• The Coyotes are coached by Robert Wagner, who is in his second season and has won two Women's College World Series as an assistant
• The Redhawks went 3-2 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., with wins over Stanford, CSUN and Wester Michigan and losses ot Notre Dame and Nebraska
• In a 13-9 win over Stanford, Seattle used a grand slam and a nine run fifth inning to get the victory
• The Redhawks also won on a two-run walk-off home run over Western Michigan, while both losses were one-run defeats to Power-5 programs
• Sophomore Madison Cathcart hit four home runs on opening weekend, which ranks second nationally, while batting .412 at the plate
• Redshirt freshman Carley Nance went 2-0 on opening weekend and registered 16 strikeouts, which currently leads the WAC
• Seattle is coached by Geoff Hirai, who is in his third season after taking SU to its first WAC Championship game appearance in program history last season
• The Rainbow Warriors did not compete last weekend, so the Marucci Desert Classic will be their season opener
• Hawaii returns seven starters from a 2017 squad that posted a 29-23 overall record, which included a season split with UNLV in Hawaii last February
• Senior pitcher Brittany Hitchcock is the top returner in the circle. She went 19-12 with 27 complete games, 204.2 innings pitched and 169 strikeouts to just 28 walks a year ago to earn her third all-Big West honor in her career
• 2017 hits leader Nicole Lopez is back for her junior campaign after registering 55 hits a year ago with a .331 batting average, 27 runs scored, 11 doubles, 12 home runs and 32 RBI. She was a first team all-Big West selection
• The Rainbow Warriors are coached by Bob Coolen, who is in his 29th year at the helm of the program
Live stats for all five games are available at www.UNLVRebels.com. Live updates can also be found by following @UNLVSoftball on twitter. Links to watch single-camera streams of all five games are available at UNLVRebels.com as well.