Rebels On The Road Again, Next Stop Phoenix|
March 1, 2018
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV softball will be on the road for the second straight week, this time heading to Phoenix for Grand Canyon's 'Lopes Up Classic, March 2-4. The Scarlet and Gray will play five games over three days, opening the tournament with a second matchup against South Dakota, who the Rebels beat 6-2 at the Marucci Desert Classic on Feb. 17. UNLV also has matchups set with Princeton and tournament host Grand Canyon as well as two games against Valparaiso.
Despite having Sunday's game rained out, the first road trip of the year to Houston was a productive one as the Rebels went 3-1 in the tournament to move to 11-4 on the year. That mark is the program's best through the first 15 games since 2007 and marks just the fifth time in program history they have started at 11-4 or better. The weekend wasn't without some familiar drama as the Rebels had another late-inning comeback, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh in what looked like a sure loss to UTSA on Friday night. Through the first three weeks, the Rebels remain undefeated on Fridays thanks now to three come-from-behind wins.
Senior right-hander Janine Petmecky was the star of the weekend, throwing two complete-game shutouts in two wins and notching a save against UTSA. In a 3-0 shutout against Yale, Petmecky had a career-high 10 strikeouts, which included six through the first three innings. Petmecky was also the Rebels' top performer at the plate in Houston as she hit .385 with five hits, one double, one triple, one run scored and one RBI. Her RBI was a big one as it broke up a 9.2 inning streak by Syracuse ace Alexa Romero without allowing a hit. Her RBI single gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead. For the season, Petmecky has led the way in the circle with a 5-1 record, a 0.99 ERA and 38 strikeouts.
Overall, in four games over the weekend, UNLV gave up just seven runs while scoring 12 and even in defeat only gave up two runs. After offensive leader Myranda Bueno went down with an injury, several different people stepped up to contribute, with nine different players registering at least one hit and seven recording at least two, while seven different Rebels knocked in at least one RBI.
A big reason for the hot start has been defense as the Scarlet and Gray have committed just seven errors through 15 games, while their .984 fielding percentage is ranked fifth in the nation.
UNLV's first pitch of the tournament will be an early one, as the Rebels are set to take on South Dakota on Friday, March 2 at 9 a.m. MT/8 a.m. PT at GCU softball's Brazell Stadium.
RANKING THE REBELS
• Mountain West: Overall UNLV sits top the MW in ERA (2.67) and fielding percentage (.984), while ranking fifth with a .287 ERA. The Rebels are fourth with 113 hits and are fifth with 62 runs scored. Rebel pitchers are third in the conference in innings pitched 105.0 and strikeouts (73) and are second opposing batting average (.259). Individually, Justine Federe's 11 runs scored are tied for seventh, while her 12 RBI are tied for sixth. In the circle, Janine Petmecky's 0.99 ERA is second, her .216 opposing batting average is fifth and her 38 strikeouts are tied for second.
• NCAA: UNLV is fifth in the country in fielding percentage (.984)
• Now 11-4 on the season, the Rebels have gotten off to their best start since they had the same record in 2007. This also marks just the fifth time in program history they have started 11-4 or better to begin the year
• The loss to Houston snapped a three-game winning streak
• The Rebels have yet to lose on a Friday in 2018
• Through the first 15 games, UNLV has committed just seven errors, while its opponents have committed 20, which includes no errors in the last four straight. Overall, the Rebels have committed zero errors in nine games this season and have just one game where they committed more than one.
• The Rebels already have two come-from-behind extra-inning walk-off wins this season (6-5 over Buffalo in the eighth inning on Feb. 16 and a 3-2 walk-off win over North Dakota State on Friday, Feb. 9) and added a third comeback win in Houston with a 6-5 win over UTSA thanks to a three-run top of the seventh
• UNLV has four shutouts on the season, with senior RHP Janine Petmecky responsible for three of them, including two this weekend
• Dating back to Feb. 17, Petmecky has given up just two earned runs on 16 hits in her last 21.1 innings pitched, which includes three complete game performances, three wins, two shutouts, a save and 25 strikeouts
• Petmecky was also the Rebels' top performer at the plate in Houston as she hit .385 with five hits, one double, one triple, one run scored and one RBI. Her RBI was a big one as it broke up a 9.2 inning streak by Syracuse ace Alexa Romero without allowing a hit. Her RBI single gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead in a game Petmecky went 7.0 shutout innings in the circle. In her second shutout of the weekend against Yale, Petmecky struck out a career-high 10 batters
• Junior Myranda Bueno entered the weekend in Houston leading the Rebels with a .441 batting average and 15 hits and was tied for first in runs scored (9) and doubles (3). She also had a 10-game hitting streak.Unfortunately, Bueno suffered a facial injury in the weekend opener and will be out indefinitely
• Sophomore second baseman Justine Federe leads the Rebels in RBI this season with 12. She came up with three big ones in Houston, hitting a two-run go-ahead bomb in the top of the seventh against UTSA in the eventual 6-5 win. She is tied for the team lead with three multi-RBI games
• Senior catcher Brooke Stover has been strong offensively in 2018, hitting .297 with three doubles and seven RBI and tied for the team lead in multi-RBI games
• The Rebel pitching staff has a combined 2.67 ERA, which leads the Mountain West. Petmecky leads the way with a 0.99 ERA (second in the MW), a 5-1 record and 38 strikeouts (tied for second in the MW). The senior has given up just four earned runsin 36.1 innings pitched
• Rebels have only lost once when they've out-hit their opponent, but also have an above .500 record at 4-3 when they are out-hit by the opponent
• UNLV is hitting .302 with runners in scoring position, while its opponents are hitting just .234 in those situations
Live stats for all five games are available on the Softball schedule page on www.UNLVRebels.com. Saturday night's game vs. Grand Canyon will also be live streamed. That link is available on the schedule page. Live updates can also be found by following @UNLVSoftball on twitter.