Rebels Sweep Mountain West Weekly Awards|
March 13, 2018
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - A pair of UNLV softball seniors have swept the Mountain West weekly honors as Jade Yadao-Valdez was named Player of the Week and Janine Petmecky was tabbed the conference's Pitcher of the Week. The two have been instrumental in the Rebels' early success this season and that was again true this past weekend as they helped UNLV to a 3-1 record at the Rebel Classic at Eller Media Stadium. At 17-7 overall, the Scarlet and Gray are off to its best start since the 1996 squad went 19-5 through the first 24 games.
Yadao-Valdez, from Wahiawa, Hawaii, had one of her most productive weekends in a Rebel uniform, hitting .538 (7-for-13) at the plate with at least one hit in each of the UNLV wins to go along with four runs scored, one RBI and a .538 on-base percentage. After swiping 11 bases in all of 2017, Yadao-Valdez stole five this past weekend alone and is just one shy of tying her career-high for a single season with 11 this year.
The speedy senior, who has started 131 consecutive games for UNLV, was particularly huge in the Saturday sweep of New Mexico State (5-2) and Portland State (9-1 in six innings). Against the Aggies, she went 2-for-3 with one run scored and a stolen base, while her leadoff single spurred a three-run first inning for the Rebels. In the night cap against the Vikings, Yadao-Valdez went a perfect 4-for-4 with three runs scored, one RBI and a career-high three stolen bases. In both the first and the sixth innings, she led off with a single to spark offensive rallies for the Rebels, including a three-run sixth that ended the game early. As one of UNLV's best defenders, Yadao-Valdez was stellar at third base, recording four putouts, eight assists, no errors and three spectacular snags down the line for outs.
Petmecky, a native of Riverside, California, has been equally impressive in the circle this season after not throwing a single inning a year ago. Over the weekend, the right-hander won both her starts with complete game performances - Friday's 2-1 win over DePaul and Saturday's 5-2 win against New Mexico State. Dating back to Feb. 17, Petmecky has won seven consecutive starts, all complete games, giving up just five earned runs over 49.0 innings with 51 strikeouts. For the year, Petmecky has a career-high 64 strikeouts and leads the Mountain West with a 10-1 record and a 1.06 ERA.
In the narrow win over the Blue Demons, Petmecky allowed one run on seven hits while striking out three and walking two. The next day against the Aggies, she gave up two runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk in seven innings. The senior not only makes an impact in the circle, but has also been huge at the plate as well as she went 4-for-10 (.400) with three runs scored, three RBI and one double.
These are the first career conference honors for both Yadao-Valdez and Petmecky, while this marks just the third time since 2011 the Rebels have swept the awards in the same week.
UP NEXT FOR THE REBELS: UNLV will open Mountain West play on the road this weekend at New Mexico, March 16-18. First pitch in the series is set for Friday, March 16 at 5 p.m. PT