Rebels Set To Host NISC Regional Wednesday-Friday|
May 15, 2018
NATIONAL INVITATIONAL SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP (NISC) - UNLV REGIONAL
Eller Media Stadium
Las Vegas, NV
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV softball's milestone season continues this week as the Rebels will make their first postseason appearance since 2009, hosting a regional as part of the National Invitational Softball Championship (NISC) - a tournament sponsored by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and operated by Triple Crown Sports, Inc., a company that produces events for college and youth athletics. The new tournament was introduced in 2017 and is meant to be equivalent to the NIT and WNIT in college basketball.
UNLV is the No.1 overall seed in the 17-team field and is one of four teams hosting a regional this week. The Scarlet and Gray will welcome four teams to Eller Media Stadium - UC Riverside, Weber State and two teams they've already faced this year - Utah Valley and in-state rival UNR. The regional will take place over three days, May 16-18, with games at 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day. UNLV will have a first-round bye and will play at 6 p.m. against the winner of Utah Valley/Weber State, who play earlier in the day at noon. The double-elimination tournament will continue Thursday with three more games before concluding with the regional championship game at 3 p.m on Friday. If a second game is needed to determine the winner, that game will take place following the 3 p.m. contest.
Adult all-tournament passes are $25 and youth/student/senior passes are $12, while single-day ticket are $10 for adults and $5 for youth/students/seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the gate.
The Rebels wrapped up the regular season last weekend with their fourth straight Mountain West series win and finished fourth in the conference after winning 10 of its last 13 league games. Two of their series victories came on the road over eventual MW champion Boise State and third-place finisher Fresno State. Overall, UNLV's 31 wins are its most since 2010 and marks the first time in eight years the Scarlet and Gray reached the 30-win threshold. It is also the first time since 2011 they will have a winning season.
Under first-year head coach Kristie Fox, the Rebels have reached their first postseason since appearing in a NCAA regional in 2009 - the first year under former head coach Pete Manarino. One more win and Fox will have the most wins for a first-year coach in program history.
UNLV could see some familiar foes this week as they faced the Wolverines of Utah Valley and of course, conference foe UNR, earlier in the year, with all four games taking place at Eller Media Stadium. The Rebels beat UVU 8-0 in five innings on Feb. 10 and took two of three for UNR, April 27-29) to capture the Governor's Series for the first time since 2015. The field also includes UC Riverside, who enters the regional at 33-20, and Weber State, who is finished the regular season three games above .500.
If UNLV and UNR both win their first games, they will meet in the semifinal. The loser of that game will then have a chance to come up through the loser's bracket for a possible rematch in the championship round.
RANKING THE REBELS
• Mountain West: UNLV led the MW in fielding percentage (.973) and ERA (2.85) and ranked sixth with a .278 batting average. UNLV also has the least amount of errors in the conference with just 37 through 46 games. The Rebels were tied for sixth in hits (363) and seventh in runs scored (202) and RBI (182). Rebel pitchers were fifth in innings pitched at 337.0, fourth in opposing batting average (.270), fourth in strikeouts (228) and second in batters struck out looking (93). Individually, Janine Petmecky's 2.28 ERA was third in the MW, while her .245 opposing batting average was seventh and her 140 strikeouts were third (her 59 battters struck out looking is first) during the regular season.
• NCAA: UNLV is 22nd in the country in fielding percentage (.973) heading into the postseason.
• RPI: UNLV ended the regular season with an RPI of 86, its highest all season.
• UNLV is making its first postseason appearance since 2009, when the Rebels played in a NCAA Regional.
• The 31 wins are the program's most since going 33-20 in 2010, with UNLV getting its first winning season since 2011 and first 30-win season in eight years. The 13 conference wins are the most since the team won 15 in 2014.
• At 31 wins, Kristie Fox is tied with former UNLV head coach Pete Manarino for most wins in their first year at the helm. Manarino won 31 in his first season in 2009.
• UNLV won 10 of its last 13 conference games after a streak of seven straight Mountain West losses.
• After winning just one of their first four conference series, the Rebels won four straight MW series to close out the season. Two of their series victories came on the road over eventual MW champion Boise State and third-place Fresno State. The other MW series wins this year were at New Mexico (March 16-18) and at home against UNR (April 27-29) and Colorado State (May 10-12).
• UNLV finished its 2018 non-conference regular season slate with a 18-7 record overall.
• UNLV's 20-8 record through the first 28 games was the program's best start since the 1996 squad had the same record to start the season.
• If the Rebels can score first, they have a good shot to win as they are 23-4 when that occurs. Between the three games in Fresno and the first two games last weekend against Colorado State, the Rebels scored int he first inning five straight games en route to a five-game winning streak.
• The Rebels have only lost once when they've out-hit their opponent at 22-1, but are 8-15 when out-hit by their opponents.
• Rebels are 23-3 when leading after the fourth inning, so getting the lead early has been a key to success.
• Season Streaks: The Rebels's longest win streak during the regular season was five, all in conference, while their longest losing streak is also five games. Their longest MW losing streak is seven.
• Individual Streaks: Junior Myranda Bueno has the longest hitting streak of the season at 10. Freshman Mia Trejo at one point had reached base safely in 13 straight games. Both Bueno and Brooke Stover both have on-base streaks that reached 10 at one point, while Stover had a nine-game hitting streak as well. Petmecky will enter the regional on a six-game hitting streak and an eight-game on base streak, whiel Trejo has a seven-game on-base streak. Freshman Samantha Diaz has reached base safely in five straight games.
• Strong defense: The Rebels have committed just 40 errors in 49 games this year and big reason for that is the strong play of Stover behind the plate. The senior has not committed a single error this season in 274 chances and she is the only player in the MW (among those with over 50 chances) not to have committed an error this season. The Rebels are 17-3 when they make no errors in a game.
• Historic Sweep In Fresno May 4-6: The Rebels made history in Fresno May 4-6 in more ways than one. The three-game sweep was the program's first over the Bulldogs, while UNLV became the first team to sweep Fresno State in MW conference play - home or away - since the Bulldogs joined the conference in 2013. Most impressively, it was the first time FS had been swept on their home field by a conference opponent in its 37 year history.
• Petmecky's Hot End To The Regular Season: After going 8-for-10 with two walks in 12 plate appearances in Fresno, Petmecky went 7-for-8 over the first two games against Colorado State in the regular season finale series. Over the final two series, went 15-for-21 (.714) with 10 runs scored, eight RBI, one double, one triple and three home runs. In the circle over the span, she pitched 24.0 innings, went 2-1 with a save, allowed eight runs on 22 hits and had 19 strikeouts, helping the Rebels to their longest win streak of the year
• Honors Roll In For Petmecky: After her monster performance in Fresno May 4-6, Petmecky earned some unprecedented honors in UNLV history as she became the first player in program history to be named the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week on May 8. She also earned the Mountain West Player and Pitcher of the Week honors that day, marking just the second time in conference history the same players has nabbed both awards in the same week.
• Petmecky makes mark on record book: Petmecky now has 140 strikeouts on the season - a new-career high - which ranks tied for seventh in a single season in program history. The number is particularly impressive considering she didn't pitch one inning as a junior last season and her previous career high for a single season was 35. Her 19 wins led the MW, are the most by a Rebel pitcher since Oliveto had 18 in 2013 and are the second most in a single season in program history.
• Underclassmen Success: Two underclassmen emerged at the plate this season, particularly during conference play - sophomore Reina Bondi and freshman Mia Trejo. In league games, Trejo hit a team-best .380, while Bondi was third at .338. Overall this year, the pair have have combined for 82 hits, 38 runs scored, 17 doubles, three triple and three home runs.
• Senior Production: Petmecky isn't the only senior making an impact in her final campaign. Speedy third baseman Jade Yadao-Valdez has swiped 14 bases this season - a new career high - and has been stellar on the hot corner, committing just two errors all year long. Catcher Brooke Stover was one of the best defensive players in the Mountain West this year and has also had a productive final season at the plate, hitting .259 with 37 hits, 15 runs scored, eight doubles and 25 RBI. Designated hitter Alyssa Navarro has come on as of late with three home runs in the last 12 games.
• Multi Madness: Trejo leads the team with 18 multi-hit games and eight multi-RBI games this season. In all, the Rebels have nine different players that have recorded five or more multi-hit games and six with four or more multi RBI games.
• RISP: While the offense has struggled at times this season, it has stayed consistent throughout the year with runners in scoring position, hitting over .300 in that category all year. They had into the regional currently hitting .314 in those categories.
• The Rebels have two multi home-run games this season - the series finale loss in Boise and game two in Fresno. After the Rebels managed just nine home runs total over the first 37 games, they now have 10 over their last 12. Petmecky has six of those over the last 10 games.
• After having one run-rule victory all of last season, the Rebels have five this season, most recently an 11-2 five-inning win over Colorado State on May 11.
• The Rebels have won five Mountain West weekly honors this season. Most recently, Janine Petmecky became just the second player in Mountain West history to win both Player and Pitcher of the Week in the same week when she earned both on May 8. The Rebels also swept the Mountain West weekly honors on March 13 with Petmecky earning Pitcher of the Week and Yadao-Valdez earning Player of the Week. Freshman Samantha Diaz was the first Rebel this season to earn the honor as she was named player of the week on Feb. 21.
• In total, the Rebels have six come-from-behind wins this season. The two most recent ones were series clinching - Petmecky's two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth in game two against UNR and Trejo's clutch two-run single in the top of the seventh in game two at Boise State that lifted the Rebels to a 2-1 victory. Two others came in extra-inning walk-off fashion (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), while the fourth was a comeback win in Houston (a 6-5 win over UTSA thanks to a three-run top of the seventh) and the fifth was a 6-4 come-from-behind win at San Diego April 3 after trailing 4-3 heading into the sixth inning.
• UNLV has seven shutouts on the season, with Petmecky responsible for five of them.
• Both Petmecky and sophomore pitcher Charlie Masterson have recorded career highs in innings pitched, strikeouts and wins this season.
Live stats the UNLV games will be available on the Softball schedule page on www.UNLVRebels.com. Live stream for the entire regional is available at https://livestream.com/mwn/events/7741116. Live updates can also be found by following @UNLVSoftball on twitter.