REBELS CAPTURE SERIES AT SDSU WITH EXTRA-INNING WIN
UNLV ends weekend in San Diego with 5-3 victory in nine innings over the Aztecs for its second straight Mountain West series win
After coming up just short in extra innings in game two of the series at San Diego State, the UNLV softball team reversed fortunes in Sunday’s rubber match, beating the Aztecs 5-3 in a nine-inning affair at SDSU Softball Stadium.
The finale win secured a second straight series victory to open Mountain West play for the Rebels, who improved to 16-9 overall and 5-1 in league action. With Fresno State dropping its weekend finale to Utah State Sunday, UNLV is now tied for first atop league standings with the Bulldogs.
San Diego has been kind to the Scarlet and Gray since head coach Kristie Fox took over prior to the 2018 season. Under Fox, who is a San Diego native, the Rebels have now won five of its last six at the home of the Aztecs, which included the program’s first-ever three-game sweep at SDSU in 2019 and now the first back-to-back series wins there (no conference games were played in 2020).
Rebel ace Jenny Bressler picked up her ninth win in the circle with her fourth complete-game outing in her last four starts – all resulting in UNLV wins against Mountain West opponents. The Canton, Michigan, native was a force in San Diego, pitching a whopping 19.2 innings, allowing just three earned runs on 14 hits with 14 strikeouts. Bressler went 2-1 with a 1.07 ERA, a shutout and two complete games.
UNLV jumped out to an early lead in the first inning on a Justine Federe solo home run that stayed just inside the foul pole for her third long ball of the season. The Aztecs tied it up at one in the second on a sacrifice fly in foul territory and it stayed that way until the fifth. Sophomore Maddie Schmidt reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and made it to third on a Lauren Tycksen infield bunt single. With runners on the corners and one out, Federe was up again and hit it deep to center to easily score Schmidt from third for the go-ahead run on the sacrifice fly. UNLV added an insurance run in the sixth on a solo home run by senior Mia Trejo for the 3-1 lead that seemed insurmountable against Bressler, but the Aztecs managed to tie it up at three in the bottom of the seventh to force extras.
After a scoreless eighth, Tycksen led off the ninth with an infield single to pitcher, then stole second to get into scoring position. With two outs, Mia Trejo was hit by a pitch to put two on with freshman Janyssa Martin coming to the plate. Martin came through with a fly ball to left that was misplayed by the Aztecs, allowing both Tycksen and Trejo to score for the two-run lead.
Despite giving up the runs in the seventh, Bressler stayed confident and steady in the extra frames, even when SDSU put two on with one out in the bottom half of the ninth. Bressler got a fly out to left and a foul out to work out of the jam and cement the Rebel victory.
UP NEXT: UNLV will be back at home next weekend hosting San Jose State, April 2-3. The series will take place on Friday and Saturday instead of Saturday and Sunday due to the Easter holiday Sunday. Friday’s doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m. with Sunday’s finale set for noon on Saturday.