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UNLV SOFTBALL NEWS: Rebels Finally Return To Eller Media Stadium, Host New Mexico This Weekend

 

REBELS FINALLY RETURN TO ELLER MEDIA STADIUM, HOST NEW MEXICO THIS WEEKEND

 

After almost a month of playing games away from Las Vegas, Rebels and Lobos will meet for three games, April 17-18

 

@UNLVSoftball | 2021 Schedule (Web) Notes  

After almost a month of playing games away from Las Vegas, the UNLV softball team will finally return to Eller Media Stadium this weekend to host New Mexico for a three-game Mountain West series, April 17-18. Saturday will feature a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. followed by the series finale Sunday at noon.

 

The Rebels will hope to repeat a sweep from the last time they were able to play on their home field when the opened up league play with three wins over Boise State, March 20-21. UNLV enters the weekend on a four-game winning streak after sweeping Utah State in Logan last weekend, while the Rebels will look to extend its home winning streak to seven straight.

 

After the first month of conference play, UNLV and Fresno State sit tied atop the standings, each with an 11-1 mark. With five weeks remaining in the regular season, the Rebels and Bulldogs will try to keep pace in the battle for the Mountain West Championship and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

 

New Mexico comes to Las Vegas with a 3-28 record overall, but two of those wins have come against MW foes, so no team can take the Lobos lightly. The Bulldogs will be on their conference bye week, so UNLV will have a chance to jump ahead in the standings with wins this weekend. The Rebels have won nine of its last 12 meetings with the Lobos, including its last two conference series.

 

UNLV will be back on the road next weekend for three at Colorado State, April 24-25.

 

QUICK HITTERS
• Kristie Fox is in her fourth season with a 109-48 record. Fox reached the 100-win mark with a 2-0 win over Utah Valley at home on March 6, 2021
• She is the fastest coach to reach the 100-win milestone at UNLV, doing it in only 143 games
• The Rebels started 11-4 or better through the first 15 games in all four years Fox has been at the helm, including a 12-3 record in 2019
• UNLV’s longest winning streak this season in four games. They will enter the matchup with New Mexico on a current four-game winning streak
• UNLV’s longest losing streak this season is four, which is the second longest under Coach Fox as the Rebels just had one longer – a five-game streak in her first season in 2018
• After the sweep at USU, UNLV made its biggest jump in the RPI standings, going from No. 70 last week to No. 51 this week – the highest position among Mountain West teams. Fresno State dropped one spot to No. 73 after its sweep at Colorado State, while San Diego State moved up to No. 74 from No. 81 after a conference bye week
• With the sweep in Logan, UNLV got a major monkey off its back as the Aggies had won eight of the last 11 matchups between the squads. It was the Rebels first series win over USU since 2015 and first sweep over the Aggies since 2014
• UNLV’s bats came alive in the sweep at Utah State as the Rebels hit 10 home runs in three games after hitting 17 total over the first 26 games of the season and only eight total since they hit nine in the first five games. At one point, UNLV had gone 11 straight games without hitting one, but now have 12 over their last four. Rebels have hit 27 on the season, which ranks second in the Mountain West
• For her performance at USU, Senior shortstop Samantha Diaz earned her second Mountain West Player of the Week (third in her career) after going 6-for-10 (.600) with nine RBI and five runs scored in the three games. That included a home run in each game (one solo, one two-run and one three-run home run), marking her first dingers since she hit five on opening weekend (earning her first MW honor of the season). In the 17-0 UNLV win in five innings to complete the sweep, Diaz went 3-for-4 with five RBI, which included a three-run homer in the top of the fifth
• Under Fox, who is a San Diego native, the Rebels have won five of its last six games in San Diego, which included the program’s first-ever three-game sweep at SDSU in 2019 and the this year, the first back-to-back series wins there (no conference games were played in 2020)
• After the series in San Diego, March 27-28, the Rebels swept the Mountain West weekly awards, marking the 22nd time UNLV has earned both awards in the same week since joining the conference in 2000. Jenny Bressler was named the pitcher of the week for the third time in her career, while Justine Federe earned her second career weekly honor
• UNLV’s sweep over Boise State to open the MW in 2021 was the fourth sweep in conference play in three conference seasons (2020 was canceled) under Fox, while it was the third straight series win over the Broncos since Fox took over
• UNLV ranks second in the MW with a .978 fielding percentage, which is tied for 18th in the country; the Rebels have committed just 16 errors in 28 games, which is also second-best in the league
• UNLV is batting .296 through 28 games, which ranks second in the Mountain West. The Rebels also rank second in slugging percentage (.471), runs scored (143), hits (217) and double (41) and are third in on-base percentage (.371) and runs batted in (132)
• Scoring first and early has been a recipe for success this year as UNLV is 14-3 when they score first and 13-2 when they lead after four innings
• Rebels have six players currently hitting over .300 (min. 10 at-bats) – freshman Jasmine Martin (.471), sophomore Maddie Schmidt (.359), junior Denise Armendariz (.352), freshman Janyssa Martin (.342), senior Mia Trejo (.319) and senior Justine Federe (.311)
• Schmidt has been a consistent spark for the offense in the leadoff spot. Her .359 average and 33 hits rank third, while her 27 runs scored ranks second. She is also fifth in stolen bases with 11, while teammate and senior Lauren Tycksen ranks tied for third with 15 stolen bases. Schmidt and Tycksen, along with senior Mia Trejo, have each had eight-game winning streaks this season which is tied for longest on the team in 2021
• Janyssa Martin has had an impressive start to her collegiate career with her .342 batting average ranking fourth on the team. On opening weekend alone, the right fielder hit .727 with eight hits, seven RBI, two home runs, a double and five runs scored. In her first career at-bat she blasted a two-run home then, then topped that with a walk-off grand slam in the sixth inning against Dixie State. Against Utah State, Martin added her second grand slam of the year helping the Rebels rout USU 17-0 in five innings. Martin has 15-game on-base this streak with Tycksen coming in with the second-best on-base streak of 12 games
• Armendariz has also been a consistent force at the plate as she’s hitting .352 with a team-high 11 doubles to go along with 13 runs scored and 14 RBI. She also added her first home run of the year – a solo shot in the fourth inning – of a 6-0 game-two win over USU on April 10. Twelve of her 25 total hits have gone for extra bases, with her 11 doubles ranking tied for first in the MW and tied for 18th in the country
• Senior Lauryn Tycsken and sophomore Maddie Schmidt have combined for 26 of UNLV’s 32 stolen bases in 2021 with Schmidt with 12 and Tycksen with 15
• Lauren Tycksen leads all Rebels with nine multi-hit games in 2021, while senior Samantha Diaz has a team-best eight multi-RBI games
• Entering the weekend against New Mexico, Armendariz and Justine are each riding five-game hitting streaks, while Mia Trejo and Samantha Diaz are on four-game streaks. Federe also has an 11-game on-base streak going as well
• The Rebels have been clutch with runners in scoring position, hitting .305. Pinch-hitting has also been successful as UNLV is hitting .327 (16-for-49) in those situations
• UNLV added a fourth grand slam of the year on a Janyssa Martin grand slam in the first inning of an eventual 17-0 win over USU. The Rebels hit three grand slams on opening weekend. The four are now the most since UNLV hit four in 2011, while it’s just the ninth time since joining the Mountain West in 2000 the Rebels have had three or more in a season. Prior to opening weekend, the Rebels had not hit a grand slam in the Fox era
• The pitching staff as a whole has been solid in 2021 with a 3.11 ERA (ranks fourth in MW), with 10 shutouts, which ranks second in the MW and tied for 19th in the country
• Bressler picked up two more wins over the weekend at USU, getting the game one win with an 8-inning complete game, allowing just two runs on five hits, then coming up just two outs shy of a perfect game in a one-hit 17-0 shutout in five innings in the Sunday finale. She now has 11 wins this season (third in the MW) and 102 strikeouts (second in the MW) to go along with two saves (tied for second in the MW). In a complete-game 2-0 shutout over Utah Valley on March 6, Bressler recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts.
• Bressler lowered her season ERA to 1.96, which ranks second in the Mountain West. The junior has won all six of her starts in Mountain West play, throwing complete gaes in five of them. Opponents are hitting just .205 off of Bressler, which ranks second in the MW
• In just over two and half seasons, Bressler has now amassed 45 career wins, which already ranks seventh all-time in program history
• Senior Charlie Masterson has also been steady in the circle, going 4-2 with a 2.92 ERA and 29 strikeouts. Her best performance of the season to date came in a 6-0 game-two win over Utah State, where she pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing just four hits in 7.0 innings pitched
• Freshman Jenna Perez has been impressive in her first collegiate season. She is 2-0 on the year with a 4.42 ERA. At the Boyd Gaming Classic, March 5-7, she won her first two collegiate starts with a 1.40 ERA, two runs allowed in 10.0 innings pitched and 13 strikeouts. In her Rebel debut, she recorded three strikeouts in one inning of relief again Southern Utah on Friday, Feb. 12
• Senior Samantha Diaz had a career opening weekend at the plate, hitting five home runs (two two-run homers, two three-run homers and first career grand slam) to go along with 13 RBI and six runs scored. One three-run homer came against Dixie State for the walk-off fifth inning win, while the grand slam tied the game up at five against Southern Utah. Diaz earned the Mountain West Player of the Week award on February 16 for her performance
• The Rebels were picked to finish second in the Mountain West Coaches Preseason Poll – their highest predicted finish since 2012 and just the fourth time since they joined the conference in 2000 they had ranked higher than third in the annual poll
• Andy Jarvis was promoted to Associate Head Coach prior to the 2020 campaign after being an integral part of the success at the plate and the stellar defense in the outfield
• Pitching coach Emily Vincent, who was a standout pitcher at McNeese State, is in third season after leading the pitching staff to the top ERA in the conference each of the last two seasons

LIVE STATS/UPDATES

Live video links will be available for all three games in the series, with all three games being broadcast on the Mountain West Network. Links are available on www.UNLVRebels.com. Live updates can also be found by following @UNLVSoftball on twitter.

 

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UNLV SOFTBALL NEWS: Rebels Finally Return To Eller Media Stadium, Host New Mexico This Weekend