Trailing 6-1 entering the seventh against UTC, Rebels score eight runs, including a go-ahead three-run home run by senior Justine Federe
CHATTANOOGA, TN (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV softball team capped day two at the Frost Classic with an improbable comeback against tournament host UT Chattanooga (4-7) Saturday night to move to 4-0 on the weekend and 11-4 overall.
Trailing 6-1 in the top of the seventh with just three outs to work with, the Rebels rallied for eight runs, including a three-run go-ahead home run by senior Justine Federe, to erase the deficit and steal the victory. UNLV sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning, loading the bases with one out before walking in the first run of the rally and tying the game up at six with two outs on a Julia Vollmer two-run single. Federe, who was moved into the leadoff spot for the first time this season, put the cherry on top with the three-run shot to right center.
It was the largest hole the Rebels had faced dating back to last season when they lost to UNR 8-0 on May 4, 2019.
The win was the Rebels’ fourth straight and second come-from-behind victory of the year.
In the first game of the day, UNLV cruised to a 10-1 victory over Saint Louis (3-9) behind a five-run first inning and another strong performance by senior Charlie Masterson, who gave up just one hit in 6.1 innings pitched. Masterson picked up both wins Saturday after entering the game against UTC in the sixth and keeping the Mocs off the board to set up the chance for the comeback.
UTC’s six runs were the most allowed by UNLV in 2020, but the Rebel offense came through to make it a moot point.
Game 1 Recap (UNLV vs. St. Louis): Entering Saturday the Rebel offense had struggled over its last three games, scoring just two runs in a loss and pair of 1-0 shutouts. That changed immediately as UNLV knocked in five runs on five hits in the opening frame against the Billikens, which included RBIs by Alyssa Trejo, Samantha Diaz, Statia Cermak and Caitlin Covington. The Scarlet and Gray added one run in the third and two each in the sixth and seventh in a game the Rebels dominated from the jump. Masterson faced just one batter over the minimum in her 6.1 innings of work, while UNLV missed out on a third straight shutout when Saint Louis managed a run on freshman reliever Halle Arends in the sixth.
Game 2 Recap (UNLV vs. UT Chattanooga): The Rebels again jumped out to a lead in the first inning, but only managed one run this time as Diaz brought freshman Maddie Schmidt home on an RBI single after Schmidt had singled and stolen second base. UNLV went quiet after that however and the usually stingy Jenny Bressler ran into some trouble in the third and fourth innings, allowing UTC to tie it at one in the third and take the 4-1 lead on a three-run home run in fourth. Breana Burke, who has been lights out, relieved Bressler in the 5th and gave up two more UTC runs, ending a 21-inning scoreless streak for the senior. In came Masterson in the sixth almost allowing more runs as UTC loaded the bases on three hits, but Masterson worked out of the jam unscathed and kept the deficit at five runs heading to the final frame. After the rally in the top half of the inning was in the books, Bressler returned to the game for the final three outs and her second save this year.
UP NEXT: The Rebels wrap up the Frost Classic Sunday morning at 6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET against SIUE.