UNLV falls to San Jose State 5-3 in 12 innings Friday night
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV softball team twice came back from deficits in game two against San Jose State (28-15, 8-6) to force extra innings at Eller Media Stadium Friday, but ultimately could not come up with a third rally in a 5-3 loss in 12 innings. The Spartans evened the series with the win and handed the Rebels their fifth game-two loss in six Mountain West series in 2019.
UNLV moves to 28-12 and 9-7 in conference play and will be looking to snap a streak of two straight league series losses in the weekend’s rubber match Saturday at noon.
Junior Breana Burke turned in a valiant effort in 11.2 innings of work, matching her career high with six strikeouts to go along with just two walks. Unfortunately San Jose State came up with a pair of runs in the 12th to hand her a fifth loss this year. Charlie Masterson relieved Burke in the 12th to get the final out of the game.
THE TURNING POINT: The Rebels first trailed 1-0 after the first inning, but took the lead with a two-run bottom of the second. Later in the seventh, down 3-2 and facing their final three outs, Justine Federe led off with a double that was about a foot short of going over the fence, then came around to score on a Statia Cermak sacrifice fly. Over the next four innings the two teams would trade opportunities to take the lead, but neither could come up with the timely hit. That changed in the 12th, when SJSU led off the inning with a single and advanced the runner into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, the Spartans sent a pinch hitter to the plate, Alyssa Avila, and with two strikes Avila sent the ball into the gap in right center to score what proved to be the game winner from second. Avila scored on a single by the next batter to give the Spartans an insurance run that all but sealed the game.
STAT OF THE GAME: The two squads combined to go 4-for-32 (.125) with runners in scoring position and left 27 runners on base. UNLV was 1-for-14 in RBI opportunities and left 13 runners stranded.
REBEL OF THE GAME: Burke will be disappointed with the loss, but her effort was impressive. Before the 12th inning, the junior had given up just two earned runs and stayed calm in getting out of several jams throughout the contest. Burke has gone the long haul in both of UNLV’s extra-inning games in 2019, as she pitched 10.2 scoreless frames in a 4-3, 17-inning win at SDSU in March and pitched a single-game career high 11.2 innings Friday. The right hander is now 7-5 with a 1.92 ERA.
UP NEXT: Series will be up for grab in the series finale Saturday. First pitch set for 12 p.m.
* UNLV still leads the all-time series over SJSU 45-26
* UNLV is now 1-1 in extra inning games this year. The Rebels beat San Diego State 4-3 in a 17-inning game the last weekend of March to take the series
* Four of UNLV’s six Mountain West series this season have come down to the weekend finale and a fifth almost came down to the third game if the finale at Utah State wasn’t cancelled. The lone series that didn’t was a sweep at San Diego State
* While the Rebels have gone 6-0 in Mountain West series openers, game two has gone the opposite direction as UNLV is just 1-5 in the second game of league series this year
* The Rebels are now 5-9 when the opponent scores first 5-5 when they score between 3-5 runs
* UNLV registered double-digit hits for the 21st time in 40 games and lost just their second game when managing 10 hits or more in a game. Of the 11 hits Friday, only one was an extra-base hit
* Federe ( 3-for-6, 1 run scored, 1 double) and Myranda Bueno (3-for-5 with one run scored) were the Rebels’ top performers at the plate
* Junior Lauren Tycksen stole her 19th base of the season, which now leads the team
* UNLV needs just five wins to match last year’s total of 33 with 10 regular season games still left to play, while head coach Kristie Fox needs five wins to reach 200 total in her head coaching career
* UNLV committed two errors on the night, marking just the fourth time all year they’ve committed more than one in a game. Rebels have just the 27 in 40 games
* Rebels have outscored its opponents 209-99 in 2019