Softball team allows late rally to Oregon State in loss
With the final conference series on the horizon, the Rebels (23-28, 13-10 MW) couldn’t overcome late miscues against Oregon State (16-30).
UNLV split its two-game set with the Beavers after giving up three runs in the final inning in their 10-7 loss on Sunday at Eller Media Stadium.
“We’ve got to make the good pitches, and plays when you need it, and we didn’t,” said head coach Lisa Dodd. “We made every other one except for the ones that mattered.”
It was tied heading into the top of the seventh, until freshman pitcher Morgan Ettinger (8-9) gave up back to back doubles, the second leading to a Beaver score.
With two outs in the seventh inning, Ettinger got Beavers designated hitter Alexis Gonzales to pop it up to right field. What should have been a routine out turned into two Rebels players confused on who was catching the ball, and it landing in between them.
That led to two Oregon State runs.
“That pop up it changes the game entirely,” Dodd said.
Oregon State relief pitcher Sarah Shadinger (1-1) had a 1-2-3 inning to end the game.
UNLV scored in four consecutive innings before being shut out in the seventh. It was the only inning where no more than three Rebels had an at bat.
Pauline Monreal led the Rebels from the plate, going 3-for-4 with five RBIs and a home run. It was her league leading 15th homer of the year.
“I’m just staying common, and seeing the ball, and just have a plan of attacking,” Monreal said.
Right fielder Stefany Valentino extended her hitting streak to 23 games after she went 3-for-3, and adding two scores of her own. Valentino went 4-for-9 in the two-game set.
The Rebels missed out on a huge opportunity in the fifth when they had the bases loaded and Kwyn Cooper at bat. Cooper hit a line drive, but Oregon State third baseman Amee Aarhus snagged the ball to end the inning.
UNLV had a chance to finish the season with an even 27-27 record, but Sunday’s loss ended any hopes of that happening.
“If we win these next three we can be one game out of .500,” Dodd said, “that’s a huge improvement for us, and I think it’s important for us to always have goals.”
UNLV will return to Mountain West play next weekend as the Rebels take on their final conference opponent this season, Utah State. They will have a chance to finish with 16 conference wins, and possibly top three in the Mountain West.
Utah State (18-31, 6-14 MW) currently sits in last place. This will be the first time these two teams have met as Mountain West opponents.
“We’re excited to go out there, and to get a chance to play,” Monreal said. “We played this series this weekend, but our conference games are something we really get up for.”