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UNLV roundup: Early homers ignite two softball victories

UNLV totaled 11 runs in the first innings of two games, buoyed by four two-out home runs, to beat Utah Valley 9-2 and Weber State 7-2 in the Marucci Desert Classic softball tournament Saturday at Eller Media Stadium.

Against the Wolverines (6-2), who entered on a five-game win streak, Justine Federe, Caitlin Covington and Samantha Diaz hit consecutive homers in the first. Against the Wildcats (3-6), Julia Vollmer capped a seven-run first by UNLV (7-3) with a three-run shot.

Briana Burke earned two saves by pitching the final three innings of each game. She was perfect against Utah Valley and shut out Weber State on two hits and no walks, helping the Rebels boost their win streak to six straight games.

Federe went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in the opener, helping UNLV to an 8-5 edge in hits. Maddie Schmidt went 2-for-3 with a triple and scored twice, and Mia Trejo had a double and an RBI for the Rebels.

Jenny Bressler (3-2) started against the Wolverines and allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits and no walks over four innings. She struck out five.

Charlie Masterson (2-1) started against the Wildcats and allowed two runs on five hits and one walk over four innings. She struck out one.

Weber State starter Jaclyn Gold was lit up for six runs on six hits in two-thirds of an inning. Kate Donaldson held the Rebels to one run over the final 5⅓ innings.

Schmidt was the lone UNLV player with multiple hits against Weber State, going 3-for-4. Trejo and Lauryn Barker each had a hit and drove in two runs.

Takesha Saltern and Landi Hawker each went 2-for-4 for the Wildcats, who were outhit 10-7.


At Wilson Stadium, Jordan Patty shut out the Rebels on one hit over seven innings in Central Michigan’s 8-0 win that capped a doubleheader sweep.

In the opener, Chase Rollin hit a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh and totaled four RBIs for the Chippewas (3-0) in their 12-8 win. Eric Bigani went 4-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs for UNLV (0-3).

Patty (1-0) worked around five walks and struck out six in a 99-pitch outing. Clayton Brock allowed three hits and struck out five over the final two innings.

James Gamble had two of the four hits in the second game for the Rebels, who stranded nine runners.

Gamble went 2-for-4 with a triple and scored twice in the opener, a game in which UNLV trailed 4-2 after three innings but went up 6-4 in the fifth.

Central Michigan went ahead to stay with a five-run seventh.

Austin Pfeifer had a two-run double and totaled three RBIs for the Rebels, who were outhit 11-9 in the opener.

The Chippewas used three pitchers in the first game, and they combined to strike out 14 and walk five. UNLV’s four first-game pitchers combined to strike out five and walk eight.

Zach Lechnir went 3-for-5 with a double and scored three runs in the opener, and he homered in the nightcap.

Zavier Warren went 2-for-4 and scored three runs in the opener for Central Michigan. Zach Heeke, Zach Gilles and Aidan Shepardson each had two hits and an RBI in the nightcap.


At Cox Pavilion, Jaedyn De La Cerda hit five of New Mexico’s 12 3-pointers and totaled 23 points to lead the Lobos past the Lady Rebels 80-64.

Jordan Hosey had 14 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals for New Mexico (14-13, 5-9 Mountain West), which had lost seven of its previous eight meetings with UNLV (12-13, 8-6) and hadn’t beaten the Lady Rebels in Las Vegas since 2013.

Ahlise Hurst had four 3-pointers and totaled 13 points for the Lobos, who trailed 37-36 at halftime before owning a 22-13 scoring edge in the third quarter.

Rodjanae Wade had 23 points and 14 rebounds for her 16th double-double of the season for UNLV, which shot 35.5 percent in its third straight loss.

Bailey Thomas had 17 points and LaTecia Smith 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Lady Rebels, who had a 38-35 edge in rebounds but missed 14 of 18 3-point tries.

New Mexico made 12 of 23 3-point attempts and shot 50.9 percent from the field overall.

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