Morales hits walk-off against Wolf Pack in extras

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UNLV No. 00 Ariana Martinez gets a hit against University of Nevada Reno. (Courtesy of UNLV Athletics/DJ Cabanlong).

Sofia Morales hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning for UNLV Softball at home on April 12 to defeat the University of Nevada Wolf Pack, 8-7. The win improves the Rebels record to 25-12 overall and 8-3 in conference.

Friday night featured late-game heroics from UNLV coming back from behind 7-6. A sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning by Skylar Shaw sent the game to extras, and Morales sealed the win with the walk-off in the eighth. 

The Rebels and the Wolf Pack traded the lead six times in the game. The bats for both teams showed up combining for 21 hits and only one scoreless inning in the game. 

Alanna Thiede tamed the Wolf Pack bats, giving up only two hits and one earned run in her four innings pitched in relief. She kept the game within reach for UNLV and earned the win, improving her record to 15-3.

The Wolf Pack got ahead in the first inning with Gabby Herrera beating out a double play, resulting in Cherie Senini scoring from third on a run on the play.

Jesse Farrell put UNLV on top with one swing of the bat, driving in Maddie Schmidt and Shaw to jump ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the first.

Aaliyah Jenkins hit a lead-off homer to start the second inning for the Wolf Pack to tie the game. Bridgette Gilliano followed up Jenkins’ homer in the second with one of her own straight away center field in the third inning to give Reno the lead.

The Rebels responded in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs with a trio of singles by Janyssa Martin, Kelsie Kelso, and Marisa Bowman to take back the lead.

Alyssa Trejo extended the UNLV lead with a sacrifice bunt in the top of the fourth to make the score 6-3.

The extra insurance for the Rebels was not enough. Haley Painter hit a three-run homer in the top of the fifth to knot up the score. The Wolf Pack took back the lead in the fifth with a go-ahead RBI single by Gabby Herrera to make the score 7-6.

The single by Herrera was the last hit Thiede gave up to the Wolf Pack as she went on to retire the remaining 15 batters she faced.

Thiede’s efficacy in the backend of the game gave the Rebels a fighting chance at the end of the game.  

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Bowman hit a double with one out and was on third base with Shaw up to bat. Shaw hit a sacrifice fly to left field, and Bowman scored the game-tying run.

Ariana Martinez walked in the Rebels’ first plate appearance of extra innings, and Alexys Herrera was substituted in the game pinch run for her.

Trejo laid down a sacrifice bunt advancing Herrera to second, and Morales walked it off for the Rebels.

Up Next

UNLV Softball will embark on a six-game road trip following the series against the Wolf Pack, playing at Fresno State on April 19-21 and San Jose State on April 26-28.

The Rebels will be back home at Eller Media Stadium for its final series of the regular season against the San Diego State Aztecs on May 2-4.

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