Dodd Era Begins With Big Win Over #18 Louisville

Feb. 8, 2013

Final Stats

LAS VEGAS ( - The UNLV Rebels (1-1) opened up their 2013 season with a split of its doubleheader on Friday night in Las Vegas at the Sportco Kick-Off Classic. UNLV knocked off the #18 Louisville Cardinals (1-1) by a 10-1 score in five innings behind a dominant pitching effort from Amanda Oliveto and a four-RBI outing from Katie Uriarte. The Rebels didn't fare so well in the nightcap with a 9-0 loss in five frames to the DePaul Blue Demons (2-0).

The victory over Louisville was the sixth win in the last eight season openers for UNLV and the first for first-year head coach Lisa Dodd.

The Rebel offense combined to hit .333 on the day with 14 hits - three of which went for extra bases - in 42 at-bats. Five different players registered two hits on the day with Tayler Van Acker, Jaexie Balilea and Samantha Juarez all going 2-for-3 at the plate. Uriarte, who went 1-for-2, led the squad with four RBI while Juarez added two of her own.

Against Louisville, the Scarlet & Gray jumped on the visitors from the Bluegrass State early with a three-run, two-out home run from Uriarte. Tayler Aleman and Garie Blando scored on the long ball after initially reaching base safely on a double and an error. After Caralissa Connell (0-1) managed to get two outs, Uriarte deposited the third pitch she saw over the outer fence of Eller Media Stadium.

The Cardinals answered back with a run of their own in the top of the second behind an error and two base hits. Following a strikeout by Oliveto (1-0), Jordan Trimble hit a grounder to Blando at short that was mishandled and allowed her to get on base. Whitney Arion followed with a single that moved Trimble into scoring position prior to a run-scoring double from Jasmine Smithson-Willett that cut the deficit to two runs.

UNLV extended its lead to four scores with a pair of runs in the third off an RBI double by Juarez and an RBI single by Van Acker.

The Rebels added some insurance runs in the fourth off a five-hit effort. After quickly loading the bases, UNLV tacked on five runs behind three RBI singles, a walk and a ground out - all of which while keeping the bases juiced.

Oliveto was touched for one run (unearned) off of four hits while walking one and fanning one. She held Louisville in-check with three 1-2-3 innings and shut down any opportunities when they got runners on the base paths. The Cardinals left five runners stranded in the game with three coming in the second and two more were left behind in the third.

Connell was stuck with the loss after giving up six runs (two earned) off of eight hits. She surrendered four walks to three strikeouts. Smithson-Willett entered in relief, but was unable to record an out while allowing four runs (three earned) to score.

Against DePaul, the Rebels fell behind early and couldn't muster any offense against Blue Demon hurler Hannah Penna (1-0). The squad out of Chicago managed to score single runs in the first and third stanzas before putting three and four runs on the scoreboard in the second and fourth innings, respectively.

With one out in the first, Samantha Dodd reached on a single off of Francesca Foti (0-1) and promptly came around to score on a double from teammate Kirsten Verdun for a quick 1-0 lead.

A trio of doubles was to blame for the Blue Demons second, third, fourth and fifth runs between the second and third innings while a single, walk, wild pitch and sacrifice fly were the culprits in the fourth.

Foti was saddled with the loss in 4.1 frames of work. She surrendered all nine runs (eight earned) off nine hits and seven walks. Uriarte pitched two-third of an inning in relief and walked three in her brief outing in the circle.

Penna threw the first four innings while Mary Connolly kept the shutout in tact with an appearance in the fifth. The duo combined to give up three hits while walking one and striking out seven in the game.

The first day of the Sportco featured four run-rule contests and one game that witnessed a team rally from a five-run deficit. In the opener, Texas Tech defeated UCF, 12-4, in five. Louisville followed with a 10-6 win over Texas Tech. And in the last neutral game not involving UNLV, DePaul blanked UCF, 11-0, in five.

UNLV returns to action on Saturday with two outings at night. The Rebels open up with a 6:00 pm tilt with UCF followed by an 8:15 affair with Texas Tech. The day's earlier games are: DePaul-Louisville at 9:00 am; DePaul-Minnesota at 11:15 am; UCF-Louisville at 1:30 pm and Texas Tech-Minnesota at 3:45 pm.