Rebels Suffer A Pair Of Losses Saturday
Feb. 25, 2012
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (6-7) lost both of its games Saturday morning at UC Santa Barbara's Gaucho Classic I played at Campus Diamond. UNLV's first loss was a tightly-contested, 1-0 defeat to the host Gauchos (5-10), while the second was an 11-7 setback in a slugfest to the #23 Houston Cougars (8-5).
Paige Emerson and Stefany Valentino both hit .500 on the day with identical 3-for-6 efforts at the plate. Emerson scored twice, while Valentino touched home plate once. Jaexie Balilea had three RBI and three hits, as well, in a total of seven at-bats for a .429 batting average.
The 10 hits against Houston were a season high, while the seven runs in the game tied for the most scored by UNLV in 2012.
In the circle, Amanda Oliveto (4-4) and Jessica O'Connor (2-2) were saddled with the losses. Oliveto was touched for the lone run in the UCSB contest, while O'Connor allowed four scores in two innings of action to Houston.
Against UCSB, the game's only score came in the second inning on a solo home run by Kathryn Pilpil off Amanda Oliveto (4-4).
UNLV left six on the bases in the game with two stuck at second when the third out was recorded. On two occasions (third and sixth innings), the Rebels had runners on first and second base, but were unable to capitalize on the offensive opportunities.
After Pilpil's homer, the Gauchos had five reach base safely, three of which reached second base. Two of those three were thrown out on plays at third base.
Oliveto threw six innings in the loss with three strikeouts. She allowed one run off of four hits.
Shelby Wisdom (3-4) picked up the win for UCSB in complete-game fashion. Wisdom struck out eight against four hits and one walk.
Against Houston, the teams combined for 18 runs and 28 hits in the 11-7 contest. The Cougars struck early with a three-run homer from Jaime Edwards off of O'Connor, and they never looked back after taking that lead.
UH built up a six-run cushion before UNLV's offense got started in the fourth inning. Tayler Aleman led off the fourth with a walk and then took second on a wild pitch. Jaexie Balilea stepped up two batters later and hit a double to left off Bailey Watts (3-3) to cut the deficit to five runs.
In the fifth, the Rebels loaded up the bases before scoring three more runs. Korin Cuico started the run production with an RBI single to score Samantha Juarez from third. Balilea then stepped up and had a two-run single that plated Paige Emerson and Aleman.
Unfortunately, that was the closest UNLV would get before Houston added five runs between its portions of the sixth and seventh innings. The Rebels countered with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the seventh. The offense loaded the bases up with its first three batters, which forced UH to replace Watts in the circle with Ty'Ara Law. The new hurler got the first batter she faced to foul out. The second, Cuico, though hit a grounder to second that was misplayed and allowed Emerson and Stefany Valentino to score from third and second, respectively. Kylie Wagner had the last run-scoring hit of the game with a pinch-hit single to score Aleman and pull the Rebels within four.
Watts earned the win for Houston in six innings of work. She was touched for seven runs (five earned) on nine hits. She struck out seven against three walks. Law was in the circle for an inning and allowed one hit to one strikeout.
O'Connor allowed four runs on seven hits in her two innings. Caitlin Klepper tossed the final five and gave up seven runs (two earned) on 11 hits with two Ks.
UNLV is back in action Sunday against the San Diego Toreros at noon. The two squads played on the first day of the Gaucho Classic I with UNLV winning 2-1 in nine innings.