Rebels Dress Down Pirates, Aggies
March 2, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (9-7) picked up two wins Friday evening in their own Eller Media Stadium Classic. UNLV began its day with a 6-4 victory over the Seton Hall Pirates (3-7) before knocking off the New Mexico State Aggies (11-8) by a 6-1 tally in the nightcap. The Rebels received complete-game efforts from both Jessica O'Connor and Amanda Oliveto in the circle and identical six-run and nine-hit performances from the offense in each contest.
The two pitchers combined for a 2.00 ERA in 14.0 innings of work. They were touched for five runs, four of which were earned, on 10 hits. The duo struck out seven against two walks.
On the offensive side of the ledger, the Rebels had five batters record at least two hits on the day. Paige Emerson led the contingent with five hits, four of which went for extra bases. Emerson fell a home run shy of the cycle against SHU, but picked up the four-base hit and another double against NMSU afterwards.
Against Seton Hall, UNLV built up a four-run lead behind three hits through two innings of play. Tayler Aleman got things going in the first with a two-out walk. Tayler Van Acker then hit a triple to left that brought Aleman in with the game's first run. In the second, Emerson smashed a two-run triple to left center that brought home Pauline Monreal and Katie Uriate, who were on second and first, respectively.
SHU pulled within one with three scores of its own in the fourth. With runners in scoring position, Cashel Gaffey hit an RBI single followed by a two-run double by Kirby Groves to bring the score to 4-3 in favor of the Scarlet and Gray.
UNLV got two of those runs back with tallies in each of the fourth and fifth innings. Samantha Juarez scored the fourth-inning run on a double by Paige Emerson, while Aleman notched the tally in the fifth with a solo home run.
The Pirates threatened in the seventh after their first two batters reached via errors and a walk loaded the bases. Maria DeLuca then grounded out to bring home the only run of the frame.
O'Connor improved to 3-2 on the year with the win. She was touched for four runs (three earned) on six hits. She struck out three against one walk.
Brooke Tull was saddled with the loss for SHU in 4.1 innings of work. Tull dropped to 1-1 on the year after giving up six runs on eight hits. She walked three and struck out one.
Against New Mexico State, the visitors struck first with a third-inning run, but then watched the hosts score six times between the fifth and sixth for the 6-1 win.
After two scoreless innings to open the game, Tehani Kaaihue led off the third with a double to left center. Kaaihue moved over to third on a ground out and then scored on a single through the right side by Kristi Covarrubia.
In all, the Aggies would only muster four hits in the game. The two in the third were the only base knocks allowed by Oliveto until a pair in the seventh and final inning. UNLV's hurler shut down the NMSU offense the remainder of the contest after its score, as she faced only one batter over the minimum the rest of the way.
Overall, Oliveto went the distance for the win. She gave up one run on four hits. She struck out four and walked one.
UNLV evened the score at 1-all in the fifth when Emerson homered to left.
The Rebels added five runs to the scoreboard in the fifth thanks to two home runs. Van Acker began the frame with a single that prompted a pitching change from NMSU's coaching staff. Celisha Walker (3-2) exited the game, as Sydney Williard entered in relief. Williard was rudely welcomed by a two-run homer by Monreal. After getting an out, Williard allowed back-to-back singles to Juarez and Christina Montoya. Karysta Donisthorpe, the Aggies' original starter, relieved Williard, but quickly surrendered a three-run dinger to Heather Harrison.
Walker was stuck with the loss in 1.1 innings of action. She allowed two runs on two hits, and dished out a walk.
The Rebels are back in action Saturday with two games on the schedule. They open up with Florida Atlantic at 3:45 pm, followed by a tussle with Illinois at 6:00 pm.