Rebel Offense Suffers Through Drought
March 2, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (7-12) dropped a pair of contests Saturday in the second day of their Eller Media Stadium Classic. UNLV lost a hard-fought 2-1 battle with the DePaul Blue Demons (11-8) before a five-inning, 8-0 run-rule loss to the New Mexico State Aggies in the nightcap. The Rebels record is even at 2-2 through two days of action.
Offense was hard to come by for the Scarlet & Gray with only four players registering at least one hit. Jaexie Balilea led the team with a .500 batting average off a 2-for-4 showing at the plate. Stefany Valentino also had two hits - in five at-bats - while hitting .400. Tayler Van Acker and Heather Harrison were the other two that picked up a base knock Saturday.
In the circle, Amanda Oliveto (6-5) was stuck with the complete-game loss vs. DePaul after giving up two runs off of eight hits. Oliveto did not walk any batters, but she did strike out six. Francesca Foti (0-4), on the other hand, did not fare so in the circle, as she was roughed up for eight runs (seven earned) off of 12 hits. Foti struck out two against two walks.
Against DePaul, the Rebels struck first off an RBI single by Van Acker after getting some assistance from a throwing error by the Blue Demons' second baseman. After the first two outs had been recorded, Valentino notched UNLV's first hit of the day with a bunt single. She then wound up safely on second following the error on a fielder's choice put in play by Balilea. With runners on first and second, Van Acker delivered the hit that broke the scoreless tie.
DePaul's Mary Connolly factored in both scores - game-tying and game-winning - in the fourth and sixth innings. Connolly led off the fourth and knotted the game up at 1-all when she took one of Oliveto's offerings over the fence in left-center. Two innings later, she notched the go-ahead RBI after reaching on a fielder's choice.
UNLV nearly answered back in the sixth and seventh innings, but were unable to capitalize with runners in scoring position - two in the former and one in the latter stanzas. For the game, they left six runners on the bases and all six were either on second or third when the third out was recorded.
Kirsten Verdun (7-4) picked up the win for DePaul in complete-game fashion. Verdun allowed one unearned run off of three hits. She struck out six, but walked two.
Against New Mexico State, the Aggies scored early and often en route to the 8-0 win. The visitors from Las Cruces, had one runner touch home plate in all but the fourth inning.
The Aggies got back-to-back RBI singles from Staci Rodriguez and Kelsey Dodd to push out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning of play. The duo was responsible for two more RBI on top of scoring two runs in the third inning when they partnered with teammate Teresa Conrad on three straight doubles. In all, Rodriguez and Dodd combined to go 4-for-5 at the plate with four RBI and three runs scored.
Between the RBI from Rodriguez and Dodd, Amber Olive knocked in the team's third run with a triple in the second while Alyssa Ruiz plated one with a runs-scoring single in the third to cap off the three-run frame.
Ayssa Vargas and Lacey Rother put the game away in the fifth when they both stepped up as pinch-hitters and had a bases loaded walk and a run-scoring single, respectively.
Karysta Donisthorpe (4-1) tossed five innings for NMSU for the win. Donisthorpe struck out six and only allowed three hits in the shut out win.
UNLV returns to action on Sunday with another bout against New Mexico State. The game is slated for a 3:45 first pitch. Prior to that game, Cal State Northridge will play a pair to start the day. The Matadors open up with DePaul at 9:00 am before facing Weber State at 11:15. NMSU will square off with WSU at 1:30 pm before the game with UNLV.