Rebels Lose Twice Saturday

March 3, 2012

Final Stats

LAS VEGAS ( - The UNLV Rebels (9-9) had their three-game winning streak snapped with a pair of losses Saturday evening at their own Eller Media Stadium Classic. UNLV lost a 9-5 decision to Florida Atlantic (6-12) in its first game before a 3-2 setback to Illinois (8-9) in the nightcap.

The Rebels were led offensively by multiple-hit efforts from Tayler Van Acker, Samantha Juarez and Stefany Valentino. Van Acker paced the trio with three hits in six at-bats. Juarez and Valentino registered two hits apiece. Tayler Aleman and Paige Emerson both contributed two RBI, while Valentino scored twice.

Against FAU, the Owls struck out for a five-run lead before the Rebels rallied to even the score at 5-all. FAU then loaded up the bases in the sixth and got a grand slam to distance itself from UNLV.

The Owls scored their five runs in the third inning off of six hits. Four different players notched RBI for the visitors from South Florida.

UNLV began its rally in the bottom of the third. The home squad got singles from Valentino and Van Acker to put runners on second and first, respectively. Pauline Monreal then hit a bouncer up the middle that ricocheted off Samantha Messer's glove to Carly Speerin at short. Speerin wound up overthrowing her first baseman, and the error allowed Valentino to score.

In the fourth, the Rebels loaded up the bases with one out. Emerson stepped up and hit a two-run double to center to pull UNLV within two at 5-3 and end Messer's day in the circle. Valentino and Van Acker then greeted Taylor Fawbush, who entered in relief of Messer, with a sacrifice fly and an RBI single, respectively. Those two runs evened the contest at 5-all through four innings.

After a scoreless fifth, FAU opened up with a double from Joshlyn Martinez. The two-base hit ended Amber Petersen's (0-1) relief stint in the circle after she entered in the third. Amanda Oliveto was given the ball and did not fare well. Oliveto loaded the bases up after issuing a walk and hitting a batter. With the bases juiced Heather Barnes hit a grand slam over the fence in left to put the Owls up for good.

Petersen was stuck with the loss in 2.2 innings of relief. She allowed one run on three hits. She struck out two and walked one.

Caitlin Klepper started the game for UNLV and threw 2.2 frames, as well. Klepper was touched for five runs on six hits. She walked one and struck out one.

Oliveto walked one, allowed three runs on one hit in 1.2 innings

Against Illinois, UNLV jumped ahead quickly with a two-run home run from Aleman in the first, but the Fighting Illini tied it up half an inning later. Illinois then scored the go-ahead run on a sac fly in the fifth.

In the opening stanza, Valentino reached via a walk issued by Pepper Gay (6-2) before Aleman's big hit to left.

The Fighting Illini countered in the second with two runs off a double from Jami Schkade. Illinois loaded up the bases with a trio of singles off Oliveto (6-5). The Rebels looked as if they were going to sidestep the threat when a fielder's choice groundout got the lead runner out at third. That play was followed by a pick off at first to put two outs on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, Schkade was the next batter and promptly doubled to left center.

The final five innings of the game only saw one run scored. Illinois' Danielle Vaji led off the fifth with a single and moved around the bases with help from a wild pitch and a groundout. Vaji then scored the would-be game-winning run off a sacrifice fly by Jenna Mychko.

Oliveto took the loss in a complete-game effort. She allowed three runs on 10 hits with five K's and one walk.

Gay earned the win in seven innings of work. She gave up two runs on three hits, but struck out eight against three walks.

UNLV is back in action Sunday with a single contest against Seton Hall at 1:30 pm.