Bison Gallop Past Rebels In Nine Innings
March 8, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. (UNLVRebels.com) - After having their first game wiped out due to rain and soggy field conditions, the UNLV Rebels (7-14) suffered a hard-fought, 1-0 loss to the North Dakota State Bison (8-10) in nine innings on Friday afternoon. The game - the both for each team in the Long Beach State Invitational - was a defensive stalemate between the two squads with neither team collecting a hit until the sixth inning at the 49er Softball Complex.
The Rebels first game of the tournament was to take place against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, but rain began to fall during UCSB's contest with South Alabama to start the day's action. That affair was delayed in the seventh and then eventually called when a storm cell hovered over the Complex and The Pyramid. After the skies opened up and the field was made playable, UNLV and NDSU began their meeting delayed by a mere 12 minutes.
Neither team was able to do much offensively in the game, as the squads could only muster four hits between the two of them. Prior to each team scattering a hit in the sixth, they combined to leave five runners on the bases, five of which were wearing the green and yellow of NDSU.
The first scoring threat came in the sixth when the Bison got a single from Logan Moreland (6-5), who later was left at third after moving around the bases following a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch by Amanda Oliveto (6-7)
UNLV countered by loading the bases in the bottom half of the inning. After recording the first two outs of the inning, Whitney Johnson gave up a single to Stefany Valentino before getting wild and hitting Jaexie Balilea and Tayler Van Acker in back-to-back at-bats. Johnson buckled down and got out of the frame with a fly out from Tayler Aleman.
In the seventh, Alyssa Cordova flared a two-out double to right to put the game-winning run on base, but the third out was recorded before she could score.
After Oliveto sat down the Bison in order in the eighth, the Rebels juiced the bags, once again. Valentino, who was placed on second base with help from the international tie-breaker rule, was pushed to third on a sacrifice bunt by Garie Blando. She was then joined on the base paths by Valentino and Balilea, who were promptly issued intentional walks by Johnson. The bases-loaded opportunity came up futile when Johnson got Van Acker and Aleman to strikeout and groundout, respectively, to end the frame.
The Bison began the ninth with Moreland on second. She moved 60 feet close to home plate off an Amanda Grable sacrifice bunt. She then scored easily from third when Jenina Ortega hit a duck snort to shallow center for the game-winner.
Johnson picked up the complete-game, shut out win in nine innings of work. She struck out seven against two hits and two walks.
Oliveto matched her counterpart, but was touched for one run (unearned) off of two hits. She allowed two hits, as well, but fanned 10 batters compared to four walks.
UNLV is back in action on Saturday at the 49er Softball Complex against Virginia Tech (11:30 am) and Weber State (2:00 pm).
NOTES: Oliveto moved up in two of UNLV's career pitching categories after her outing against NDSU ... She now ranks fifth overall in strikeouts (371) and in a seventh-place tie with Pattie King (1988-90) in complete games (49) ... Today's double-digit "K" performance was the third of her career ... She struck out 10 vs. Arkansas (Feb. 18) and 11 more vs. SIU-Edwardsville (Feb. 19) in consecutive outings in 2011.