Rebels Open Day With Upset Win Over #23 Hokies
March 9, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (8-15) picked up their second victory of the 2013 season over a nationally-ranked foe on Saturday with their 3-1 triumph over the #23 Virginia Tech Hokies (15-2) at the Long Beach State Invitational. Unfortunately, the big win preceded a 7-3 setback to the Weber State Wildcats (2-17) a game later. Overall, UNLV went 1-1 in its two-game set at the 49er Softball Complex today and sits 1-2 on the weekend.
The Rebels' first win against a Top-25 foe came in the season opener against then-#18 Louisville - a 10-1, five-inning contest.
UNLV's offense was paced by a trio of batters that notched at least three hits on the day. Stefany Valentino led the Scarlet & Gray with a 4-for-7 effort (.571). Pauline Monreal tallied the team's best batting average (.500) with a 3-for-5 performance while Tayler Aleman also had three hits in seven at-bats (.429).
In the circle, Amanda Oliveto (7-7) picked up her seventh win of the season with the 3-1, complete-game outing over Virginia Tech. Oliveto was touched for one run off of five hits. She struck out two against two walks. Francesca Foti (0-5) was saddled with the loss in six innings of work against Weber State. Foti struck out one, but surrendered seven runs off of eight hits and two walks.
Against VT, the game was scoreless through three frames of action - although each team had left one runner stranded at third - before both squads notched a run apiece in the fourth. UNLV got its run with help from an against-the-wind, two-out solo home run by Pauline Monreal. Prior to Monreal's long ball, the Rebels had smashed two deep flies only to see the wind knock them down at the warning track.
The Hokies countered by loading the bases in their half of the fourth thanks to two singles and a walk. After the second out had been recorded, BKaye Smith hit an RBI single through the left-side to knot the game at 1-all.
UNLV took the lead back for good with another long ball. Tayler Aleman smashed a shot to left that cleared the fence.
The Rebels tacked on an insurance run in the seventh off an RBI single by Garie Blando. Samantha Juarez began the frame with a one-out, pinch-hit walk issued by reliever Kelly Heinz. Juarez promptly stole second during Blando's at-bat prior to the hit.
Jasmin Harrell (6-1) was stuck with the loss for the Hokies in six frames of work. Harrell allowed two runs off five hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Heinz was touched for one run off of two hits.
Against WSU, the game began similar to the one before it. Neither team mustered any runs until they combined for seven in the fourth. Unfortunately, the Rebels only scored two of the seven in the stanza.
In the fourth, Aleman got things started with a bunt single that was placed in front of WSU's catcher. She then took second following a sacrifice bunt by Monreal and third on a one-base hit by Alyssa Cordova, who took second on to the plate. Aleman scored easily when Juarez hit a sacrifice fly to right. After taking third on Juarez's fly out, Cordova scored on a single to the outfield by Emily Haslinger.
In the bottom half of the fourth, the Wildcats got four hits to go along with a sacrifice bunt and fly to plate their five scores. Desiree Mejia got the offense going with an RBI single after stepping to the plate with runners in scoring position. Stephanie Mathias then dropped a suicide-squeeze bunt in front of the plate that scored the game-tying run. A sacrifice fly by Brooke Ford put WSU ahead for good before Rudi Barrios had two come home when she singled up the middle.
The squad from Ogden, Utah, added two more runs to its portion of the scoreboard in the fifth after UNLV threatened earlier in the inning by getting a runner to third. Mejia and Mathias were responsible for the two scores when they registered back-to-back RBI singles.
The Rebels attempted to rally in the seventh, but came up four runs short. Valentino got things going with a double to left-center, her third hit of the game. She then took third on a throwing error on a ball put in play by Balilea and then scored off a sacrifice fly by Van Acker.
UNLV returns to action on Sunday with a single game against #11/9 UCLA at Mayfair Park in Lakewood, Calif. The game is scheduled for an 11:15 am first pitch.