Rebels Pick Up Two Wins Friday
March 16, 2012
SAN DIEGO (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (14-12) won both of their games at the San Diego Classic II hosted by San Diego State at the SDSU Softball Stadium Friday afternoon. UNLV knocked off Purdue, 6-2, in its first game and followed that up with a 7-2 win over Harvard. The two victories give the Rebels a four-game winning streak and five wins in their last six outings.
The Rebel offense was paced by seven players with at least two hits on the day. Paige Emerson led the squad with three hits, two of which went for doubles. Emerson topped all players in run production with three scores, while Korin Cuico and Jaexie Balilea touched home plate twice each. Three players - Pauline Monreal, Elena Fata and Balilea - tied for the team lead in RBI with two apiece.
In the circle, UNLV got complete games from both Amanda Oliveto and Jessica O'Connor. Oliveto improved to 9-7 with the win over Purdue. O'Connor moved to 5-3 on the year with the victory against Harvard.
Against Purdue, UNLV struck early with a quick run in the first followed by two more in the fourth to push out to a 3-0 lead. The Boilermakers pulled within one with two scores in the sixth before the Rebels countered with three of their own for a four-run cushion.
Emerson led off the game with an infield single. After the next two batters had been retired, Emerson stole second and took third on a fielding error by Molly Garst at shortstop. Cuico then smashed a single up the middle off Alex Whittemore (2-3) for the game's first run.
After two scoreless innings, UNLV put two more runs on the scoreboard in the fourth. Kylie Wagner led off with a walk before Katie Uriarte replaced her as a pinch runner. Heather Harrison followed with an RBI double down the line in right field. Emilie Valadez came in the game to run for Harrison, and she quickly moved to third off a sacrifice bunt. Valadez then scored when Whittemore uncorked a wild pitch.
Purdue scored its only runs in the sixth off an RBI double by Danielle Fletcher and a run-scoring single from Ashley Burkhardt.
In UNLV's half of the sixth, Christina Montoya got a two-out walk issued from Erika Petruzzi, who had entered an inning earlier in the fifth. Emerson then hit a double to center to score Montoya before Balilea crushed a two-run homer to center to cap the game's scoring.
Oliveto was touched for two runs off nine hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
Whittemore lasted four innings in the circle and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits. She struck out three, but walked one.
Against Harvard, the Rebels got five runs in the third and single scores in both the fifth and seventh innings. Harvard's offensive production came off a two-run homer in the sixth.
Emerson got the offensive revving in the third with a double to center. Consecutive fielder's choice plays put in play by Balilea and Samantha Juarez got UNLV on the board first. Juarez's fielder's choice was enough to plate Emerson. Monreal then smashed a two-run double to center to empty the bases and push the score to 3-0. Stefany Valentino and Fata added RBI singles moments later and ended Laura Ricciardone's (4-3) day in the circle.
Cuico scored UNLV's last two runs of the game, as she touched the plate in the fifth and seventh. In the fifth, she walked and later scored on an RBI single by Fata. In the seventh, she led off with a triple and came home on a sacrifice fly by Wagner.
O'Connor gave up two runs on five hits with one K and one walk.
Ricciardone lasted 2.2 frames and was stuck with the loss, as she gave up five runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout apiece.
UNLV returns to action Saturday morning with an 11:30 am contest against the Quinnipiac Bobcats at SDSU Softball Stadium.