Thunderbirds Fly Past Rebels
March 28, 2012
CEDAR CITY, Utah (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (17-16) had their three-game losing streak snapped by the Southern Utah Thunderbirds (18-13) on Wednesday afternoon with a pair of losses at Kathryn Berg Field in Cedar City, Utah. SUU won the first game by eight runs, 9-1, in six innings of play. The second game was a much closer affair that witnessed the Thunderbirds rally for a 3-2 decision.
UNLV was led by multiple-hit efforts from Paige Emerson and Samantha Henry. Emerson went 4-for-6 (.667) at the plate with a double and an RBI. Henry countered with two hits in three at-bats (.667) with two doubles and two RBI. Katie Uriarte scored twice on the day, while Samantha Juarez touched the plate once.
SUU jumped out of the gate quickly in the first game with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After UNLV recorded two outs off of fielder's choice plays, Terysa Dyer stepped up and delivered an RBI double to left center to score Kelsey Bryant from first. Dyer quickly came around to score the second run off a double by Madison Resley to right center.
After three scoreless innings, UNLV cut the deficit to one with a two-out run of its own. Heather Harrison led off the fifth with an infield single. Uriarte then entered the game as a pinch runner and made her way around the bases - 60 feet at a time - off two sacrifice bunts and a groundout by Emerson. Stefany Valentino, who reached safely on a throwing error following a bunt, was left stranded at third base, and she would've been the game-tying run.
The Thunderbird bats awoke in their next two at-bats with seven runs spread between the fifth and sixth stanzas. Haylee Hoch connected on a three-run triple in the fifth, which was quickly followed by a sacrifice fly by Kadi Henderson to push SUU's lead to five at 6-1. Resley and Henderson added three more runs to the board in the sixth off an RBI single and a two-run double, respectively.
SUU's Heather Black (12-8) picked up the win in complete-game, one-hit fashion. Black was touched for one run, but struck out six against one walk.
Amanda Oliveto (11-9) was saddled with the loss in only 2.1 innings of work. Oliveto struck out one and allowed two runs off six hits.
Amber Petersen threw the final 3.1 innings for UNLV and gave up seven runs off of eight hits.
Game two was a much tighter affair than its predecessor.
UNLV scored both of its runs off RBI doubles from Henry. Her first double scored Uriarte from first after she had reached via fielder's choice.
SUU countered an inning later with an RBI double from Mikkel Griffin.
Juarez got the offense going in the fourth with a double to center before scoring on Henry's second two-base hit of the day.
Unfortunately, the lead was short lived, as the Thunderbirds got a two-run homer from Resley in the bottom half of the fourth to pull ahead by a run at 3-2.
Emerson went 4-for-4 in the game with a double and three singles. She led off the first, third and fifth innings, made her way to third base, but was left stranded in each frame. In all, UNLV left seven runners on the bases in the second game.
SUU's Amber Marlett (1-0) earned her first win of the season in 1.2 inning of relief. Marlett entered in the fourth, struck out two and allowed a run off of three hits.
Danielle Axe picked up her first save of the season behind 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Axe gave up one hit and struck out one.
Jessica O'Connor (5-5) was tagged with the loss in six innings of action. O'Connor allowed three runs off seven hits. She struck out six and walked two.
UNLV is off until a doubleheader at Fresno State next Wednesday, April 4. Game one's first pitch is slated for 5:00 pm.