Rebels Give Up Go-Ahead Runs Late In The Game
May 4, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - For the second straight day, the UNLV Rebels (20-28, 6-8 Mountain West) rallied from a five-run deficit only to see their lead wiped out later by the Boise State Broncos (23-24-1, 7-7 MW) on Saturday afternoon. UNLV managed to stake itself to a one-run lead, 6-5, through five innings, but Boise State got a grand slam in the sixth that helped propel itself to a 9-7, come-from-behind win in Mountain West softball action at Eller Media Stadium.
With UNLV holding its 6-5 lead going into the sixth, BSU loaded the bases with one out off of a fielder's choice, a walk and an infield single. The Rebels then got another out off a fielder's choice that saw the would-be tying run thrown out at the plate. Makenna Weir then stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and two out. Weir battled UNLV hurler Amanda Oliveto (17-15) through an eight-pitch at-bat with the final offering hit out of the field of play for a grand slam.
Weir was the primary catalyst for the Bronco offense, as she went 2-for-3 at the plate and produced six RBI and one run.
Up until Weir's game-deciding hit, Oliveto had pitched a good game in relief of teammate Francesca Foti. Oliveto ended up tossing 6.2 innings, and she was touched for four runs off of three hits. She struck out four, but walked five.
Foti, on the other hand, was roughed up in the first at-bat for the visitors from Boise, Idaho. The Broncos opened up the contest with five runs off of six hits that spelled the end for Foti after she had only recorded one out.
BSU got run-scoring hits from Holly Bourke (RBI single), Devon Bridges (RBI single), Weir (two-run double) and Ashley Palmer (RBI single) to stake itself to the five-run cushion to start the affair.
The Rebels battled back with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the first. Katie Uriarte and Tayler Van Acker got the offensive started with back-to-back doubles. With the two previous batters in scoring position, Tayler Aleman then hit a ground ball to Mackenzie Whyte at short that was misplayed and allowed both runners to advance a base. Aleman then stole second moments before Pauline Monreal knocked in Van Acker with a ground out. With Aleman standing on third following the grounder, Weir, who was playing catcher for BSU, mishandled her pitcher's - Kenzi Cole - offering for a passed ball, and it allowed Aleman to score.
Following a scoreless second, UNLV evened the game at 5-all with two runs in the third. The Rebels got runners on the corners - Valentino at third and Van Acker at first - after base on balls were issued by Cole to start the AB. Aleman plated Valentino with an RBI single to cut the deficit to one run and force BSU to go to its bullpen and summon Lela Work (7-7) to pitch in relief. Monreal then hit into a fielder's choice that had a throwing error attached to it that helped Van Acker score with ease from third to knot the game up at 5-5.
The Scarlet & Gray claimed its only lead of the game in the fourth off an infield single by Uriarte that scored Samantha Juarez from third.
After giving up the grand slam in the sixth, UNLV tried to muster up a rally in the seventh, but it could only manage to score one run. Tayler Van Acker led off with a double to left center and then gave way to Emilie Valadez as a pinch-runner. Valadez made her way to second off a single by Monreal. Heather Harrison then stepped into the batter's box with two on and grounded into a fielder's choice play that allowed Valadez to come home.
Work earned her second win in the series, both of which came in relief efforts. She allowed two runs (one earned) off of six hits.
Cole only lasted 2.1 innings and allowed five runs (one earned) off of three hits.
UNLV and BSU close out the weekend series on Sunday with a noon contest. The game has been deemed as "Senior Day," as the Rebels will recognize their five seniors - Aleman, Harrison, Samantha Henry, Uriarte and Tara Woodall - before the start of the contest.