The Girls Are Back In Town

Feb. 9, 2012

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) -

2012 UNLV Softball Weekly Notes - Week One

LEADING OFF: The UNLV Rebels open up the 2012 softball season this weekend this weekend in their own Sportco Kick-Off Classic, which will be played entirely at Eller Media Stadium. The Classic will run from Friday, Feb. 10 through Sunday, Feb. 12.

UNLV welcomes CSU Bakersfield, Kent State, Minnesota, Weber State and #5/6 Oklahoma to the three-day event.

The Rebels open up with back-to-back games Friday afternoon against Oklahoma (3:45 pm) and Weber State (6:00 pm). The squad will then play once apiece on Saturday and Sunday against Minnesota (6:00 pm) and CSU Bakersfield (3:45 pm), respectively. With only four games scheduled, UNLV will not play Kent State.

SPORTCO KICK-OFF CLASSIC SCHEDULE

Friday, Feb. 10
09:00 am	CSU Bakersfield vs. Kent State
11:15 am	CSU Bakersfield vs. Oklahoma
01:30 pm	Kent State vs. Weber State
03:45 pm	UNLV vs. Oklahoma
06:00 pm	UNLV vs. Weber State

Saturday, Feb. 11 09:00 am CSU Bakersfield vs. Weber State 11:15 am Oklahoma vs. Weber State 01:30 pm Oklahoma vs. Kent State 03:45 pm Kent State vs. Minnesota 06:00 pm UNLV vs. Minnesota

Sunday, Feb. 12 09:00 am Oklahoma vs. Kent State 11:15 pm Minnesota vs. Weber State 01:30 pm Minnesota vs. CSU Bakersfield 03:45 pm UNLV vs. CSU Bakersfield

Notes: Team listed first is in the third-base dugout. Bolded team is designated as the home team.

Tournament and GameTracker information can be found at - www.UNLVRebels.com.

ON DECK: The UNLV Rebels will stay at home for a second consecutive weekend with their eighth annual Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, which will be played at both Eller Media Stadium (corners of Swenson and Harmon in Las Vegas) and Stephanie Lynn Craig Park (corners of Russell and Galleria in Henderson). The Classic will run from Thursday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 19.

UNLV will welcome 17 other teams to Las Vegas for the four-day event. Included in the mix will be two nationally-ranked teams: #4/3 California and #22/20 Louisiana State. In all, over half of the Classic's field participated in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

The Rebels will play five games with one doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 17. The remaining three days will only witness UNLV play once apiece. They start against Memphis on the 16th (6:15 pm) and follow up with both DePaul (3:45 pm) and Idaho State (6:00 pm) on the 17th. Ohio State and Hawai'i are scheduled to be UNLV's final two opponents at 1:30 pm on the 18th and 19th, respectively.

REBELS PICKED SECOND: The UNLV softball team was picked to finish second in this year's Mountain West Preseason Poll, as voted on by the conference's five head coaches. The Rebels, who garnered 13 total points and one first-place vote, trailed the preseason favorite San Diego State Aztecs and their 16 points and four first-place nods.

The Rebels, who finished second in the conference last season with a 9-5 record, went 27-18 overall in 2011. They return 16 letterwinners from last season's squad. More impressively, nine starters, including the designated player, and three pitchers are back for the Scarlet & Gray. Offensively, more than 80% of the team's production from last season is back in the batter's box. Amanda Oliveto returns to the circle after a 21-10 freshman campaign that saw her throw two no-hitters and strike out 179 in 199.0 innings of work.

SPORTCO KICK-OFF CLASSIC OPPONENT INFORMATION:

#5/6 Oklahoma Sooners (0-0): Oklahoma went 43-19 overall last season and ended the 2011 campaign in Oklahoma City at the Women's College World Series after successful trips through both the NCAA Super Regionals and Regionals. The Sooners, who finished fifth (10-8) in the Big 12 last year, return 12 letterwinners, nine of which are either positional starters (five) or pitchers (four). Starting battery mates Keilani Ricketts and Jessica Shults were named All-Americans in 2011.

Head-to-Head: Oklahoma leads the all-time series 7-3.
Last Meeting: OU defeated UNLV, 5-3, in Las Vegas on Feb. 11, 2006.

Weber State Wildcats (0-0): Weber State went 12-38 last season with a 3-17 record and sixth-place finish in the Mountain Division of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference. The Wildcats welcome back 11 players this season.

Head-to-Head: UNLV leads the all-time series 1-0.
Last Meeting: UNLV defeated WSU, 8-0 (5), in Las Vegas on March 5, 2010.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-0): Minnesota went 31-24 last season with a 9-11 record and sixth-place finish in the Big Ten. The Golden Gophers return eight letterwinners, seven of which are either positional starters (five) or pitchers (two).

Head-to-Head: UNLV leads the all-time series 4-2.
Last Meeting: UNLV defeated UM, 3-0, in Las Vegas on March 15, 2005.

CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (0-0): CSU Bakersfield went 17-35 last season with a 5-15 record and fifth-place finish in the Coastal Division of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference. The Roadrunners welcome back nine letterwinners, seven of which are either positional starters (six) or a pitcher (one).

Head-to-Head: UNLV leads the all-time series 3-0.
Last Meeting: UNLV defeated CSUB, 6-4, in St. George, Utah, on April 3, 2010.