2012 Softball Closedown

July 3, 2012

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) -

2012 End-Of-Season Notes

LEADING OFF: The UNLV Rebels closed out their 2012 season with an 9-7, come-from-behind victory on "Senior Day." UNLV had fallen behind by four runs after 1.5 innings of play before its offense rattled off seven unanswered scores to take control of the game.

The Rebels finished the year with a 22-27 overall record and a fourth-place finish in the Mountain West with a mark of 3-9.

LISA DODD NAMED HEAD COACH: Former UCLA standout student-athlete and University of Oregon assistant coach Lisa Dodd was named the new head coach of the UNLV softball program, Director of Athletics Jim Livengood announced June 21.

Dodd spent the past nine seasons playing and/or coaching on the NCAA Division I level - four at UCLA (2004-07) and five as an assistant coach, reaching the postseason each year. Her teams have advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals six times (the Super Regionals were implemented during the 2005 season) and the Women's College World Series on five occasions. She also helped UCLA win the national championship in 2004. Overall, she owns a career record of 388-139, which translates to a .736 winning percentage.

The San Diego native came to UNLV after spending the past three seasons at Oregon (2010-12), where she helped head coach Mike White build the Duck softball program into a perennial power by achieving at least 36 wins each year and back-to-back third-place finishes in the Pac-12. After being named an assistant, she helped UO return to national prominence with a combined record of 123-55 and three consecutive trips to the postseason. The Ducks reached the NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals all three seasons before upping the ante in 2012 with a visit to the Women's College World Series and a program-best No. 5 final ranking in both collegiate polls.

Prior to her three-year stay at Oregon, Dodd was an assistant at Nevada, Reno in 2009. She helped the Wolf Pack to an overall record of 40-19 and a trip to the NCAA Regionals. UNR also garnered a share of the WAC title following a 15-5 conference campaign.

After a stellar playing career at UCLA, she spent one year as a graduate assistant for her alma mater. The Bruins finished second overall in Pac-10 play en route to being the second seed in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. UCLA ended the season in Oklahoma City at the Women's College World Series.

In Westwood, Dodd was a three-time All-Region and All-Pac-10 Conference selection after she was selected as the 2003 Gatorade Prep State and National Player of the Year for University City High School. She split time in the circle and at first base for the Bruins and tallied 176 hits, 65 of which went for extra bases, 129 RBI and 89 runs. As a pitcher, she owned a record of 41-11 in 60 appearances and a total of 337.2 innings pitched. She racked up 233 strikeouts with 40 complete games in 57 starts. As a senior in 2007, she hit .369 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI and was an NFCA Second Team All-American, All-Pacific Region First Team selection and All-Pac-10 First Team honoree.

MANARINO NOT RENEWED AS HEAD COACH: UNLV Director of Athletics Jim Livengood announced that softball head coach Pete Manarino's contract will not be renewed.

Manarino, who has coached on the NCAA Division I level for 27 years, spent the past four seasons at the helm of the softball program and compiled a record of 113-86. The 2012 squad finished 22-27 overall and fourth in the Mountain West with a mark of 3-9. During his first season, he led the Rebels to their most recent trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2009.

During his time in Las Vegas, Manarino coached nine all-conference honorees and had one student-athlete earn both Mountain West Player of the Year and NFCA All-West Region Second Team accolades. Besides the on-the-field awards, his student-athletes excelled in the classroom. He produced 34 Academic All-MW selections and had seven student-athletes earn CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.

EMERSON, VALENTINO NAMED ALL-MW: The UNLV softball program had Paige Emerson and Stefany Valentino named to the 2012 Mountain West All-Conference Team. It was the second time that Emerson has been tabbed to the 20-person squad, while it was the first for Valentino.

The outfield duo led the Rebels in nearly all offensive categories over the 12-game conference season.

Emerson topped out with a team-best 42 at-bats, 15 runs, 16 hits, three doubles, two triples, 26 total bases and a .619 slugging percentage. She owned a .318 batting average, while knocking in five RBI and hitting one home run. She notched at least one hit in all but one conference contest and had five-multiple hit affairs. She ended the year with an eight-game hitting streak that saw her hit .444 (12-for-27) with 10 runs and three RBI.

Valentino, who had 11 RBI and scored eight runs, led the Rebels in batting average (.395), walks (eight) and on-base percentage (.500). She reached base safely in all 12 contests and recorded at least one hit in all but two of those games. She had five multiple-hit games in conference play, all of which came in her seven-game hitting streak to conclude the season. During that seven-game stretch, she hit .522 (12-for-23) with eight RBI and eight runs scored. She was named the MW's Player of the Week on May 8, after she led UNLV to a 2-1 series win against the New Mexico Lobos. She went 6-for-10 (.600) at the plate with five singles and a grand slam that equated to a .900 slugging percentage. She knocked in six RBI and scored four runs.

QUINTET EARN ACADEMIC HONORS: The UNLV softball program had five student-athletes earn academic recognition for their efforts not only on the field, but also in the classroom. Korin Cuico, Tayler Aleman, Tayler Van Acker and Amanda Oliveto were named to the Spring 2012 Academic All-Mountain West Team, while Amber Petersen was honored with the MW's Scholar-Athlete Award.

Cuico and Petersen join a short, but distinguished list of Rebels to end their careers with academic achievements as members of the softball team. Cuico (3.21, kinesiological studies) became the 13th Rebel dating back to 2001 to earn academic all-conference honors all four years. Petersen (4.00, elementary education), on the other hand, is only the fourth Rebel to earn the scholar-athlete award four consecutive years.

Aleman (3.29, interdisciplinary studies) and Van Acker (3.33, earth and environmental science) are repeat selections to the academic all-conference team, while Oliveto (3.24, elementary education) is a first-time selection.

REBELS PICKED SECOND: The UNLV softball team was picked to finish second in this year's Mountain West Preseason Poll, but managed a fourth-place showing.

San Diego State, who was selected to finish first, won the conference with a 9-3 record. Boise State and Colorado State shared second with identical 8-4 marks. New Mexico was fifth overall after a 2-10 showing.

WE PLAYED THEM: The UNLV Rebels played eight teams that made this year's NCAA Tournament, one of which (Oklahoma) played in the Super Regionals and Women's College World Series.

Overall, UNLV had a 3-7 record against the eight with its wins coming against Notre Dame, Harvard and San Diego State.

The Rebels lost a pair of games to San Diego State and individual contests to Oklahoma, DePaul, Hawai'i, Houston and North Carolina.

Oklahoma, Hawai'i and North Carolina finished the year ranked in both Top 25 polls. OU, who lost the three-game national championship series to Alabama, was ranked second in both polls. UH was 22nd in the USA Today/NFCA Poll and 23rd in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll. UNC wa 24th and 25th in those respective polls.