Rebels Claim Tourney Title
March 15, 2009
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The UNLV Rebels (21-8) pushed their winning streak to nine with their 5-3 victory over the UC Davis Aggies (14-12) Sunday afternoon in the championship game of the National Invitational Softball Tournament in San Jose, Calif. With the win, UNLV has reeled off 15 victories in its last 16 tries, which includes five straight over the weekend.
The Aggies struck first with one run in the second inning. Rachel Miller put UCD up briefly with a double to center off Jessica O'Connor that scored Kylie Fan from second.
Jaci Hull knotted things up at 1-1 with an RBI-single in the third off Jessica Hancock (9-6). Hull stepped to the plate with runners on first and second and delivered a shot to center to score Tara Bendt.
UNLV took its first lead of the game with two runs in the fourth. The Rebels loaded up the bases prior to Bendt stepping in the batter's box. Bendt hit a blooper that dropped safely in center that scored Elena Fata from third and moved the other runner's up a base. Brittany Bolinger plated the second run of the frame with a single through the right-side to bring home Stefani Sanchez.
UCD evened the score at 3-3 with two scores in the top of the fifth. Back-to-back singles to open the inning forced the end of Jessica O'Connor's stint in the circle. Stephanie Bregante was brought into the game and gave up an RBI-single and uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the two runs.
The Rebels took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth with two runs. Ashli Holland came to the plate with runners on first and second and promptly put down her second sacrifice bunt of the game to move each up into scoring position. Brittany Meade followed Holland and delivered a liner to left that Marissa Araujo nearly caught. Fortunately, the ball dropped from her glove and allowed Korin Cuico to score the go-ahead run. A fielder's choice groundout by Laura Briones added an insurance run when Fata put UNLV up 5-3.
Bregante picked up her sixth consecutive victory in 3.0 innings of relief. She struck out five Aggies, while only allowing two hits and two walks.
O'Connor earned a no-decision in 4.0 innings of her start. She was touched for three runs on seven hits with one walk.
UNLV is back in action next weekend as they head back to Northern California for the Capital Classic in Sacramento. The Rebels will face Dartmouth (9:00 am) and California (3:00 pm) on Friday, March 20, while battling Sacramento State (11:00 am) and Cal Poly (5:00 pm) on Saturday, March 21.