Kangaroos Hop Past Rebels
April 20, 2010
LAS VEGAS - The UNLV Rebels (26-16) lost their final non-conference contest of the regular season by a 6-5 margin to the UMKC Kangaroos (17-24) Tuesday afternoon at Eller Media Stadium. Jaci Hull smashed a program and personal-best three home runs in the game and recorded four RBI and three runs, only to see her effort fall to the wayside in the loss.
The three home runs give Hull 50 for her career and 10 on the season, which ties Marissa Nichols for the team lead in 2010.
The Kangaroos broke open a 4-4 affair with two runs in the sixth inning just after Hull hit a two-run shot to deep center in the fifth. Chelsea Hartwig stepped up to the plate with one out and runners on first and second and hit a slow roller to Ashli Holland at second that was misplayed and allowed the visitor's first run of the frame to come around and score. Danielle Bennefeld, who was on first prior to Hartwig's grounder, moved to third on the errant play before scoring the would-be game-winning run on a sacrifice fly to right by Lauren Rodrigues.
Hull tried to get UNLV's offense revving in the seventh after the first out had been recorded. Hull hit a solo shot to center to pull the Rebels within one at 6-5. Kendall Fearn came up a batter later and with two out and hit a single to left to put the game-tying run on the bases, unfortunately a pop up ended the game.
The game began with the teams scoring a run apiece in the first inning. Anna Sokolik got UMKC going with a sacrifice fly following a triple by Kaelene Curry to leadoff the frame. Hull countered with her first home run of the game.
UMKC struck for single tallies in the second and third to claim a 3-1 lead. Bennefeld homered in the second to for that run, while a bunt single by Kelly Fischer plated Curry from third after a triple. Fischer's hit ended the day in the circle for Jessica O'Connor, who was relieved by Traci Odegard (5-7).
UNLV got one run back in the fourth off a dropped fly by UMKC's Megan Vicino in left. The Rebels had runners at first and second when Tayler Aleman hit the fly to left that brought Kendall Fearn home for the score.
The Kangaroos got its two-run cushion back in the fifth off an RBI-double by Sokolik that scored Fischer, who initially reached on a fielding error by Aleman that would have been the stanza's third out. The lead was quickly washed away when Hull tied things up with her two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning.
Odegard was saddled with the loss in five innings of work. She allowed three unearned runs on four hits and notched one strikeout.
O'Connor lasted two innings in the circle and was touched for three runs on five hits with one strikeout.
Deanna Friese (9-11) picked up the win in complete-game fashion. Friese gave up five runs (four earned) on nine hits. She struck out four and walked two.
The Rebels jump back into Moutain West Conference play this week with three games in the state of Utah. UNLV will square off with BYU in Provo on Thursday night at 6:00 pm MT (5:00 pm PT) before playing single games on Friday (4:00 pm MT/3:00 pm PT) and Saturday (1:00 pm MT/12:00 pm PT) against Utah in Salt Lake City.
Note: Hull's four RBI against UMKC gives her 167 for her career. She trails Kim Rondina (1994-97) by four RBI to tie for the top spot in program history with 171 tallies.