Rebels Shuffle Past Bears
April 23, 2009
GREELEY, Colo. - The UNLV Rebels (26-17) jumped out of conference action for an 8-1 victory over the Northern Colorado Bears (16-27) Thursday afternoon in Greeley, Colo. More importantly, the Rebels snapped its three-game losing skid. The game witnessed UNC jump out to a quick 1-0 lead, but then have its offense shut down by the pitching of Stephanie Bregante (8-4), while the Rebel offense erupted for eight runs.
The Bears used two first-inning miscues by the Rebel defense to take a 1-0 lead. Jessie Schoepflin opened up the bottom of the frame by reaching on a fielding error on a grounder to Bregante. Melisa Ryba followed by being awarded first base on a catcher's interference call. A sacrifice bunt pushed the runners into scoring position, while Hillarie Van Otterloo's (5-7) bloop single to shallow center brought home the game's first score.
Bregante settled down after the first inning and only allowed three more hits for the remainder of her time spent in the circle. She threw 6.2 innings and only gave up the one unearned run. She struck out six, but walked three. The trio of walks came in the seventh.
UNLV's offense came to life in the third when the team scored four times off of four hits. Tara Bendt began the offensive with an infield single and was later joined on the base paths by Marissa Nichols and Brittany Bolinger, who reached via walk and single, respectively. Kendall Fearn evened the game with a single up the middle which caromed off Van Otterloo's foot and into center field. Bendt scored on the single, while Nichols was called out on a play at the plate, although it appeared she beat the tag. Ashli Holland loaded the bases back up with a walk prior to Alyssia De La Torre's three-run triple to left-center.
The Rebels duplicated their third-inning success with four more tallies in the seventh. Jaci Hull began the inning by getting plunked by a pitch and then took third on a bunt-single by Fearn. Holland brought both home when she went shopping at the gap in left. De La Torre then smacked her second extra-base hit of the contest with a run-scoring double to deep center. De La Torre used her noggin and took third when the left-side of the infield went to foul territory on a pop out. Elena Fata closed out the game's scoring when she dropped down a suicide squeeze that plated De La Torre.
De La Torre ended the day with two hits that led to four RBI, while Fearn contributed three of the Rebels' 10 hits.
Van Otterloo took the loss in 2.2 innings of work. She was touched for four runs on five hits. She walked four and struck out two.
Jessica O'Connor came in to relieve Bregante for the final out of the contest and got a ground out to end the game.
UNLV returns to action Friday afternoon with a 3:00 pm MT, contest in Fort Collins, Colo., against Colorado State.
Notes: -UNLV surpassed last year's win total of 25 games with today's victory. -UNLV improved to 21-1 when holding the lead through four innings. -UNLV improved to 20-0 when out-hitting its opponent. -Kendall Fearn extended her hitting streak to seven games with her three hits and is hitting at a .478 clip with 11 hits during this stretch.