Rebels Enchanted With Come-From-Behind Win
May 6, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Rebels (21-25, 2-7 Mountain West) rallied from a six-run deficit Sunday afternoon against the New Mexico Lobos (27-22, 2-7 MW) with a 7-6 come-from-behind win in eight innings of action at the Lobo Softball Field in Albuquerque. UNLV scored four times in the sixth, twice in the seventh and once in the eighth to claim the contest after initially spotting UNM a six-run cushion through five innings of play.
In the deciding eighth inning, Stefany Valentino hit a two-out single up the middle to score Elena Fata from second base for the game-winning run. Fata found herself positioned at second following a grounder by Paige Emerson pushed her into scoring position after she had initially been walked by Kari Gutierrez (6-8).
The Rebels tied things up in the seventh with two runs off of two hits. Emerson led off with a double down the line in right and was joined on the base path by Valentino after a walk. Tayler Aleman pushed both runners up 60 feet with a sacrifice bunt before a sacrifice fly to left by Pauline Monreal scored Emerson and allowed Valentino to mosey over to third. Jaexie Balilea delivered the game-tying hit, a double to left, which plated Valentino after Tayler Van Acker kept the inning alive with a walk.
After giving up four runs in the bottom of the fifth to UNM, the Rebels got themselves on the scoreboard with four runs off of five hits. Emerson and Valentino got things started with a double and a single, respectively. Monreal and Van Acker knocked in UNLV's first two runs with back-to-back RBI singles. Balilea then notched a single of her own to load the bases before Kylie Wagner and Heather Harrison were credited with RBI after recording a hit-by-pitch and walk, respectively.
The four runs were enough by UNLV to force a pitching change by UNM's coaching staff. Kaela DeBroeck, who had only allowed two hits to the Rebels prior to the sixth, was replaced by Gutierrez to face the final hitter in the sixth.
UNM appeared to have the game in-hand early on after building a five-run cushion against the Scarlet and Gray. Shenise Cox put the Lobos up early with a solo homer in the first. They added another run to the board in the fourth off a run-scoring double to left by Jessica Lujan-Dresslar. Chelsea Anaya, who had led off with a single to right, scored from first on the hit.
UNM notched four scores in the fifth with help from an error on a dropped fly ball to right field after two outs had been recorded. Anaya stepped up with runners on the corners and lofted a fly to right that Valentino had carom off her glove. Stefanie Carramusa easily scored from second on the play, while Cox moseyed to third. With runners on the corners, Jessica Garcia sent an offering from Amanda Oliveto to left for a three-run homer.
Jessica O'Connor (6-8) picked up the win for UNLV in 3.1 innings of relief work. O'Connor did not allow a run, as she struck out three against two walks.
Gutierrez was saddled with the loss after entering the contest with a save opportunity in the sixth. She was touched for three runs off of three hits. She struck out two, but walked three.
UNLV returns to action to host its final regular season games in Las Vegas against the San Diego State Aztecs next week. UNLV opens play on Thursday, May 10, at Eller Media Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6:00 pm.