Rebels put up 22 runs over three games to tame conference rival Wolf Pack
The UNLV softball team (20-26 overall, 6-6 Mountain West) earned three key points for the Rebels in the Governor’s Series over the weekend at Hixon Park against up-state rival Nevada, Reno (29-21, 8-7).
During the 2-1 series win, the Rebels hoisted season highs in multiple offensive categories including hits (28) and RBI (21).
In the first game, a 13-2 dismantling of the Wolf Pack, Tayler Van Acker and Pauline Monreal proved to be the offensive juggernauts UNR had no answer for. Van Acker, who went 3-for-5, and Pauline Monreal, who went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, paced the Rebel offensive to their biggest margin of victory in series history.
UNLV amassed 16 hits in the lopsided affair, scoring 13 runs, 12 of which came off RBI. Amanda Oliveto notched the win for UNLV in the circle, pitching seven stifling innings and only allowing five hits.
In the second game of the series, the Rebels lost a 5-4 heartbreaker in eight innings. Freshman pitcher Francesca Fotni, who’s faced some adversity in her rookie season, pitched a solid 6.2 innings allowing only three runs off of eight hits.
Offensively, the Rebels continued to shine thanks to Van Acker. Van Acker, who recorded her second straight three hit game and went 7-for-10 in the first two games, paced the UNLV offense with two RBIs and helped the Rebels get a 4-2 lead in the latter innings of the game.
Oliveto relieved Fotni in the sixth inning, leaving the star pitcher with a 4-2 advantage. After scoring runs in the sixth and seventh inning to send it into extras, UNR scored the game winner in the eighth off a sac-fly to even up the series at one game apiece, 5-4.
On Sunday, the rubber-match was played with three points up for grabs in the Governor’s Series.
The game was tightly contested from the start, with each team matching the other in runs, inning after inning.
UNR struck first in the bottom of the first to go up 2-0 in the game. After a scoreless second by both teams, UNLV scored off of solo home runs by Stefany Valentino and Pauline Monreal in the third and fifth innings, respectively to knot the game up, 2-2.
The depth of UNLV proved to be resourceful in the game as Katie Uriarte and Emily Haslinger stepped up for the Rebels, combining to go 7-for-8 on the day with three RBIs.
After an RBI to by Haslinger to give the Rebels their first lead of the game, UNR answered back in the sixth with a solo shot of their own to tie the game up 3-3.
In the top of the seventh, UNLV took their final lead of the game off of a two-run triple by Uriarte. Fotni was tagged with the win, Oliveto with the save, and UNLV came out unscathed with a victory not only for themselves, but for the university as well.
The Rebels return for their final three game home series this season as they take on the Broncos of Boise State University. With five seniors on the team, the series is sure to be played with more heart and emotion then games prior.
The first game is scheduled for Friday, May 3 at 6 p.m.