Late-inning heroics give Rebels series win
A pitcher’s duel between UNLV (21-25, 11-7 MW) and San Diego State (32-14, 9-6 MW) was broken after the Rebels got a hit when they needed it most on Wednesday.
With two outs in the sixth inning, UNLV third baseman Jamie Depippo doubled to center field to bring home the winning run and give the Rebels a 2-1 victory at Eller Media Stadium.
“I just had to see it, see it well,” Depippo said. “Swing hard and see it because if I don’t, then I can’t hit it.”
Depippo finished going 2-for-4, and was the only batter to register multiple hits. She was one of only four Rebels to tally a hit.
UNLV struck first after shortstop Garie Blando hit a home run on the very first pitch. Blando recorded her sixth straight hit after going 5-for-5 in the previous game. Her one-run shot was the only UNLV score until the sixth.
“We didn’t score as many as we’re use to,” said head coach Lisa Dodd. “Timely hitting is what matters though, and being able to be the one to clutch up when we need it.”
A day after the teams combined to score 38 times, both pitchers allowed a total of three runs to cross the plate.
San Diego State ace Danielle O’Toole (23-6) gave up two runs and struck out three in six innings of work, and UNLV’s Amanda Oliveto (11-13) picked up the win, giving up only one run and striking out three in a complete game.
Oliveto pitched five shutout innings and had a no hitter going into the fifth. It was broken up with a single from Aztecs centerfielder Hayley Miles.
In the sixth inning Oliveto was in a jam. With the bases loaded when she got the Aztecs to ground out.
She also found herself in another tight spot in the seventh with the tying run on third.
Oliveto got Aztecs right fielder Patrice Jackson to fly out to end the game.
“She pitched lights out for us today, this was the best I’ve seen her in a long time,” Dodd said.
San Diego State came to Las Vegas winners of three of its last four conference series, and entered the weekend in a three way tie atop the Mountain West standings.
The last time these squads met, the Aztecs took all three from the Rebels down in San Diego.
“San Diego State historically has been very successful,” Dodd said, “Last year we got swept pretty good by them, but I felt for the first time, we believed that we should win.”
The Rebels will try to use the confidence they gained as they continue play on Friday at Fresno State.
The Bulldogs are coming off a series win over San Jose State and are one of the three teams tied for first in the Mountain West.
“This is a huge win for us since they [San Diego State] are at the top of our conference,” Depippo said, “We will use this as momentum, and we’ll keep our eye on what we want most, and that is to win the conference.”