UNLV Softball dominates Rebel Kickoff Tournament

0
144
Maddie Schmidt, Alyssa Trejo (51), and Denise Armendariz (30) at home plate to welcome Janyssa Martin after she hit a home run against BYU, the Rebels won 5-3. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

UNLV softball dominated the weekend during the Rebel Kickoff tournament, going 5-0 and remaining undefeated to start its 2022 season. 

Vs BYU, Feb. 10

The Rebels overcame a one-run deficit in the fourth inning and held on to win their season opener 5-3 against a tough BYU side. 

“We opened with a really tough team,” Fox said. “For us to get behind early, and stay calm and composed, and be able to fight our way out of it- I was really proud and impressed with how they played.”

With one out and two runners on in the top of the fourth, Mia Trejo dug her cleats into the batter’s box.

“Don’t make the moment bigger than it is,” she said Even if the moment is ‘big’, it’s still like other at-bats before. I’m still trying to do one job, and that’s to drive people in.”

Mia Trejo launched a three-run home run to left-center deep into the night, and the Rebels would not look back from there.

Three batters later, Alyssa Trejo roped a single through the left side, Janyssa Martin scorched a line drive to the opposite field, sent screaming over the right-field fence for a two-run homer that would prove to be the decisive blow of the game.

On the rubber for the Rebels was ace Jenny Bressler, picking up her first victory of the young campaign. 

“Definitely some first inning jitters. Getting out to the field again, amped up and excited to play, I just had to calm myself down and settle in after that,” Bressler said. “It feels amazing to get the first win of the season. It’s something we’ve waited months for. We’ve been preparing for this for so long.”

Vs CSU Bakersfield, Feb. 11

Alanna Thiede pitching against CSU Bakersfield during the Rebels second game of the season, UNLV won 8-0. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

The Rebels secured an 8-0 victory over CSU Bakersfield after four-and-a-half innings due to the NCAA’s mercy run rule. 

The pitching tandem of Thiede and Jolin controlled the game from start to finish, retiring a combined 15-of-21 batters faced. 

UNLV showed tremendous discipline at the plate, earning eight free passes as a team, two of which came with the bases loaded and scored the first two runs of the game.

Visser broke the game open for the Rebels in the third inning when she entered the box with the bases loaded and lined a single into right field, driving in a pair of runs. 

A third run would score on a defensive error by the Roadrunners.

Martin sealed the deal for the Rebels with a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, her second homer in as many days. She’s driven in a team-high five RBI in the season’s first two matchups.

“I’m just glad I can help my team out,” Martin said. “Everybody’s hitting great so far, it’s not just me. I’m really appreciative of the people that are on this field playing with me.”

Vs Hawaii, Feb. 11

UNLV softball started the season on a three-game winning streak after a late win against Hawaii by a final score of 5-3.

The Rebels led 3-0 heading into the top of the sixth, when Hawaii manufactured a rally to tie the game at 3-3. 

UNLV immediately answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth and would go on to close the game.

Schmidt got the offense rolling for the Rebels in the third with a one-out single through the opposite side. She quickly swiped second base on the next pitch, and then advanced to third on a throwing error by the Hawaii catcher. Visser finished the job with a sacrifice fly to right field, driving Schmidt in.

Visser scored a run of her own in the fifth on the legs of an Armendariz RBI single.

Morales stretched the lead to three with blazing speed on a bases-loaded, two-out RBI infield single that plated Alyssa Trejo.

Bressler’s brilliant performance from the pitcher’s circle carried a seven-strikeout, no-hit bid into the sixth inning. Hawaii opened the sixth frame with a pair of seeing-eye singles that were followed by a run-scoring hit from the final batter Bressler faced. 

“We definitely wanted to complete the no-hitter going into the sixth,” Bressler said. “But it’s something I try not to focus on. I just take the game as it comes – one pitch, one hitter at a time. They got some lucky hits [in the sixth], and I knew it was time to make a change and keep them off-balance.”

Martin relieved Bressler and limited the damage to three runs total for Hawaii, inducing a 6-to-3 Diaz-Trejo double play that allowed the tying run to score, and retiring the next batter on a soft grounder to third. 

With the game tied at three runs apiece, Mia Trejo got the go-ahead RBI with the bat resting on her right shoulder when she wisely worked a walk with the bases loaded. Alyssa Trejo followed by driving a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Schmidt to give the Rebels an insurance run and a 5-3 lead.

“I like the way our team is coming out and competing,” Fox said. “If something happens, they’re settling down and not making any moment bigger than it is. We’re shutting down innings [on defense] before they get too big, we’re having good at-bats, and we did enough to get the win.”

Vs CSU Bakersfield, Feb. 12

UNLV cruised to its fourth straight win to open the year with a 9-3 victory over CSU Bakersfield in their second meeting of the Rebel Kickoff Tournament. 

After a scoreless top of the first, the lineup wasted no time in getting an early lead.

Schmidt and Visser led off the inning with a pair of singles, and Alyssa Trejo would drive them both home on a bases-clearing triple.

Next batter, Armendariz, unloaded on a pitch early in the count and drove a two-run home run to deep left field, her first round-tripper of the season. After just five batters, UNLV led 4-0, and that’s all the run support the pitching staff would need. 

Visser and Alyssa Trejo each homered in the fourth inning, the first for each of them on the year, to stretch the Rebel to 9-0.

“They’re getting more at-bats under their belt, they’re a little bit more confident,” Fox said. “The first day [of the tournament] they’re trying to see what their pitchers are going to do. Today they felt more comfortable and confident because they knew what was coming.”

Vs Hawaii, Feb. 12

The Rebels celebrating after their win against Hawai’i, the Rebels battled back from being down 10-5 to win the game 12-11. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

The Rebels stormed back from a five-run deficit in their final at-bat and went on to defeat the Hawaii Wahine in eight innings by a final score of 12-11. 

In the top of the sixth with the Rebels holding to a one-run lead, when Hawaii’s Dallas Millwood homered with a runner on-base to give the Wahine a one-run lead of their own.

UNLV responded quickly. 

Martinez, who had homered earlier in the evening, lined a base hit to center field plating the tying run. The freshman went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in her third start donning scarlet and gray.

Hawaii rallied to score five runs in the top of the seventh, seemingly putting the game out the reach for the Rebels. 

“This is something that has been built since I took over the program,” Fox said. “If you [look back] over the last four years, this team never quits. This is the first time they were truly tested this year; their character in those moments was tested.”

After the first three batters of the bottom of the seventh, UNLV trailed 10-5 with a runner on third and two outs.

But the Rebels were able to build momentum in the inning and tie the game to head into the eighth inning of the night. During the inning, UNLV managed to secure the win and remain undefeated. 

Up Next

The Rebels will retake the field Feb. 18 at 3 p.m., with a doubleheader against Weber State and UM- Kansas City to open the UNLV Desert Classic tournament.

Tickets for all games are available at the gate, or by visiting UNLVtickets.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here