Senior-leader Mia Trejo delivered the game-winning hit in the home-half of the seventh inning. Trejo belted an opposite-field double to right-center that brought last week’s Mountain West Player of the Week Janyssa Martin racing from first base all the way around to score.
It was an imperfect game for the Rebels (6-2), as UNLV’s defense conceded four defensive errors on the evening, with an error factoring in every run Kansas City scored. A pair of defensive miscues allowed the ‘Roos to score two runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at 3-3.
Juxtaposed against the defensive blunders were two fine flashes of leather in the outfield. Martin made a marvelous diving grab in center field to steal a hit, and in the top of the fifth inning, right-fielder Sofia Morales tracked a deep fly-ball to the edge of the warning tracked and leapt over the wall to make a fantastic catch and rob Kansas City home run.
Fortunately, the Rebels were able to hit their way out of trouble and get timely offense when they needed it most.
Martin opened the tally for the Rebels with a line-shot solo home run in the bottom of the third inning, her fourth homer of the year so far, then-tying the score even 1-1.
April Visser began to catch fire in this game, a welcomed sight for the Rebel lineup. Visser got rolling offensively with a towering home run to center field in the fourth inning to give UNLV a 2-1 lead. She then picked up another RBI in the fifth inning by lining a hit to right field with a runner on second to extend the Rebel lead.
Visser, whose position in the lineup has shifted in recent games, responded well to the lineup moves made by head coach Kristie Fox.
Coach Fox, who methodically experiments like a scientist with varying lineup combinations finding the best chemistry for her team, got the result she was looking for.
“The move was just to take a little pressure off [Visser],” Fox said. “She’s pressing, she wants to do really well. She saw her fall (.714 avg, 9 HR, 19 RBI in six games), and she’s trying to duplicate that. We’re trying to settle her back down, get back to singles, and the home runs will come.”
Jenny Bressler (4-0) earned the victory, scattering six hits and only one walk across seven innings to go with eight strikeouts.
Bressler moves into fifth all-time on the Rebels strikeout leaderboard, with 405 career punchouts wearing scarlet and gray.
“I actually was not aware of that,” the humble Bressler admitted as she chuckled. “I don’t usually pay attention to stats. I just take the game as we go and try to do the best for my teammates.”
UNLV will conclude its opening home stand and the Desert Classic with one more matchup against Kansas City on Sunday, February 20 at 11am at Eller Media Stadium, before going on the road for the first time this season.