The Rebels bombarded the Kangaroos with 16 hits (season-high), scoring in all but one of their at-bats. All nine starters reached base successfully, with four Rebels recording multi-hit games.
“We were a bit more focused and not chasing as much,” head coach Kristie Fox said. “We really pressed after the first game against Weber (first loss this season), and I think they settled in today and had better at-bats.”
Jasmine Martin (2-1) fanned four hitters across five-and-a-third innings for the Rebels to pick up the victory. Jenny Bressler recorded the last five outs to pick up her first save of the season.
UNLV jumped out to a three-run lead in the home-half of the first inning after Janyssa Martin started the scoring with an RBI-single, followed by a pair of bases-loaded walks to Maddie Schmidt and Samantha Diaz.
Leading 3-2 in the third inning, April Visser increased the margin to three with a two-run single, the first of three hits she had on the day.
Mia Trejo broke the game open for the Rebels with a third-inning two-run home run to left field, giving UNLV a six-run lead.
The Trejo-tandem of Mia and Alyssa were back at it again in the fifth inning, when the Trejo sisters connected on back-to-back doubles to generate another run for the Rebels, giving UNLV a 9-2 advantage.
A sixth-inning rally by UMKC that plated five runs momentarily brought the game a close-score sense of drama.
But the Rebels responded in their half of the stanza.
Visser stepped to the plate and brought her team an insurance run with a solo shot, her third homer of the season, tying her with Martin for the team lead with 10 RBI. A savvy hitter, she credits her quick turnaround at the dish with a simple mental adjustment.
“I’ve been working through it this weekend,” Visser said. “Really, just trying not to overthink everything. Just slowing everything down, that’s the mindset I had going into today.”
Next up for the Rebels is the first road trip of the season, when they’ll travel to Lake Charles, Louisiana to participate in the Cowgirl Classic II hosted by McNeese State. The break from home will be a new test for Coach Fox’s squad.
“We’re definitely going to be putting ourselves in a different situation,” Fox said. “We’re going to a field that’s all turf. I think it’s good for our girls to go to other parts of the country and face teams we wouldn’t normally face unless we make the postseason. It’s something they need to get used to, being responsible on the road.”
UNLV will face Sam Houston (3-4) in its first game of the Cowgirl Classic II February 25 at 2:45 pm in Joe Miller Field at Cowgirl Diamond.