No. 24 UMass Softball Stumbles Against UNLV, 6-4
Feb. 9, 2002
PHOENIX, Ariz.- The University of Massachusetts softball team dropped its first game of the season with a 6-4 loss to UNLV this afternoon at the Fiesta Bowl Classic. UMass stranded 13 runners on base in a game that saw the lead exchange four times.
The Minutewomen took the early lead as two walks and singles by senior Teri Rooney (Visalia, Calif.) and junior Brandi Cross (Diamond Bar, Calif.) scored Emily Robustelli (Stamford, Conn.) in the first inning.
Senior pitcher Jen Hadley (Bristol, Conn.) was solid on the mound through three innings allowing no Las Vegas runs and giving up one hit.
The Running Rebels took the lead in the top of the fourth on a two-run home run by Amber Campbell to give UNLV the 2-1 edge.
UMass responded in the fifth, with two runs to regain the lead, 3-2. Senior Scooter Wheeler (Kingsburg, Calif.) started the rally as she reached base on a hard hit ground ball through the left side. Back to back fielder choices by Kaila Holtz (North Vancouver, B.C.) and Jamie Cahalan (Mesa, Ariz.) resulted in no outs and the Minutewomen had bases loaded. Senior Ashley Bakken (Phoenix, Ariz.) followed with a lined shot over the second baseman to score Wheeler. Junior Anna Perey (Chino Valley, Ariz.) then delivered an infield single, scoring pinch runner Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) and UMass was again on top.
UNLV made a run of their own in the top of the sixth, stringing together five hits, including a two-run home run by Geney Orris to go ahead, 6-3.
The Minutewomen retaliated with another run in the bottom half of the sixth. Rooney and Cross kick-off the inning with consecutive singles and Rooney scored on an errant throw to first on a Wheeler sacrifice.
Relief pitcher Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.) held the Running Rebels hitless in the seventh to keep the Minutewomen close headed into the bottom of the seventh.
Cahalan led off the inning with a single up the middle and Bakken drew a walk. Sophomore Aisha Franke (Philadelphia, Pa.) loaded the bags with a base-hit bunt but the Minutewomen failed to plate a runner and dropped the game, 6-4.
The loss drops the Minutewomen to 3-1 while UNLV improves to 3-5. UMass will play its final game in the Fiesta Bowl Classic tomorrow as it takes on No. 1 ranked, defending national champions Arizona at 10:00 a.m.