LAS VEGAS – The No. 3 Huskies (4-0) got seven stellar innings from starter Bryana Walker and a pair of three-hit games from Whitney Jones and Ali Aguilar to cruise past the UNLV Rebels, 7-1, on Saturday night at the UNLV/SportCo Kick-Off Classic.
Walker held the Rebels (1-2) in check, allowing just one run over 7.0 innings and striking out 12 to register her 8th career double-digit strikeout game. Walker is now 2-0 on the season.
“Bryana was on tonight,” head coach Heather Tarr said. “She had some of her good pitches moving, and she was able to mix up a lot of her pitches.”
The bottom third of the Huskies starting lineup – Jones, Aguilar, and Dani Braun – combined to go 7-for-11, with 3 RBI. All three RBI came off the bat of Aguilar, as the freshman hit her first collegiate home run.
“Our team is going to be at our best when the bottom of the lineup can come through, and they did tonight,” Tarr said.
It only took the Huskies two batters to score a run in the top of the 1st inning. Victoria Hayward led off with a single and scored on an RBI-double from Hooch Fagaly. Kaitlin Inglesby followed with a single, and Kylee Lahners was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kelli Suguro then hit into a fielder’s choice to score Fagaly from 3rd base, giving the Huskies a 2-0 advantage before Walker even threw a pitch.
Jones and Aguilar led off the top of the 2nd with back-to-back singles, and one batter later, Fagaly drove in Jones with a sacrifice fly to give the Huskies a 3-0 lead.
Walker was in control from then on, facing just two batters over the minimum from the 2nd through the 6th inning.
“It was nice to pitch to how I’ve been practicing recently,” Walker said. I had great defense behind me, and we scored a lot of runs, which makes my job so much easier. Courtney [Gano] was doing an amazing job behind the plate. I was really comfortable with her. [Pitching coach Lance] Glasoe and I were on the same page. We got in a good rhythm, and I knew the defense had my back no matter what.”
The Huskies added a run in the 4th inning and three in the 6th when Braun, Jones, and Aguilar got three consecutive hits, culminating in Aguilar’s three-run blast.
“It means a lot when we can get things going, especially later in the game,” Jones said.
The Huskies will wrap up the UNLV SportCo Kick-Off Classic with one game on Sunday vs. UC Davis (1-3) at 12:15 p.m. Follow the action with live audio from the Voice of Husky Softball, Mike Brown, as well as live stats.