OMAHA, Neb. -- The Creighton Softball team was swept in a doubleheader on Saturday, losing a 1-0 pitcher's duel before dropping a 13-11 slugfest in the nightcap.
With the two losses Creighton falls to 26-24-1. The Jays fall to 14-11 in MVC play, locking up the No. 5 seed in next week's State Farm MVC Tournament. Missouri State improved to 24-24 on the year and is 12-13 in league play. The Bears will defend their 2011 MVC Tournament title as the No. 6 seed next weekend.
Creighton and Missouri State will close out the regular-season with a single-game on Sunday starting at Noon at the CU Sports Complex.
Game 1 (Missouri State 1, Creighton 0)
Missouri State scored an unearned run in the fifth inning, and Natalie Rose did the rest, as the Bears took a 1-0 decision to open a three-game series at Creighton on Saturday.
Missouri State scored the game's only tally in the fifth inning. Stevie Pierce singled to right to start the frame, and was replaced by pinch-runner Ciara Flau. Flau moved to second base when Raeven Replogle's sacrifice bunt was bobbled. Another sacrifice bunt by Kirstin Cutter moved runners to second and third with two outs. After a five-pitch walk to Ashley Brentz loaded the bases, Flau scored on Caitlin Chapin's sacrifice fly to center.
Creighton did not advance a runner past first base in its final three at-bats against Rose, a preseason all-Valley pitcher who won her fifth straight 1-0 decision.
Creighton was scoreless in part because it couldn't get a clutch hit in the first two frames. CU had two on with one out in both the first and second inning, but came away empty each time.
Rose improved to 16-14 with the win, collecting her eighth shutout of the season. She allowed six hits, but just one walk, in her 102-pitch effort.
Creighton ace Becca Changstrom was the tough-luck loser, falling to 16-13. Changstrom allowed just two hits and a single unearned run, but it wasn't enough.
Game 2 (Missouri State 13, Creighton 11) Missouri State scored a season-high 13 runs in the second game of the day to rally and upend Creighton by a 13-11 score.
The Bears scored five runs in the top of the first inning, chasing CU starter Alexis Cantu. The five-run frame featured the first homer of the season from Lauren Eisenreich.
Creighton answered with five runs of their own in the bottom of the first to tie the game. Singles by Ellen Homan, Allie Mathewson and Cantu to start the game made it 5-1. Bri Lingl singled with one out to make it 5-2, and a Blair Lowe single made it 5-3. The Jays tied it at 5-all on a two-run double by Liz Dike.
The Jays took their first lead of the day in the bottom of the second, when Homan walked and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Cantu.
CU extended its lead to 9-5 in the third inning. Lingl homered on the first pitch of the inning, her ninth round-tripper of the season. Two pitches later, Lowe connected on her first career long ball. The Jays also scored when Allie Mathewson's double plated Christa Ruf.
MSU fought back with three runs in the fifth inning, as Eisenreich launched her second homer of the season, and game, to trim CU's lead to one.
CU got some insurance runs in the sixth inning. Homan singled and scored for the third time on Cantu's homer to left-center. It was Cantu's league-leading 15th homer of the season.
Trailing 11-8 heading to the seventh, MSU clinched the doubleheader sweep with a rally for the ages. The visiting Bears had each of its first seven batters reach safely. Two walks started the rally, and MSU followed with two doubles and three singles before all was said and done. Brentz had a two-run double that gave MSU a 12-11 lead to earn the game-winning RBI.
The game one starter, Natalie Rose came on in relief to pitch a 1-2-3 seventh to earn her fourth save.
Homan capped a five-hit day with a 3-for-3 performance in game two, scoring three times. Mathewson, Cantu, Lingl, Lowe and Dike each had two hits as well in CU's setback. Cantu led the team with four RBI, while Lingl, Lowe and Dike had two each.
Sammy Snygg, who came on in relief after Brittany Telecky threw 3.2 strong innings in relief of Cantu, to take the loss and fall to 3-5.
MSU's offense was paced by a 3-for-4 game from Eisenreich, who added a career-high five RBI. She also scored three times. MSU had 11 hits in the nightcap, but also took advantage of 11 walks by Bluejay pitching, as six of those walks later scored. Chelsea Jones was an unlikely winner in the circle, improving to 7-9 despite allowing 13 hits and 11 earned runs in six innings of work.
NOTES: Lauren Eisenreich had her first career multi-homer game. Her father, Jim Eisenreich, had just one multi-homer game and 52 career homers in a 15-year Major League career ... Missouri State owned just 53 runs in its first 24 MVC games before exploding for 13 in the nightcap. MSU's five-run first inning marked its highest scoring game since March 27 ... Alexis Cantu now owns 12 homers in MVC play this season, tying a league record set by Illinois State's Jessie Buker in 2007 ... Cantu enters Sunday with 31 RBI in MVC play, two behind the league record held by UNI's Rachel Gerking in 2009 ... Cantu's 15 homers are tied for fourth in CU's single-season history ... Creighton honored Emily Perry, Kylie Hovinga and Christa Ruf between games of the doubleheader ... Kylie Hovinga had her first career at-bat in the second game, grounding out to shortstop ... Creighton had been 14-1 when leading after six innings before today.
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