TEMPE, Ariz. - The Creighton softball team earned a split on the opening day of the 2013 season with a 5-1 defeat of New Mexico and a 5-2 setback to San Diego State Thursday evening at the Kajikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State.
Creighton (1-1) posted 17 hits on opening day led by the Bluejays' top three batters in the lineup. Leadoff hitter Ellen Homan posted three hits on the day as did Alexis Cantu in the number three spot. Junior Blair Lowe led the team with four hits in the two slot including a long double off the wall in right center just shy of notching CU's first home run of the season.
Junior right-hander Becca Changstrom went the distance in game one for the win against the Lobos (0-1) giving up just one earned run on six hits through seven innings. Cantu took the loss for the Bluejays in game two after surrendering two early runs and four hits to San Diego State (1-0).
Creighton served as the visiting team in both games Thursday. The Bluejays exploded for four runs in the first inning against UNM starter Kaela DeBroeck. Homan, Cantu and cleanup hitter Amy Baker all hit singles to load the bases. Freshman Bri Lingl reached on an error to score Homan from third and give CU a 1-0 lead with one out.
After a popup junior MaKenzie Michael cleared the bases when she ripped a double off of the right field wall. She posted three RBI to give the Jays a 4-0 lead before being thrown out on an attempt to take third base.
UNM posted a run in the bottom of the third after back-to-back singles off of Changstrom with two outs on the board. That would account for the only damage the Lobos could muster against the Bluejay starter.
CU added an insurance run in the top of the fifth. A long double off the bat of Lowe drove in Homan with two outs to yield the final score of 5-1.
New Mexico loaded the bases late with one out in the bottom of the seventh but a strikeout by Changstrom and a running grab by Michael in right center ended the Lobo threat for good.
In game two, neither team scored until SDSU posted a pair of runs in the bottom of the second off of Cantu. The Aztecs rallied on three hits a walk and Creighton error to score an early 2-0 lead after two.
Creighton responded with a run in the top of the third. Freshman Kelsey Allender led off the inning with a single. Two batters later, Lowe also notched a single. Cantu followed with a single but Lowe was called out for runner's interference on a play at second to put Bluejays on the corners with two outs. Baker reached on an error by the SDSU shortstop to score Allender unearned and cut the lead to 2-1.
The Aztecs added a run in the bottom of the fourth after a couple of singles, a walk and a Creighton error to take a 3-1 advantage into the fifth.
CU posted a score in the next frame after a double by Lowe an Aztec error and a single from Lingl.
San Diego State secured the win in the bottom of the fifth inning with back-to-back homers to start the frame and make it a 5-2 Aztec lead.
Creighton posted a couple of singles in the sixth but neither team scored the rest of the way.
The Bluejays return to the diamond Friday afternoon against No. 14 Florida. First pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m. CT but could be delayed by finishes from earlier games of the Kajikawa Classic. The Gators will conduct a radio broadcast. Links to it and live stats will be available at GoCreighton.com.
The Jays battle Oregon State in the nightcap in a 6:30 p.m. scheduled start. The Beavers opened the year by receiving votes in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association preseason Top 25 poll.