ST. LOUIS – For the fourth time this year Creighton softball junior Becca Changstrom earned Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Pitcher of the Week honors after posting two wins over Southern Illinois last weekend and eclipsing the 200-strikeout mark for the season, the conference office announced Monday.
The four awards earned by Changstrom this season are the most since former CU pitcher Tara Oltman won five weekly honors in 2008. Changstrom has also claimed three MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week laurels in 2013.
Changstrom went undefeated against Southern Illinois with a pair of complete-game victories while surpassing the 200-strikeout mark. The right-handed pitcher fanned her 200th batter of the year on Sunday against SIU to become just the third pitcher in program history to accomplish the feat, joining former Bluejay aces Tammy Nielsen and Oltman. Changstrom’s 208 strikeouts this season ranks eighth all-time in the CU record books.
In her two starts against the Salukis, Changstrom pitched 15.0 innings giving up just five runs on 10 hits, resulting in an ERA of 2.33. She only allowed the Salukis one inning of scoring all weekend and shut out SIU in the series finale.
The Lincoln, Neb., native struck out 23 Salukis on the weekend with a pair of double-digit strikeout performances. With a dozen K's in game one and 11 more in game three she increased her season total of double-digit strikeout efforts to 11 this season to lead the Valley. The rest of the league owns just seven games total with 10 or more strikeouts. No other MVC pitcher can claim more than three such efforts in 2013.
Changstrom held SIU batters to just a .185 batting average and only yielded five walks. Changstrom leads the Valley in ERA (1.56), strikeouts (208), opposing batting average (.195) and wins (19).
The award marks the sixth career MVC Pitcher of the Week accolade for Changstrom. She also earned the award in back-to-back weeks last month (March 11 and 18) for her efforts in Evansville and at the Rebel Spring Games. Additionally, Changstrom earned recognition on Feb. 25 with her showing in the circle at the Central Arkansas Tournament. Previously Changstrom won a single conference weekly honor in each of her first two seasons.
The weekly award pushes the Bluejays’ total to five this season. Senior Amy Baker claimed Player of the Week honors on March 18.
Later this week, the Bluejays are scheduled to visit No. 21 Nebraska on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. CT in Lincoln to complete the 2013 home-and-home series. The Cornhuskers escaped with a 4-3 victory at the CU Sports Complex on April 3.
SB: Providence at Creighton (5/3/14)
SB: DePaul at Creighton (4/18/14)
Creighton meets Villanova in a 16 inning thriller on the softball diamond.