UTA Hilton Invitational Schedule Fri., Feb. 21 vs. Texas Tech (6-4) Arlington, Texas 2 pm Fri., Feb. 21 at UT Arlington (6-4) Arlington, Texas 6 pm Sat., Feb. 22 vs. Texas Tech (6-4) Arlington, Texas 11:30 am Sat., Feb. 22 at UT Arlington (6-4) Arlington, Texas 4:30 pm Sun., Feb. 23 vs. Illinois (8-2) Arlington, Texas 9 am
• After a rare off weekend, Creighton Softball returns to the diamond with five games in three days at the UTA Hilton Invitational in Arlington, Texas.
• Creighton went 3-2 at the season-opening Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., from Feb. 6-8. The Bluejays lost to San Jose State (11-2) and No. 7 Arizona State (3-0) before rolling off wins over Western Michigan (9-0 in five innings), Boise State (4-0) and No. 24 California (6-4).
• The win over No. 24 California was the first ranked team Creighton had defeated since a 4-3 win over No. 21 Tulsa in Arlington, Texas, last March 2.
• Last year Creighton played five games in Arlington, going 3-2 at the UTA Maverick Invitational. The Bluejays beat No. 21 Tulsa once, and split two games each with both Lamar and host UT Arlington. In those five games, Liz Dike led CU with a .385 batting average, and she was one of five Bluejays with a home run during the weekend. Becca Changstrom picked up two wins, and Alexis Cantu the other, for CU.
• Junior SS Liz Dike led Creighton in most offensive categories at the Kajikawa Classic, including hits (6), doubles (2), home runs (3), RBI (8), total bases (17) and slugging percentage (.944). Teammate Ellen Homan topped the club in batting average (.357), runs (6) and on-base percentage (.471).
• In the circle, senior ace Becca Changstrom had a hand in all three victories, picking up two complete game victories and a save. She owns a 2.03 ERA and her only loss came when she limited powerful Arizona State to three runs. Changstrom ranks fourth in CU history with 59 wins and is now tied for eighth in CU history with four saves.
• Creighton’s other victory came thanks to 4.1 scoreless innings from Alexis Cantu against Western Michigan.
• Speaking of Alexis Cantu, the senior is a transfer from Texas-Arlington who will be returning to the field where she began her college career. Since arriving in Omaha, Cantu has hit 23 home runs (9th in CU history) and driven in 67 in 106 games. Thanks to 80 walks (5th in CU history) and 25 hit-by-pitches (T-2nd most in CU history), she owns a .499 on-base percentage and a .619 slugging percentage. In the circle, Cantu is 15-13 in 37 appearances (31 starts) while logging a 4.14 career ERA in 104.1 inning innings. In two games vs. UTA last year, Cantu went 1-for-5 with a home run.
• Only one player reached safely during all five games of the Kajikawa Classic, freshman infielder Jen Daro. Daro walked five times and had two hits, including a home run vs. Cal, during her debut weekend on the college diamond.
• Creighton went 3-for-6 in pinch-hitting situations in Tempe, as Cassie Sharon went 2-for-3 and Alex Millspaugh came through in her only opportunity. Last season Creighton’s pinch-hitters went 11-for-58 (.190), led by seven pinch-hits from Blake Ringle.
• Liz Dike homered twice in Creighton’s season-opener, and had three round-trippers overall in the opening weekend. Dike owned 11 homers in 100 combined games during her freshman and sophomore seasons, and last year didn’t hit her third home run until April 13th in CU’s 34th game.
• Creighton is in its first season in the BIG EAST after a long run in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bluejays were picked second in the preseason poll, trailing only DePaul. Last season Creighton was picked fourth in the preseason MVC poll, but would go on to win the regular-season title.
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