WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Creighton softball team swept its competition to open the Rebel Spring Games with a 4-0 shutout of Manhattan before a come-from-behind 4-3 win over UMass-Lowell on Sunday.
Creighton (6-9) snapped a five-game losing streak with the win over Manhattan (0-5). Senior Becca Changstrom led the Jays against the Jaspers with a two-hit shutout and a two-RBI double to help her cause.
The Bluejays never led against UMass-Lowell (1-10) until CU sophomore Kelsey Allender scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on a wild pitch with two outs. Creighton utilized home runs by juniors Bri Lingl and Liz Dike to stay in the game before rallying for two in the final at-bat.
Changstrom earned the start in the circle for the Jays against Manhattan.
In the top of the first inning, Dike hit a bunt single and later advanced to second on a passed ball. She advanced to third on a fly out. An RBI single by Lingl brought in the run to give Creighton a 1-0 advantage.
CU expanded its lead in the second frame. After freshman Kassidy Kingsley drew a walk, sophomore Erin McGonigal came on pinch run. A bunt single off the bat of freshman Jessica Lewis and a Jasper error advanced McGonigal to third. Allender singled to score McGonigal to give the Jays a 2-0 lead.
Next up, Changstrom belted a two-RBI double to score Lewis and Allender to make it 4-0 in favor of the Jays. That lead stood for the remainder of the game as neither team scored the rest of the way.
Creighton compiled seven hits from six different players led by two by Allender. Changstrom struck out seven and improved to 3-5 on the year.
Senior Alexis Cantu started game two in the circle for the Jays.
UML started the scoring in the top of the first. Two singles to open the inning proved trouble for CU as the River Hawks plated a run to lead 1-0 early.
The score would remain 1-0 until Lingl hammered a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth frame to knot the game at 1-1.
UML answered in the fifth. A walk to open the inning led to a River Hawks score on a wild pitch by Cantu to give UML a 2-1 lead. CU senior Brittany Telecky came on in relief of Cantu after the score.
Creighton evened the score again in the bottom of the sixth when Dike cranked a solo home run to make it 2-2 on the scoreboard heading to the final frame.
UML regained the lead in the top of the seventh. A two-out single started the rally. A stolen base, a walk and an RBI single followed to give UMass-Lowell a 3-2 lead heading to the bottom of the seventh.
In their final at-bat, the Bluejays rallied to score two runs in a thrilling come-from-behind victory. Sophomore Cassie Sharon singled to open the inning and later stole second with no outs. Allender utilized a bunt single to put runners on the corners. Classmate Katie Pascuzzi’s ground out to short scored Sharon to tie the game at 3-3.
After a walk to senior Blair Lowe, a wild pitch moved Allender from second to third base with two outs. With Dike at the plate another wild pitch hit the dirt as Allender scored the game-winning run from third to clinch the victory.
Telecky evened her record at 1-1 with the win.
Creighton will play 12 games in a span of seven days. Creighton will play South Dakota twice, and one game apiece against Manhattan, UMass-Lowell, Bucknell, Indiana State, Utah Valley, Saint Peter’s, Siena, Howard, Army and Albany.
UPDATED Rebel Spring Games Results/Schedule (All times Central)
Sun. March 9 Creighton 4, Manhattan 0 Sun. March 9 Creighton 4, UMass-Lowell 3
Mon. March 10 vs. South Dakota (8-5) Winter Haven, Fla. 10 am Mon. March 10 vs. Bucknell (2-7) Winter Haven, Fla. 12 pm
Tues. March 11 vs. Indiana State (7-5) Winter Haven, Fla. 10 am Tues. March 11 vs. Utah Valley (0-13) Winter Haven, Fla. 12 pm
Thurs. March 13 vs. Saint Peter’s (1-3) Winter Haven, Fla. 8 am Thurs. March 13 vs. Siena (1-3) Winter Haven, Fla. 10 am
Fri. March 14 vs. Howard (0-0) Winter Haven, Fla. 8 am Fri. March 14 vs. Army (5-8) Winter Haven, Fla. 10 am
Sat. March 15 vs. Albany (2-2) Winter Haven, Fla. 8 am Sat. March 15 vs. South Dakota (8-5) Winter Haven, Fla. 10 am
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.