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Four Creighton players earned All-BIG EAST recognition on Tuesday.
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

Softball Earns Four All-BIG EAST Honors

OMAHA, Neb. – The Creighton softball team earned multiple postseason awards during its first year in the BIG EAST conference with four Bluejays claiming All-BIG EAST recognition, the league office announced Tuesday afternoon.

Creighton seniors Becca Changstrom and Alexis Cantu each earned a spot on the All-BIG EAST First Team, along with junior Liz Dike. CU senior Blair Lowe claimed a spot on the All-BIG EAST Second Team.

Changstrom’s All-BIG EAST First Team recognition marks her fourth year-end conference award after being named to All-Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) teams in each of her first three seasons.

The Lincoln, Neb., native claimed BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week three times this season. Changstrom leads the BIG EAST in complete games (24) and shutouts (10) and ranks second in ERA (1.92) and strikeouts (250). She posted 10 strikeouts or more nine times this year including career high 16 versus Villanova (4/5). Her season total of 250 K’s ranks No. 10 in the country and is eighth all-time at CU. With 10 shutouts in 2014 she is tied for No. 9 nationally. Her average of 8.9 strikeouts per seven innings stands at No. 21 in the NCAA.

The All-BIG EAST First Team selection is the first postseason that Cantu has claimed since earning All-MVC First Team honors in 2012 as the MVC Newcomer of the Year.

Cantu was a three-time BIG EAST Honor Roll selection this year. She ranks second in the BIG EAST for walks (32).  Her season total of 32 walks is tied for sixth all-time at CU. The utility player stands fourth in the conference with 10 home runs and fifth in the league with a .448 on-base percentage.  Cantu ranks second all-time at CU with 110 walks and 29 hit by pitch calls in her career. Additionally her career home run total of 33 stands fifth all-time in program history.

Junior shortstop Liz Dike earned All-BIG EAST First Team honors after taking home

All-MVC Second Team honors a year ago.

Dike was named BIG EAST Player of the Week (3/24). She went 6-of-9 from the plate for a .667 average while belting a BIG EAST weekly-best five home runs and 10 RBI against Wichita State and Butler. She achieved an amazing 2.333 slugging percentage for the week while avoiding a strike out over three games. Dike also was a three-time BIG EAST Honor Roll selection this year. She leads the BIG EAST in home runs (16) and in RBI (41). The shortstop also ranks third in runs scored (37) and total bases (101). Her season total of 16 home runs ranks No. 19 nationally and is tied for sixth all-time at CU. Dike is tied for eighth in the CU record books with 27 career homers.

Creighton senior Blair Lowe won All-BIG EAST Second Team laurels after attaining an All-MVC First Team selection in 2013. It marks her third career year-end conference honor.

Lowe ranks fifth in the BIG EAST for walks (26). She started every game for the Jays this season at third base. Lowe leads team with nine doubles and 10 stolen bases this year. The third baseman set career highs with 45 putouts and 75 assists on defense this season. She owns a .283 career batting average with 114 career hits and 55 walks. Her lone home run of the season was a game winner against Villanova (4/5). In four seasons at Creighton, Lowe has started 131 contests, all in the past three seasons, and played in 177 career games.

The Jays will battle host and top-seeded DePaul in a BIG EAST semifinal on Friday, May 9 at 1 p.m. CT at The Ballpark at Rosemont in suburban Chicago. The game will be broadcast live on FoxSportsGo and tape delayed on Fox Sports 2.

All-BIG EAST First Team^
Becca Changstrom, Creighton, Sr., P
Kirsten Verdun, DePaul, Sr., P*
Erin Burner, St. John’s, Jr., C*
Mary Connolly, DePaul, Jr., 1B
Kristin Boros, Butler, Jr., 2B
Liz Dike, Creighton, Jr., SS
Kaitlin Fitzgerald, St. John’s, Fr., 3B
Alexis Cantu, Creighton, Sr., P/UT
Danielle DeStaso, Seton Hall, Jr., DP/UT
Kiarra Baldassari, Providence, So., OF
Dylan Christensen, DePaul, Fr., OF
Megan Coronado, DePaul, Sr., OF
Jacqueline DiPietro, Seton Hall, So., OF
Elyse Graziano, Georgetown, Sr., OF

*unanimous selection
^Due to a three-way tie for All-BIG EAST First Team outfielders, two extra players were added

All-BIG EAST Second Team
Tori Free, St. John’s, So., P
Kate Poppe, Villanova, So., P
Staci Bonezek, DePaul, Jr., C
Jackie Reed, St. John’s, Sr., 1B
Maria DeLuca, Seton Hall, Sr., 2B
Allie Braden, DePaul, Sr., SS
Blair Lowe, Creighton, Sr., 3B
Megan Hyson, Georgetown, Jr., P/UT
Danielle Deraney, Providence, So., DP/UT
Alexandria Anttila, Georgetown, Sr., OF
Brittany Garcia, St. John’s, Fr., OF
Samantha Giovanniello, Georgetown, So., OF

BIG EAST Player of the Year
Mary Connolly, DePaul, Jr., 1B

BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year
Kirsten Verdun, DePaul, Sr., P*

BIG EAST Rookie of the Year
Dylan Christensen, DePaul, Fr., OF

BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year
Head Coach Eugene Lenti and DePaul

*unanimous selection

Jays Video
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.
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