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The Jays will face either No. 4 seed Northern Iowa or No. 5 seed Southern Illinois in their Friday semifinal.
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Host Jays Await Semifinal Opponent at 2013 MVC Softball Championship
Release: 05/09/2013
On Deck: The Creighton softball team hosts the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Softball Championship this weekend at the CU Sports Complex. The top-seeded Jays earned a bye into the semifinals awaiting their opponent for a noon start on Friday.

Creighton plays the winner of a quarterfinal matchup between No. 4 seed Northern Iowa and No. 5 seed Southern Illinois. Should the Bluejays win their single-elimination semifinal they would advance to Saturday’s final at 5 p.m. CT.

CU has played each potential opponent in Omaha this season, sweeping UNI and topping SIU two games to one in the regular season.

The Jays won multiple awards at the 2013 MVC Softball Championship banquet held Wednesday night including Pitcher of the Year honors for junior Becca Changstrom and Coaching Staff of the Year accolades.

Four Bluejays also claimed All-MVC recognition. Changstrom, senior Amy Baker and junior Blair Lowe all earned All-MVC First Team honors while sophomore Liz Dike claimed All-MVC Second Team laurels.

After setting the MVC career home run record outright in March, Creighton senior Amy Baker became the first player to eclipse the Valley RBI record last month.

However, Baker is in an active battle with Illinois State senior Elizabeth Kay to hold on to the top RBI mark. Baker now boasts a total of 167 RBI, one ahead of Kay at 166 heading into the conference tourney.

Following the Jays: Live stats links for the game can be found on the softball schedule page of GoCreighton.com. Fans can also keep in touch with Creighton softball on Twitter - @BluejaySoftball and Facebook - www.facebook.com/CreightonSoftball.

The first six games can be viewed on the Missouri Valley Conference’s video streaming platform, Valley Live with the Championship game televised on MVC TV. For more information, please visit Championship Central at MVC-Sports.com.

Last Time Out: For the seventh time in school history, the Creighton softball team clinched an MVC regular-season title after senior Amy Baker blasted a two-run walk-off home run to defeat Wichita State 3-1 at the CU Sports Complex early Sunday afternoon.

The regular-season crown is the first for Creighton (29-17, 15-7 MVC) since the 2009 season. The Bluejays will be the top seed next week when they host the 2013 MVC Softball Championship. Creighton beat out second-place Drake and third-place Illinois State for the top spot. The Bulldogs and Redbirds were rained out this weekend and did not compete.

Wichita State (19-32, 10-15 MVC) played its way into the tournament as the No. 8 seed with a 2-1 victory over CU in the series finale on Sunday.

Baker’s walk-off homer marked her second of the season. Earlier this year she belted a walk-off grand slam against Youngstown State on March 12. Fittingly, Baker’s home run delivered two runs batted that catapulted her past Illinois State senior Elizabeth Kay for the MVC career RBI record. Baker now boasts a total of 167 RBI, one ahead of Kay at 166 heading into the conference tourney.

Seven Bluejays connected on a ball in the twin bill including four players with multiple hits. Junior Ellen Homan led Creighton with three hits and a .429 batting average on the day. Junior Blair Lowe, sophomore Liz Dike and freshman Kelsey Allender each added two hits.

Scouting Creighton (29-17, 15-7 MVC): For the seventh time in school history, Creighton clinched an MVC regular-season title after senior Amy Baker blasted a two-run walk-off home run to defeat Wichita State 3-1 at the CU Sports Complex early Sunday.

A 1-0 win over Wichita State in the opener stopped a season-long three-game skid for CU. Creighton has won 10 of its last 14 games dating back to April 6. CU is 9-4 at home this season and has won six of its last eight at home in Valley play.

The Jays have won six of eight MVC series this year. Creighton claimed all six three-game sets in the league before a 1-1 split at MSU two weeks ago and dropping two at Drake last week.

The Jays won multiple awards at the 2013 MVC Softball Championship banquet held Wednesday night including Pitcher of the Year honors for junior Becca Changstrom and Coaching Staff of the Year accolades.

Four Bluejays also claimed All-MVC recognition. Changstrom, senior Amy Baker and junior Blair Lowe all earned All-MVC First Team honors while sophomore Liz Dike claimed All-MVC Second Team laurels.

Changstrom’s 247 strikeouts this season ranks seventh all-time in the CU record books. Remarkably, her total is more than all of the Valley’s pitching staff team totals for K’s in 2013.

In the circle, CU junior pitchers Changstrom and Alexis Cantu are among the top nine in the Valley ERA standings. Changstrom leads the MVC with a 1.72 ERA while Cantu boasts a 3.43 ERA. As a staff, the Jays lead the conference with a 2.41 ERA and 318 strikeouts.

Changstrom currently leads the Valley in ERA (1.72), strikeouts (247), opposing batting average (.193) and wins (22).

Baker maintained her MVC home run career record of 58 this week.

Shortly after claiming the MVC career home run record outright, Baker became the first player to eclipse the Valley RBI career mark last month.

However, Baker is in an active battle with Illinois State senior Elizabeth Kay to hold on to the top RBI mark. Baker now boasts a total of 167 RBI, one ahead of Kay at 166 heading into the conference tourney.

Dike saw her 11-game hitting streak come to an end in the final game of the regular season. The streak is a career-best mark for Dike after posting hits in six straight contests last season.

Four Creighton players who have notched at least 66 at-bats in 2013 are hitting .288 or better including Baker (.366), Dike (.348), junior Blair Lowe (.313) and freshman Blake Ringle (.288). Creighton ranks sixth in the Valley with a .264 batting average. The Jays’ 48 home runs and .441 slugging percentage are tops in the MVC.

Scouting Northern Iowa (23-24, 13-8 MVC): UNI enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed and awaits the winner of a first-round matchup between No. 8 seed Wichita State and No. 5 seed Southern Illinois to compete in a quarterfinal contest.

The Panthers ended the regular season by winning nine of their last 12 contests that included a seven-game win streak in mid-April. UNI is 4-12 in true road games this year and are 8-6 at neutral sites.

Northern Iowa was picked third in the preseason coaches’ poll this year, just two points ahead of Creighton. The Panthers captured the 2012 MVC regular-season title with a 21-5 record in league play.

The 2012 MVC Pitcher of the Year Jamie Fisher leads UNI again this season. This season Fisher is 18-13 overall with a 2.01 ERA in the circle. She boasts 32 starts that include 28 complete games this season. UNI’s other three pitchers on the staff each have at least three starts this season. Abbie VanVleet is second on the staff with a 4.54 ERA and a 3-6 record.

At the plate UNI is hitting .256 as a team. Four regular Panther starters are hitting .290 or better at the plate in 2013 including Kristin Lock (.308), Caitlin Wnek (.306), Nicole Fisher (.293) and Micalla Rettinger (.309).

Creighton-Northern Iowa Series: Creighton leads the all-time series with UNI 53-17. Creighton swept three games at home between the two squads after the series was moved to the CU Sports Complex. The Panthers swept a doubleheader in Omaha in 2012 to win the season series for the first time in 12 seasons.

Last season UNI edged CU 5-4 on April 14 in a game halted by lightning and resumed the following day. The Panthers later claimed the second game 15-3.

With the three victories in 2012, Northern Iowa matched its longest win streak against Creighton. UNI also won three straight contests from 1996 through 1998.

Creighton won the first 14 games in the series that began April 11, 1984. Twelve of those wins came prior to Northern Iowa’s entrance into the MVC. UNI captured its first win in the series on April 12, 1994 with a 5-3 decision. More recently Creighton claimed 12 straight contests from 2007 through 2010.

Scouting No. 5 seed Southern Illinois (24-26, 12-10 MVC): SIU enters the tournament as the No. 5 seed and will open play in game one against No. 8 seed Wichita State for the right to advance to play No. 4 seed Northern Iowa in a quarterfinal matchup.

SIU is finished in fifth place in the conference with a 12-10 record. The Salukis are just 4-13 in true road games this season and are 7-7 in neutral-site games.

SIU is sixth in the league with a .265 team batting average. The Saluki pitching staff is ninth in the MVC with a 4.35 team ERA this season. Southern Illinois finished the year with 263 runs scored, 242 RBI and a league-best 73 doubles this year. SIU’s on-base percentage of .377 ranks second in the league and 36 homers are fourth in the Valley.

Three of the Salukis’ starters are hitting .290 or better at the plate in 2013 including Morgan Barchan (.359), Jayna Spivey (.306), and Taylor Orsburn (.294).

In the circle, Brittney Lang leads SIU with 30 starts in 41 appearances. She carries a 4.28 ERA with a 12-15 record. Through 188.0 innings of work she has registered 137 strikeouts and 80 walks.

Creighton-Southern Illinois Series: The Bluejays lead the all-time series with the Salukis 32-25.

SIU has claimed seven of the last 12 contests in the series but only three of those games have been played in Omaha. Since 2010, SIU is 5-1 against the Jays in Carbondale but CU leads 2-1 in neutral-site MVC Tournament games. The Jays took two out of three from SIU last month.

Southern Illinois eliminated Creighton from the 2012 MVC Tournament on its home field 3-2. Earlier in the year the Salukis took two out of three regular-season games in Carbondale. SIU swept an offensive doubleheader 10-4 and 17-8 before Creighton claimed a 7-6 victory in the series finale.

The teams first met in 1981 when Creighton blanked SIU 5-0 at the Missouri State Tournament. The teams have met every season since 1993, except for cancelled series in 1999 and 2011.

Head Coach: The winningest coach in Creighton athletics history, Brent Vigness is in his 20th season at the helm of one of the most successful programs in the Midwest and Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). He carries a 635-445-3 record in 19-plus seasons at Creighton and boasts a 783-516-4 overall record that includes five years at Assumption College prior to beginning at CU.

A three-time MVC Coach of the Year, he has led the Bluejays to seven MVC regular-sea­son titles (1998-2000, 2007-09, 2013), six Valley tournament titles (1999, 2003-05, 2007, 2010) and seven NCAA regional appearances (1999, 2003-05, 2007-08, 2010). He claimed MVC Coach of the Year honors in 1998 and guided the MVC Coaching Staffs of the Year in 2007, 2008 and 2013.

Vigness coached his 1,000th game at Creighton and recorded his 600th win at CU in 2012.

Honoring the 2013 Senior Class: Collectively, this group of seniors has put together a 119-93-1 overall record over the past four seasons. The trio has accounted for an NCAA Tournament berth and a Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Tournament Championship and MVC Regular-Season crown.

#7 Ashley Frutos - Over her four-year career in Omaha, Frutos has started 123 games in the White and Blue and played in 135 contests. She has played in every game this season, starting all but one, primarily at second base. The reliable infielder is second on the team with 59 assists in 2013. Frutos leads the Jays with eight sacrifice hits this year. Her career total of 30 sacrifices ranks just outside the top 10 totals in CU history. This year, Frutos posted the first stolen base of her career and set career highs in games played, starts, at-bats, walks, putouts and assists.

#19 Sammy Snygg - During the past four seasons at Creighton, Snygg has started 120 contests and played in 158 games in a Bluejay uniform. This year she has primarily played at third base. The versatile defender has also played at first base and as a designated player while making 54 career appearances in the circle for the Jays. Snygg registered career highs in batting average and slugging percentage and notched the second stolen base of her career this season. She belted her fourth career home run during the opening weekend of this season against then-No. 14 Florida. Snygg recently claimed the Leadership and Service Award from the MVC.

#21 Amy Baker - After four record-setting seasons with the Jays, Baker has left an indelible mark on the Creighton and MVC record books. She has started every game during the past three seasons with a career total of 204 starts and 211 games played primarily at first base and catcher. This season Baker became the career leader in the MVC and Creighton record books with 58 home runs and 167 RBI. A three-time All-MVC Selection, she also ranks among the top 10 at Creighton all-time in batting average, hits, total bases and walks. Baker currently leads the Valley in slugging percentage at .799 as well as home runs with 17 and rates among the top 20 players in the NCAA for each category this season. This year Baker reached base in 37 consecutive games, the most by any Creighton player dating back to 1999.

Changstrom Surpasses 200 Strikeouts in Stellar Season: On April 21, CU junior pitcher Becca Changstrom became just the third Bluejay in program history to record 200 strikeouts in a single season boasting 247 K’s this year.

She joined former Creighton aces Tammy Nielsen and Tara Oltman in the exclusive club.  Changstrom’s total ranks No. 7 all-time in the CU record books for a single season.

Remarkably, her total of 247 strikeouts this year is more than all of the Valley’s pitching staff team totals for K’s in 2013.

Last weekend against Wichita State, she increased her season total of double-digit strikeout efforts to 12 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 currently leads the Valley in ERA (1.72), strikeouts (247), opposing batting average (.193) and wins (22).

Changstrom Earns CoSIDA Academic All-District Honors: Junior Becca Changstrom earned 2013 Capital One Academic All-District VII First Team honors as voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the organization announced May 2.

Changstrom received recognition for hard work both on the field and in the classroom. The Academic All-District honor is the first for the Changstrom.

As a First Team All-District member Changstrom will be placed on a national ballot for a chance to be recognized as an Academic All-America selection while competing against student-athletes from across the country.

The Lincoln, Neb., native has put together a career year in the circle for the Bluejays in 2013. As a result, Changstrom claimed MVC Pitcher of the Week laurels four times and won three MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week honors this season.

On April 21, Changstrom became just the third Bluejay in program history to record 200 strikeouts in a single season. She joined former Creighton aces Tammy Nielsen and Tara Oltman in the exclusive club. 

Changstrom carries a 3.85 grade point average in chemistry.

The last time a Bluejay earned an Academic All-District First Team selection was in 2010 when Oltman earned the accolade. She went on to claim her third CoSIDA Academic All-America honor that season as a senior, one of nine Academic All-America selections in Creighton softball history.

Creighton and the NCAA RPI: Creighton currently stands at No. 82 out of 291 squads in the NCAA ratings percentage index (RPI) compiled on Monday.

The Bluejays are 3-5 this season against teams ranked ahead of them in the latest calculations.

CU dropped a 5-2 contest on opening day to No. 48 San Diego State on Feb. 7 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

A day later at the Classic this week’s No. 3 Florida squad defeated Creighton 13-3. Later that same day the Bluejays toppled No. 35 Oregon State, 5-3.

The Jays overwhelmed No. 62 Ball State 7-1 at the Central Arkansas Tournament on Feb. 22.

The Bluejays dropped a 5-0 contest to No. 65 Eastern Illinois at the Rebel Spring Games on March 10.

Creighton owns a 4-3 win in eight innings over this week’s No. 27 team, Tulsa, at the UTA Maverick Invitational on March 2.

On April 3, No. 11 Nebraska escaped with a 4-3 victory over the Bluejays at the CU Sports Complex. The Jays later dropped a 6-0 decision at Nebraska on April 24.

Illinois State is the only Missouri Valley Conference team ranked higher than the Jays; the Redbirds currently rate No. 46.  Illinois State and Creighton cancelled their season series due to inclement weather on April 22.

Baker Ranks Among Top 30 in Three NCAA Offensive Categories: Senior Amy Baker ranks No. 13 in the country for home runs per game (0.37). Her season home run total of 17 is tied for No. 20 in the country this week. Baker stands at No. 27 nationally in slugging percentage (.799).

Bluejays’ NCAA Rankings this Week: Creighton ranks No. 34 in the country at 1.04 home runs per game in the latest NCAA weekly statistical rankings released May 5.

The Bluejays stand at No. 48 nationally with an earned run average of 2.41. Creighton’s slugging percentage of .440 ranks No. 71 in the NCAA.

Individually, junior Becca Changstrom’s average of 8.9 strikeouts per seven innings stands at No. 22 in the NCAA while her season strikeout total of 247 ranks No. 18 nationally. Changstrom’s total of seven shutouts in 2013 is tied for No. 19 in the country. The hurler’s total of 22 victories ranks No. 30 in the NCAA while her 1.72 ERA rates No. 45 nationally.

Baker Writes Recipe for Record-Setting Success in 2013: Senior Amy Baker increased the Missouri Valley Conference home run record last week to a career total of 58 after her walk-off home run against Wichita State earned the Jays the 2013 MVC Regular-Season Title.

On March 16, Baker belted career home run No. 52 to spark a come-from-behind victory at Evansville and tie the MVC career home run record held by Abby Olson of Illinois State since 2011.

MVC Career Home Runs

1. 57 Amy Baker, CU (2010-pres.)

2. 52 Abby Olson, ILS (2008-2011)

3. 50 Renae Sinkler, CU (2007-10)

4. 47 Amber Smith, ILS (2006-09)

Baker’s total of 17 homers this year already equals the third-best mark for a single season in the CU record books set by teammate Alexis Cantu last season. She is one home run short of her career-best total of 18 that ranks second all-time in program history.

Shortly after claiming the MVC career home run record outright, Baker became the first player to eclipse the Valley RBI career mark last month.

However, Baker is in an active battle with Illinois State senior Elizabeth Kay to hold on to the top RBI mark. Baker now boasts a total of 167 RBI, one ahead of Kay at 166 heading into the conference tourney.

MVC Career RBI

1. 165 Amy Baker, CU (2010-pres.)

2. 166 Elizabeth Kay, ILS (2010-pres.)

3. 157 Heather Stella, ILS (1996-99)

4. 150 Amber Smith, ILS (2006-09)

5. 146 Renae Sinkler, CU (2007-10)

6. 145 Jessica Huff, UE (1998-01)

7. 144 Abby Johnson, CU (2002-05)

In 2013, Baker has already set Creighton career marks in home runs (58) and runs batted in (167).

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Just five weeks into the season, junior Alexis Cantu set the Creighton single-season mark for being hit by a pitch in 11 plate appearances. Last weekend she earned her 15th free base after getting hit against Wichita State.

Former Bluejay Michelle Graner held the previous record of 10 set in 2008.

Cantu’s hit-by-pitch per game average of 0.33 stands No. 23 in the nation.

Cantu was hit multiple times on two occasions this year. Against Arkansas-Pine Bluff she was hit three times in four plate appearances. Cantu was hit by a pitch in each game of the Jays’ series at Evansville. The Aces registered two HBP’s against Cantu in game two sandwiched between one hit-by-pitch in the games one and three.

Baker Climbs to the Top of CU Career Record Books:  Last month senior Amy Baker claimed the top spot in the all-time Creighton record books for home runs and runs batted in.

The senior’s career total of 58 homers surpassed the previous top mark of 50, set by current assistant coach Renae Sinkler in 2010. Baker has also set the Missouri Valley Conference mark.

With 167 career runs batted in this year, Baker moved past both of her assistant coaches in the rankings Abby Johnson (144) and Sinkler (146) to claim the top spot.

Baker is also among the Creighton career top 10 for batting average, total bases and walks.

Baker leads the Valley in home runs (17), total bases (107) and slugging percentage (.799) this season.

Walk It Off in Grand Style: Amy Baker’s walk-off two-run home run against Wichita State on Sunday and marked the 17th time a CU player hit a walk-off blast since 2001. The homer also secured the MVC regular-season title for Creighton.

Earlier this year, Baker hammered a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning against Youngstown State on March 12 to secure a 6-2 win.

Stacey Rybar is the last Bluejay with two walk-off homers in the same season (2002), and also the last Bluejay with a walk-off homer in the MVC Tournament (May 10, 2002 vs. UNI).

The homers mark the third straight season with a walk-off home run. In 2012

Alexis Cantu’s three-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the eighth inning vs. Missouri State on May 6 beat the Bears, 5-4.

Cantu’s first career walk-off homer was the first by any Bluejay since Sammy Snygg posted one against Bradley on April 2, 2011.

Here’s a list of Creighton’s walk-off home runs since 1999:

Inn. Player vs. Opponent Date

7 Amy Baker vs. Wichita State 5/5/13

8 Amy Baker vs. Youngstown State 3/12/13

8 Alexis Cantu vs. Missouri State 5/6/12

8 Sammy Snygg vs. Bradley 4/2/11

10 Michelle Graner vs. Wichita State 5/3/09

7 Laura Kratochvil vs. Illinois State 3/21/09

6* Sara Loeffelholz vs. Saint Joseph’s 3/6/09

10 TJ Eadus vs. Northern Iowa 3/29/08

7 Bailey Dawson vs. Texas State 2/9/08

6* Michelle Graner vs. South Dakota State 3/22/07

9 Jessica Merkel vs. Nebraska 4/14/05

6* Lauren Flores vs. Bradley 4/9/05

7# Abby Johnson at Missouri State 3/15/03

7 Stacey Rybar vs. Northern Iowa 5/10/02

8# Stacey Rybar at Bradley 5/4/02

5* Nicole Garber vs. Drake 4/23/02

10 Kari Shank vs. Northern Iowa 4/8/01

*walk-off due to run-rule;

#CU hit as home team in away game

Homer Cooking: After not hitting a home run in the first two games of 2013, Creighton jacked at least one ball over the fence in 10 consecutive contests before the streak was halted at UT Arlington for three games.

Creighton has drilled a home run in 20 of its last 28 contests, including seven multi-homer games. Sophomore Liz Dike hit two homers against the Shockers last weekend, including an inside-the-park effort. Senior Amy Baker’s two-run walk-off home run versus WSU sealed the MVC crown for the Jays. Freshman Blake Ringle also connected on a homer in the regular-season finale.

As a result, CU leads the Valley with 48 homers this season. The Bluejays rank No. 34 nationally with 1.04 home runs per game in the latest NCAA statistical rankings released May 5.

Freshman Kelsey Allender’s first career grand slam highlighted the series versus UNI on March 29. The slam was the Jays’ second of the year following Amy Baker’s walk-off grand slam against Youngstown State on March 12.

Seven Bluejays have hit multiple home runs this season led by Amy Baker’s league-leading total of 17. Joining Baker with more than one homer in 2013 is Ringle (8), sophomore Bri Lingl (6), junior Alexis Cantu (6) sophomore Liz Dike (5), junior Blair Lowe (2) and Allender (2).

Allender hit her first career home run of an inside-the-park variety against Grambling State Feb. 24. Allender’s inside-the-park home run is the first since Dike scored two of them last season, the last against Wichita State on April 7, 2012.

Senior Sammy Snygg also rifled a shot over the wall versus then-No. 14 Florida in Creighton’s opening weekend. Junior Ellen Homan drilled a three-run homer at home against Bradley April 6.

April Showers Bring a Mixed Bag: April brought some sun, lots of rain and some snow to Omaha as Creighton finished with an 8-7 record for the month. The Bluejays saw six games cancelled due to inclement weather in the up-and-down 30-day period.

Creighton posted its longest win streak of the season at six consecutive wins in the middle of April but also ended the month on a three-game slide – also the longest of the season for the Jays.

Missouri State Series Recap: Creighton split a doubleheader at Missouri State April 28 as the Bluejays won the opener 3-1 before falling 10-5 in game two at the Bears’ Killian Stadium.

MSU and CU each posted 13 hits but the Bears plated 11 runs to just eight for the Bluejays. The Creighton pitching staff only allowed three earned runs on the day but seven Bluejay errors came back to haunt CU - including six miscues in game two alone.

The six errors in game two marked the most since the Jays committed one-half dozen miscues against Northern Iowa on April 2, 2006.

Freshman Blake Ringle led the Bluejays at the plate with three hits and a trio of RBI in six at-bats including a home run to give Creighton an early lead in game two. Sophomore Liz Dike posted three hits and scored a pair of runs.

Junior Becca Changstrom earned the complete-game win in the opener to improve 20-7 with nine strikeouts and without yielding an earned run. Noteworthy, Changstrom passed MSU head coach - and former Bluejay hurler - Holly Hesse on the CU all-time career wins list with the victory over the Bears.

Nebraska Rivalry Part Two: The Creighton softball team dropped a 6-0 decision at No. 20 Nebraska April 24 at the Cornhuskers’ Bowlin Stadium.

Nebraska used three home runs to score all of its runs. Creighton managed a pair of hits and left five runners on base. Junior Ellen Homan notched the first hit of the game with an infield single to third in the second inning. Freshman Erin McGonigal recorded her first career hit in the third frame on a slap single down the left field line in her first career start.

Southern Illinois Series Recap: For the first time since 2009, Creighton welcomed Southern Illinois to Omaha for an MVC series. The Jays took two out of three contests to claim their fifth MVC series win of the year and remain in first place in the Valley standings.

Creighton won a wild series opener in dramatic fashion. After seven complete innings of scoreless ball, SIU and Creighton exploded for 11 runs in the eighth inning. After the Salukis posted five runs in the top of the frame, Creighton answered with six in the bottom of the eighth to cap a dramatic come-from-behind victory.

The Bluejays batted around in the bottom of the eighth as freshman Blake Ringle ripped a three-run pinch hit homer and junior Ellen Homan ended the game with a two-RBI bases-loaded single for the 6-5 win.

Southern Illinois snapped Creighton’s season-long six-game win streak with a 6-1 victory in game two. The Bluejays blanked SIU 5-0 in the finale to capture the series win.

Junior pitcher Becca Changstrom went undefeated against Southern Illinois with a pair of complete-game victories while surpassing the 200-strikeout mark.

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.

As a result, Changstrom claimed MVC Pitcher of the Week honors for her play.

Indiana State Series Recap: For the first time since 2005, Creighton posted a road sweep at Indiana State. The Bluejays won game one of a doubleheader 3-1 before dominating the nightcap with a 16-5 victory in five frames Saturday. CU closed the series with a 9-1 victory in six innings on Sunday.

Creighton hit seven homers on the weekend including a pair from senior Amy Baker and two from junior Blair Lowe. Coming into the weekend, Lowe boasted one career home run, but hit two homers out of the Sycamores’ Price Field. Lowe and sophomore Liz Dike finished the weekend with a .636 average at the dish with 7-of-11 efforts.

As a result, Lowe claimed MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week honors for her play in Terre Haute.

Marching into Spring: Creighton finished the month of March with a 14-5 record this year. The Jays closed out the month on a four-game win streak and opened its home season with a three-game sweep of Northern Iowa to take over first place in the Valley.

Last season the Bluejays finished 9-10 in the third month of 2012.

Bradley Series Recap: Creighton took two out of three games from Bradley at home April 6-7. Each game of the series was decided by just one run.

Bradley won the opener 3-2 before the Bluejays came from behind to take game two of a doubleheader 6-5 in eight innings on April 6. CU jumped out to a 3-0 lead April 7 before BU scored two in its final at-bat for a 3-2 Jays’ win.

Day one of the series ended in dramatic fashion. Junior Ellen Homan connected on a three-run home run just over the right field wall to tie game two at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning. It marked Homan’s first home run of the season and third of her career.

In her first at-bat of the season, junior right-handed pitcher Becca Changstrom capped the come-from-behind victory with a walk-off double to right center in the bottom of the eighth inning of game two to give the Jays a 6-5 victory over BU.

Nebraska Rivalry Part One: Down 4-3 with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Creighton softball team rallied to load the bases and put pressure on visiting No. 22 Nebraska but the Cornhuskers got out of the jam to escape with the one-run victory at the CU Sports Complex Wednesday evening.

Creighton jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Senior Amy Baker drew a two-out walk before junior Alexis Cantu drilled a two-run homer over the left field wall to put the Bluejays up two after one inning.

Nebraska quickly answered in the top of the second inning with back-to-back solo home runs then took the lead for good in the fifth before adding an insurance run in the seventh. The Huskers handled the pressure to strike out the final two Bluejay batters and escape with a 4-3 victory.

Northern Iowa Series Recap: Creighton swept a three-game series from Northern Iowa March 29-30 at the CU Sports Complex. The Bluejays swept a Friday doubleheader by scores of 4-1 and 11-1, with the second game shortened to five innings. CU clinched the Saturday finale 4-2.

Sophomore Liz Dike led the Bluejay offense last weekend with five hits versus Northern Iowa. Including a 4-for-4 effort in the finale. She recorded a triple, double and pair of singles. Freshman Kelsey Allender hit the first home run at the CU Sports Complex of 2013, and her second career homer with a grand slam in game two.

Junior Becca Changstrom remained undefeated in MVC starts at 4-0 and improved to 13-4 overall this season after registering two complete-game wins. She gave up just three earned runs on nine hits through 14 innings in the circle resulting in a 1.50 ERA. Changstrom notched her seventh double-digit strikeout performance in the opener with 11 K's.

Evansville Series Recap: Creighton senior Amy Baker capped off a record-setting week by blasting career home run No. 52 to spark a come-from-behind victory at Evansville March 16 and tie the MVC career home run record.

CU junior Becca Changstrom matched her career high of 13 K's on Friday night in a conference-opening win at Evansville. She struck out 10 Purple Aces in the series finale a day later.

The Bluejays opened the MVC season at 2-1 on the road for the third consecutive season. Creighton also went 2-1 at Evansville to begin the 2011 conference slate before the Jays earned a 2-1 split at Bradley last season.

Rebel Spring Games Recap: The Bluejays went 6-2 at the 2013 Rebel Spring Games March 9-13. The wins increased Creighton’s all-time record at the tourney to 49-9 (.845) in six appearances at the Florida tourney all under current head coach Brent Vigness.

The Bluejays shut out five opponents (Saint Francis (PA), North Dakota, Butler, Fairleigh Dickinson and Army) over the four-day span. The exception was a 6-2 victory over Youngstown State in eight innings after a walk-off grand slam from senior Amy Baker.

One CU loss was a no-hit 5-0 defeat at the hands of Eastern Illinois on March 10. Three days later Creighton dropped a 3-1 decision to Robert Morris.

UTA Maverick Invitational Recap: The Bluejays went 3-2 at the UTA Maverick Invitational in Arlington, Texas, to improve to 8-6 this season. After a pair of wins over host UTA and Lamar on March 1, CU upset then No. 21 Tulsa 4-3 in extra innings on March 2 for its first win over a ranked team since February 2010.

The Bluejays' bats struggled in the final two games of the tourney resulting in losses to Lamar and the host Mavericks. The losses snapped a five-game win streak for the Jays.

Fantastic February Finishes: Creighton finished the month of February with a 5-4 record. It marks the seventh straight season that head coach Brent Vigness has directed the Bluejays to a winning record in the first month of the season.

The Bluejays are 46-24 in February spanning those seven seasons to the beginning of 2007. CU’s 5-4 mark this season is the same record the Jays had in 2010 – the year of the program’s last NCAA Tournament appearance.

Central Arkansas Tournament Recap: The Bluejays went 3-1 at the Central Arkansas Tournament in Conway, Ark., to improve to 5-4 this season. CU’s only loss was to host UCA in its first true road game this season. Creighton outscored opponents 35-16 last weekend. The Bluejays hit .353 as a team over the four games while holding opponents to a .271 average.

The Bluejays are 8-1 all-time at tournaments hosted by Central Arkansas. Creighton went undefeated in five games at the UCA Spring Clash to open the 2007 campaign. The Jays are now 2-1 all-time against UCA with two wins in the 2007 tourney.

Kajikawa Classic Recap: Creighton opened 2013 at the Kajikawa Classic Feb. 7-9 with wins over New Mexico and Oregon State, leading to a 2-3 record. The Bluejays are 5-6 all-time at the Kajikawa Classic following a 3-3 ledger at Tempe in 2010.

Déjà Vu vs. OSU: Creighton’s win over Oregon State on Feb. 8, marked the Jays’ second-straight victory over the Beavers by the same score (5-3) in the same tournament (Kajikawa Classic) at the same location (Tempe, Ariz.), three years apart. CU is now 2-2 against the Pac-12 foe and head coach Brent Vigness is 2-1 versus OSU.

Telecky on Top against Oregon State: Brittany Telecky won her first start of the season in a 5-3 victory over Oregon State. The junior pitched 6 innings against OSU allowing just three runs on eight hits. She also came in as a relief pitcher against San Diego State for two innings, allowing no hits or runs and just one walk.

Season-Opening Salvo: The Bluejays’ season-opening win over New Mexico was Creighton’s third-straight victory to begin a season following opening-day wins in 2011 and 2012.

CU’s first-game win streak matches the longest in program history when the Jays previously won three consecutive openers from 2006-08 and 1998-2000. All three streaks were under the direction of current head coach Brent Vigness.

Creighton is 19-18 overall in season-opening contests including an 11-9 record under head coach Brent Vigness.

Preseason Predictions: The Creighton softball team placed four players on the 2013 preseason all-conference team as the league's coaches picked the Bluejays to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), the league office announced Jan. 23.

The fourth-place prediction is the highest preseason ranking for the Bluejays since 2010 when they were picked to win the Valley. Creighton has finished lower than fourth in the MVC regular season standings just three times in the past 16 seasons.

Senior catcher Amy Baker earned the second All-MVC preseason selection of her career to go with a nod from 2011 during her sophomore campaign. Additionally, three juniors claimed their first preseason honors in designated player and pitcher Alexis Cantu, pitcher Becca Changstrom and outfielder Ellen Homan. All four of the CU honorees earned All-MVC accolades after last season.

The four CU player selections match Southern Illinois for the most on the 2013 preseason squad.  Additionally, the four players on the preseason all-conference team are the most for any Creighton squad dating back to 2004 when three Jays earned All-MVC preseason honors and current assistant Abby Johnson collected honorable mention recognition.

Recapping 2012:  The Bluejays return 11 players from last season's team that compiled a 28-25-1 overall record and finished fifth in the MVC at 15-11. Creighton finished last season with a school-record 294 runs.  CU led the MVC with a .292 batting average, 56 homers, 275 RBI and a .464 slugging percentage. The Jays ranked in the NCAA top-30 in scoring (No. 20), home runs per game (No. 22) and slugging percentage (No. 27) in 2012.


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