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Junior Alexis Cantu celebrated her return to UTA Friday with the game-winning blast against her former team and a complete-game win in the...
Courtesy: Doug DeVoe/Missouri Valley Conference

Softball Sweeps Two Games to Open UTA Tournament

ARLINGTON, Texas - The Creighton softball team swept a pair of games on day one of the UTA Maverick Invitational, overpowering Lamar 10-3 after defeating host UT Arlington 3-1 at Allan Saxe Field Friday.

Creighton (7-4) totaled 13 runs, 19 hits, four home runs, five doubles and batted .339 at the plate in the two wins. The Bluejay pitching staff allowed four earned runs, 10 hits and held opposing batters to a .196 average.

Five Bluejays posted two or more hits on the day including four from senior Amy Baker who hammered her sixth homer of the season in game two. Sophomore Liz Dike notched three hits including a pair of doubles. Senior Ashley Frutos, junior Blair Lowe and freshman Kelsey Allender each posted two hits.

Three other Bluejays went yard besides Baker Friday. Freshman Blake Ringle connected on her first career home run with a three-run blast against Lamar (5-9) in the nightcap. CU junior Alexis Cantu returned to UT Arlington (6-6) where she played as a freshman and powered a homer over the wall in right center against her old team in the opener. Sophomore Bri Lingl also cracked a solo home run early against UTA.

In game one junior Becca Changstrom started in the circle for Creighton.

UT Arlington posted a run with two outs in the bottom of the first. Back-to-back singles from UTA and a stolen base put the Mavericks up 1-0 after one.

In the next CU at-bat sophomore Bri Lingl homered to right field, her second of the season, to knot the game at 1-1 after two innings.

Changstrom and the Creighton defense responded by retiring 17 consecutive UTA batters until a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh.

Cantu claimed the game-winning run with a towering home run to right field to put CU up 2-1. A double by Lingl set up the other score. Freshman Erin McGonigal came in to pinch run and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from MaKenzie Michael before a single from Allender scored the run for the final tally.

Changstrom struck out five and did not allow a walk to earn the three-hit, complete-game victory and improve to 4-2 this season.

Cantu started in the circle for the Jays in game two against Lamar.

With two outs in the top of the first, Baker smashed her sixth homer, a solo shot, of the young season. She increased her career total to 47. She is now just three shy of tying the CU all-time record and five short of the MVC all-time mark.

Up 1-0 Creighton continued the two-out rally. A walk to Cantu and a single by Lingl put two runners on for pinch hitter Ringle. The freshman came through with a three-run rocket to right center to give CU a 4-0 lead heading into Lamar's first at-bat.

The Lady Cardinals managed to get on the board in the bottom of the third frame to cut the Bluejays' lead in half. A pair of doubles allowed LU to plate a pair of runs to close to within two runs of Creighton after three.

The Bluejays posted another four-run inning in the top of the fourth. A leadoff double from Frutos and a single from Allender put two on with no outs. A double from Dike scored Frutos to give CU a 5-2 advantage.

After an LU pitching change, a fielder's choice off the bat of junior Ellen Homan and a walk to Lowe loaded the bases for Baker. The senior responded with a double to right center to clear the bases and put the Bluejays up 8-2.

Lamar answered with a run on a sacrifice fly to left in the bottom of the frame to make it an 8-3 Bluejay lead.

CU added a pair of scores in the top of the seventh. After an LU pitching change, Frutos and Allender drew walks. Lowe later laced a two-out single to left to bring the runs across and yield the final score.

Cantu earned the complete-game victory to move to 2-1 on the season.

Baker ended game two a triple shy of the cycle against Lamar with a homer, double and a single to go with an intentional walk.

Creighton continues play at the UTA Maverick Invitational against No. 21 Tulsa at 11 a.m. Saturday. Later in the afternoon, the Bluejays will play a rematch against either UTA or Lamar in a semifinal contest slated for either 3 or 5 p.m.

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