OMAHA, Neb. – The Creighton softball team blanked Southern Illinois 5-0 Sunday afternoon at the CU Sports Complex to claim it fifth-straight series in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play.
Creighton (26-12, 12-3 MVC) scored five runs on a dozen hits. The Bluejays added to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third with back-to-back solo home runs from senior Amy Baker and junior Alexis Cantu. Southern Illinois (20-24, 8-10 MVC) used three pitchers but could not find an answer to stop the Jays’ offense. The first-place Bluejays remained 1.5 games ahead of second-place Drake after the Bulldogs fell at Bradley.
Each of Creighton’s nine starters produced a hit on the day. Cantu and freshman Kelsey Allender led the CU bats with two hits apiece. Both of Cantu’s hits were solo home runs with an additional homer in the bottom of the fifth.
Junior Becca Changstrom pitched a complete-game win. She kept SIU off the scoreboard and only allowed three hits on the day. It marked her 11th double-digit strikeout performance of the season.
Changstrom started in the circle for Creighton while the Jays’ batters went up against Brittney Lang.
After a scoreless first frame, Creighton opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. Junior Ellen Homan opened with a single up the middle. Senior Ashley Frutos drew a walk before pinch hitter Blake Ringle approached the plate. Ringle drilled a double to right center to score Homan to give Creighton an early 1-0 edge after two.
Baker drilled a solo homer down the left field line run in the bottom of the third to put the Jays up by two. Cantu followed with a solo shot of her own over the left field wall to put CU up 3-0.
After an SIU pitching change, sophomore Bri Lingl hit a double off the top of the wall in left center. Freshman Erin McGonigal came into the game to run at second base. Allender singled through the right side to score the final run of the inning to make it 4-0 Creighton.
Cantu’s second solo shot of the day to left field opened the Creighton fifth frame and accounted for Creighton’s final run of the day.
Changstrom improved to 18-6 with the win. Lang dropped to 10-12 on the year after the loss.
Creighton hosts Illinois State in a rescheduled doubleheader slated for noon on Monday at the CU Sports Complex.
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.