LINCOLN, Neb. – The Creighton softball team fell 5-2 to No. 20 Nebraska at the Cornhuskers’ Bowlin Stadium Wednesday evening.
Creighton (19-14) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead but could not hold on, spreading five hits across the game. Sophomore Kelsey Allender connected on two hits and picked up an RBI as did classmate Blake Ringle. No. 20 Nebraska (24-11) tied the game early then held on for the home win.
Creighton opened the scoring in the top of the first with a pair of walks from seniors Ellen Homan and Blair Lowe with no outs. Sophomore Erin McGonigal came on to run for Homan. Classmate Alexis Cantu later loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch with one down.
Next up, sophomore Blake Ringle ripped an RBI single up the middle to score McGonigal, but Lowe was thrown out at home to give the Jays a 1-0 lead before a pop-out ended the CU threat.
Changstrom and the Bluejay defense held the potent Cornhusker offense in check over the first two innings retiring six straight with four strikeouts.
The bats awoke for Huskers in the bottom of the third frame. A pair of leadoff singles and a sacrifice bunt put runners in scoring position for NU with one down. An intentional walk to NU’s Taylor Edwards loaded the bases. After a short fly out to left, NU posted an RBI single to score a run before another was thrown out at the plate to knot the game at 1-1 after three.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Nebraska took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. A CU error, sacrifice hit and three straight walks pushed across one Husker run with two down to give Nebraska a 2-1 edge. A bases loaded RBI single then scored another for a 3-1 Cornhusker score. Both runs were unearned. A foul fly out got the Jays and Changstrom out of a bases loaded jam heading to the sixth inning.
Creighton closed back to within one run in the top of the next frame. Cantu drew a walk and was replaced at first by sophomore Katie Pascuzzi to open the sixth. Later freshman Jen Daro drew a two-out walk followed by a classmate Jessica Lewis being hit by a pitch to load the bases. After a long battle at the plate, sophomore Kelsey Allender connected on an RBI single through the left side to score Pascuzzi to cut the NU lead to 3-2.
However, NU responded in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs. A hit batter, walk and sacrifice hit helped lead the Huskers to score twice and go up 5-2 heading into the final frame.
Changstrom dropped to 11-8 on the year with the loss. She gave up just three earned runs and struck out six batters.
The Bluejays return to BIG EAST Conference play this weekend with a three-game home series against Villanova beginning with a doubleheader slated for 12:00 p.m. CT Saturday 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.