Softball Hosts Drake in Wednesday Doubleheader

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Brittanee Grove is on a four-game hitting streak.
Courtesy: Jason Wise Photography
Creighton hosts Drake
Wednesday, April 20 • Creighton Sports Complex • 3 pm • Doubleheader

This Week:  Creighton concludes its longest home stand of the season with a doubleheader against Drake on Wednesday before it travels to Northern Iowa for a three-game MVC series on Friday and Saturday.  The Bluejays and Bulldogs play a twin bill starting at 3 pm at the CU Sports Complex on Wednesday, wrapping up an eight-game home stand.  CU and UNI will play two games on Friday at noon, followed by a Saturday contest at noon in Cedar Falls.  Follow live stats for all five games this week here.

Last Week:  The Bluejays opened the week with a doubleheader sweep of North Dakota, before it lost four straight.  The Jays defeated UND, 6-3 and 9-1, connecting for four home runs in the twin bill, including three homers in the run-rule game-two victory.  No. 12 Nebraska then run-ruled the Bluejays for the first time since 1997, winning 10-2 on Wednesday night.  The losing streak continued, as CU blew the lead in 3-2 and 6-5 losses to Wichita State on Saturday, before suffering a 14-1 loss to the Shockers on Sunday.

Scouting Creighton (18-21, 6-6 MVC): Creighton, which has appeared in six of the last eight NCAA Tournaments and is the reigning Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champion, has been picked to finish sixth in this year’s MVC race ... The Bluejays return just three starters from last year’s 37-23 team, while they have 11 freshmen and 10 returners on the roster ... Creighton is on a four-game losing streak, during which it has been out-scored 33-10 ... The Bluejays won four of their first five home games this year, before the four-game skid ... CU connected for 10 home runs in its first five home games this spring, but has none in its last four games in Omaha ... The Jays are hitting .301 at home this year, but has posted a 5.34 ERA in home games as well ... Catcher Amy Baker has hit 14 of her MVC-leading 15 home runs in Creighton’s last 21 games and the sophomore is already tied for fourth in school history with 30 career homers ... Baker leads the MVC with a .700 slugging percentage ... Junior Christa Ruf entered the season with one home run and 14 RBI in 86 career games, but has hit eight home runs with 27 RBI this spring ... Freshmen Ellen Homan has eight multi-hit games in her last 14 outings and leads the team with 40 hits, 20 runs and a .342 average ... CU ranks second in the MVC with a .965 fielding percentage ... Freshman Becca Changstrom – who has not pitched in Creighton’s last six games – has emerged as the staff ace, leading the MVC with an opponents average of just .162, while she tops the team with a 12-7 record, 119.1 innings pitched and 116 strikeouts.

Scouting Drake (27-15, 13-1 MVC): Drake opened the MVC season with nine straight wins and after losing its only Valley game (to Wichita State), it has won its last four MVC games ... The Bulldogs lead the MVC with 319 hits and 81 stolen bases, ranking second in slugging percentage (.436), doubles (57) and home runs (40) ... The Drake pitching staff tops the MVC with a 2.50 ERA, .218 average against and 285 strikeouts ... DU is hitting .278 as a team, with five regulars hitting at least .300.  The Bulldogs are hitting .315 inside of MVC play, with a league-leading 22 home runs in 14 Valley games ... Five different Bulldogs have at least 11 stolen bases, led by Sam West’s MVC-best 16 steals ... Torey Craddock leads the team with 11 doubles, 30 RBI and a .331 average, including .438 in MVC play ... Erin Mollohan (.306) and Jenna DeLong (.300) are tied for the team lead with nine home runs ... DeLong (16-4, 2.00 ERA) is 9-0 with a 1.39 ERA in MVC play, ranking second in the MVC with 158 strikeouts.

Head Coach: Head coach Brent Vigness (Central College, 1988) is in his 18th season at Creighton.  With a record of 571-396-2 at Creighton, he is the winningest coach in Bluejay athletics history.  Vigness also served as head coach at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., for five years prior to coming to Creighton.  His career record in 23 years as a head coach is 719-467-3.  The most tenured softball coach in school history has led the Jays to six MVC Tournament titles (1999, 2003-05, 2007, 2010), six regular-season MVC crowns (1998-2000, 2007-09), seven NCAA Tournament appearances (1999, 2003-05, 2007-08, 2010) and was named MVC Coach of the Year in 1998 and guided the MVC Coaching Staff of the Year in 2007 and 2008.

CU-DU Series: Creighton is 53-24 all-time against Drake ... CU swept the three-game MVC series from Drake last year, winning 8-0 and 2-0 (in nine innings) in Des Moines on April 21 and 6-3 in Omaha on April 27 ... The Jays are 10-2 against the Bulldogs in the last dozen meetings ... Drake last topped Creighton, 4-2 on April 15, 2009 in Omaha, the second game of that doubleheader ... CU last swept a home doubleheader from Drake in 2007.
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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