SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The 2011 Creighton softball season came to an end Friday morning, as Southern Illinois topped the Bluejays 4-0, as the teams concluded their Missouri Valley Conference Tournament game which started Thursday night at 6:30 pm. The Salukis scored all four of their runs on Thursday night, as the resumption of the game which had been suspended by weather at 7:40 pm on Thursday took just 17 minutes to complete after it was re-started at 9:50 am on Friday.
Three of SIU's (36-16) four runs were unearned in the game, as the third-seeded Salukis took advantage of three Bluejay errors in advancing to the semifinals later today against No. 2 seed Drake. The loss ends Creighton's season at 25-28, just its second losing season in the last 15 years.
The third-seeded Salukis took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, scoring both runs on a two-out double off the bat of SIU nine-hole hitter Natalee Weissinger, after they had put runners on with a walk and an infield single.
SIU took advantage of two Bluejay errors in the third inning to add two unearned runs and claim a 4-0 lead. Morgan Barchan reached on an error by Ashley Frutos to start the inning and later scored on an RBI single from Taylor Orsburn. With two outs, Orsburn's pinch-runner Kelsea Ashton scored on Frutos' second error of the frame on a ball hit by Jayna Spivey and SIU owned a four run lead through three innings.
Liz McKewon broke up Danielle Glosson's no-hitter with a one-out bunt single in the top of the fourth inning. Amy Baker followed by lofting a high fly ball just short of the centerfield fence for the second out of the inning and then Christa Ruf had a potential home run robbed by Mallory Duran in left field to conclude the frame.
After rain started to fall in the fifth inning on Thursday night, the tarp was pulled following five complete innings and the decision to suspend the game was made by tournament officials, as rain and lightning remained in the area for several hours.
The game resumed on Friday morning in the top of the sixth inning with Bluejay pitcher and nine-hole Becca Changstrom leading off as Creighton attempted to mount its largest comeback of the year. SIU ace Glosson retired the side in order in the sixth worked around a one-out single by Ruf in the seventh to finish off the shutout.
Changstrom took the loss for the Bluejays, finishing her freshman season 18-11. The rookie right-hander allowed only one earned run in the loss, while she allowed just four hits, walked two and struck out three.
Glosson, the 2010 MVC Pitcher of the Year, moved to 24-10 with her 11th shutout of the season. The right-hander allowed just three hits, walked none and struck out five in the victory.
The game marked the 204th and final of McKewon's career. McKewon was the lone senior on a roster of 20 student-athletes for the 2011 Bluejays.