DES MOINES, Iowa --Creighton Softball split a doubleheader with Drake on Wednesday, winning the opener 5-2 before falling in the nightcap, 2-0. CU's game two setback snapped its 14-game win streak at Ron Buel Field and denied Bluejay head coach Brent Vigness his 600th win at Creighton.
Creighton is now 21-19-1 on the season, and 10-6 in Missouri Valley Conference play. Drake is now 19-22 overall, and 10-7 in Valley action. The Bluejays return home this weekend to host a three-game series with Evansville, beginning with a Noon doubleheader on Saturday.
Game 1 (Creighton 5, Drake 2) Creighton continued its dominance at Ron Buel Field, never trailing in a 5-2 win. It was Creighton's 14th straight victory at the field, which includes eight wins vs. Drake, two vs. UNI and four in the 2010 MVC Tournament.
Alexis Cantu blasted her Valley-leading 12th homer of the season, and the Jays never looked back. Creighton made it 2-0 in the third inning when Bri Lingl's sacrifice fly scored Ellen Homan.
The Jays scored a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to move ahead, 4-0. A bases-loaded wild pitch from reliever Rebekah Schmidt scored Cantu, and Schmidt later hit Becca Changstrom with the bases-loaded to drive home Amy Baker with the fourth run of the day.
In the seventh inning, Emily Perry had an RBI single to drive home McKenzie Michael, who was running for Cantu.
Creighton's 5-0 cushion heading to the bottom of the seventh paid off, as Drake scored a pair of unearned runs before Changstrom retired Hayley Nybo to end the threat.
Changstrom (12-10) allowed five hits and five walks while throwing the complete game victory, striking out three Drake batters.
CU's offense was paced by two hits from Homan, while Cantu reached four times on a homer, two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Game 2 (Drake 2, Creighton 0)
Jordan Gronewold threw a two-hit shutout in Drake's 2-0 win in game two.
Drake scored one run in each of the first two innings, and it would prove to be enough. In the first inning, Amy Pierce walked to begin the bottom of the first and scored on Torey Craddock's RBI groundout. In the second inning, Drake loaded the bases with no outs and scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 before Sammy Snygg came on in relief of Cantu to escape further damage.
Creighton's first hit against Gronewold came with two outs in the sixth, when Cantu doubled. Amy Baker followed with a walk to bring up the go-ahead run, but Lingl grounded out to end the threat.
The Jays also brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning when Taylor Flodman singled, but Liz Dike struck out and Christa Ruf lined out to seal Gronewold's shutout.
Gronewold (14-16), who threw four innings and was the losing pitcher in the first game of the doubleheader, allowed just two hits and three walks in the nightcap while striking out five.
Cantu (6-4), who allowed five hits and three walks before leaving the pitching circle in the second inning, suffered the loss. She was replaced in the circle by Snygg, who threw five shutout innings in the relief.
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.