Bluejays, Changstrom Blank Panthers 3-0

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MaKenzie Michael was 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.
Courtesy: Eric Francis
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Freshman Becca Changstrom hurled her sixth shutout of the season as the Creighton softball team snapped its six-game losing streak with a 3-0 win at Northern Iowa Friday afternoon.  The game was originally scheduled to be the first of two on Friday, but with cold, wet weather lingering in the area, it was decided to postpone the second game and play it as part of a noon doubleheader on Saturday.

The Bluejays (19-23, 7-8 MVC) collected four hits to help them score the first run of the game in the top of the third inning.  Ellen Homan led off the frame by putting her team-leading fifth double of the season over the left fielder's head.  Homan would later score on an RBI single off the bat of MaKenzie Michael to give the Jays and early lead.

Changstrom kept the Panthers (24-22, 8-9 MVC) off the board all day, working around base runners in all but one inning.  Changstrom walked two in the first, but worked around the free passes and then escaped the second inning with no damage after the first two UNI hitters reached on singles.  UNI again could not dent the scoreboard in the third, despite a one-out double and walk.

Creighton added to its lead in the fifth inning, with Michael starting the frame with a base hit.  Malloree Grove singled with one out to put runners at first and second base for Jennifer Bohle.  The speedster was able to beat out an infield single, but on the play, UNI pitcher Jamie Fisher threw wildly to first base, allowing Michael to score the game's second run.

A sliding catch by Homan in left field and then a diving play by Bohle at second base in the sixth inning helped the Bluejays keep the Panthers scoreless.

The Jays tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh, with the aid of another UNI error.  Changstrom's roller to third base with the bases loaded and two outs, was mishandled by UNI third baseman Whitney Plein, allowing a run to score.

Changstrom, returned from an injury on Wednesday after missing six games, and returned to her ace pitching form today, striking out eight in the complete game win.  The right-hander scattered four hits and six walks to improve to 13-8 on the season.

Fisher (15-9) took the loss for the Panthers, allowing 11 hits, walking four and striking out six in seven innings.

Michael, Bohle and Liz McKewon each finished the game with two hits, as the Bluejays ended their six-game losing streak and stayed perfect in games played in Cedar Falls since 2001.

The teams combined to strand 24 base runners in the game, with the Jays leaving 13 runners on and Panthers stranding 11.

Creighton and UNI will conclude their three-game MVC series on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at noon.
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