Softball at Drake Postponed Until Wednesday

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Emily Perry
Courtesy: Jason Wise Photography
Creighton softball's game at Drake originally scheduled for today at 4 pm has been postponed until Wednesday at 5 pm due to rain.  The Bluejays (20-24, 8-9 MVC) and Bulldogs (30-17, 16-3 MVC) will conclude their three-game Missouri Valley Conference series at Drake's Buel Field in Des Moines tomorrow, with the Jays looking to take one game in this year's series and avoid a three-game sweep by Drake for the first time in series history.

Creighton at Drake

Wednesday, April 27 • Buel Field • Des Moines, Iowa • 5 pm

This Week:  Creighton plays four MVC road games to conclude its road portion of the Valley schedule.  The Bluejays play at Drake on Wednesday at 5 pm, and then play a three-game series at Indiana State this weekend.  The Jays and Sycamores play a doubleheader at 11 am (CST) on Saturday and conclude play with an 11 am (CST) game on Sunday.

Last Week:  Creighton was swept in a home doubleheader against Drake, getting shutout at home for the first time in two years, losing 5-0 and 5-3 to the league leaders.  The Jays then snapped a six-game losing streak with a pair of wins at UNI over the weekend. CU topped UNI 3-0 and 4-3 to open the series, before losing the final game of the weekend, 7-2.

Scouting Creighton (20-24, 8-9 MVC): Creighton has appeared in six of the last eight NCAA Tournaments and is the reigning Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champion ... The Bluejays return just three starters from last year’s 37-23 team, while they have 11 freshmen and nine returners on the roster ... The Jays are 2-7 in their last nine games, snapping a six-game losing streak with a pair of wins at UNI last weekend ... While the Bluejays are 6-6 in one-run games, they are 0-5 in games decided by two runs ... CU has been out-scored 108-62 in the first three inning of games this season, but have bounced back to out-scored opponents 94-73 from the fourth inning on ... The Jays have hits 34 home runs this year, but allowed 35 ... CU has hit only one home run in its last nine games ...Catcher Amy Baker hit 14 of her league-leading 15 home runs in a 17-game span from March 11 through April 12, but has not had an extra-base hit in CU’s last nine games ... Baker already ranks fourth in school history with 30 career home runs ... Junior Christa Ruf leads the team with 30 RBI and is second on the squad with nine home runs – she entered the season with one home run and 14 RBI in 86 career games ... Freshmen Ellen Homan leads the team with 44 hits, 14 multi-hit games, 24 runs scored and a .324 average ... CU ranks second in the MVC with a .963 fielding percentage ... Freshman Becca Changstrom – who recently missed six games due to injury – has emerged as the staff ace, leading the MVC with an opponents average of just .167, while she tops the team with a 14-8 record, 136.2 innings pitched and 129 strikeouts.

Scouting Drake (30-17, 16-3 MVC): Drake is coming off its first consecutive MVC losses of the season, losing the last two games of its three-game series with Illinois State last weekend ... The Bulldogs are 12-4 at home this season, including 10-2 in league play ... The Bulldogs lead the MVC with 351 hits and 86 stolen bases and rank second with 64 doubles and 45 home runs ... DU’s pitching staff leads the league with a 2.51 ERA, 333 strikeouts and .217 batting average against ... Molly McClelland leads the team with a .340 average, one of four DU starters hitting at least .302 ... Torey Craddock leads the MVC with 89 total bases and tops the team with 50 hits, 12 doubles and 32 RBI ... Erin Mollohan and Jenna DeLong are tied for the team-lead with 10 homers, while Mollohan also has 32 RBI ... Sam West lead the MVC with 18 stolen bases, one of five Bulldogs with at least 11 steals ... DeLong (19-5) leads the MVC with a 2.00 ERA and 200 strikeouts, hurling eight shutouts and allowing opponents to hit just .185 against ... She owns 12 of DU’s 16 MVC wins and has appeared in 16 of DU’s 19 MVC games ... Brynne Dordel (10-10, 3.42 ERA, 110.2 IP, 109 K) splits time with DeLong in the circle.

Head Coach: Head coach Brent Vigness (Central College, 1988) is in his 18th season at Creighton.  With a record of 573-399-2 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 721-470-3.  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 53-26 all-time against Drake ... CU has won six straight games against the Bulldogs in Des Moines dating to a 1-0 loss on April 5, 2006 ... 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 ... Drake topped the Bluejays 5-0 and 5-3 in Omaha last week ... Drake has never swept a three-game MVC series from Creighton and last swept the season series from the Jays in 1996 ... The Jays are 10-4 against the Bulldogs in the last 14 meetings.

Buel Dominance: Creighton plays at Drake’s Buel Field on Tuesday, looking to continue and impressive winning streak at the venue.  The Bluejays have won 12 consecutive games played at Buel Field, dating to an April 5, 2006 loss to Drake.  The Bluejays won six games in Des Moines last year, two in the regular-season against Drake and then four in the MVC Tournament to help capture the postseason crown.  The Jays have topped Drake six straight times in Des Moines.

Becca’s Back: Freshman right-hander Becca Changstrom recently missed six games due to injury, during which the Bluejays went 2-4 and suffered their worst MVC loss in school history, while getting swept at home by Wichita State – their first MVC series loss of the year.  She returned to the circle against Drake last week, losing a 5-3 decision to the first-place Bulldogs.  She then returned to her ace form against UNI over the weekend, logging a four-hit shutout in a 3-0 win over the Panthers in the first game of the series and then retiring 10 straight and 16 of 17 at one point in CU’s 4-3 win in game two.  The Bluejays’ ace is now 14-8 on the season, while the rest of the staff is a combined 6-16.

Bad Break: Sophomore catcher Amy Baker suffered a broken nose during Creighton’s game against nationally-ranked Nebraska on April 13.  Since that break, Baker’s bat has not been the same.  The sophomore slugger is just 4-for-24 (.167) in Creighton’s last eight games, with no extra base hits.  She still leads the MVC with 15 home runs, but she has not homered in CU’s last nine games after hitting 14 home runs in a 17 game span.
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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