DES MOINES, Iowa - Freshman pitcher Becca Changstrom struck out 10, including the final out of the game with the bases loaded, as the Creighton softball team edged Drake 2-1 Wednesday at Buel Field. The win keeps the Bluejays perfect in Des Moines since 2006, as Creighton has now won 13 straight games at Buel Field, including seven straight against the Bulldogs.
The Bluejays (21-24, 9-9 MVC) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning after senior Liz McKewon nearly hit her first career home run to start the inning. McKewon's drive to right field hit the top of the fence and she wound up at third base with her first triple of the season. She crossed the plate when Changstrom followed with a high fly ball to left field, scoring McKewon on the sacrifice fly.
Drake (30-18, 16-4 MVC) threatened to answer Creighton's third inning run by starting the bottom of the frame with back-to-back singles from Sam West and Jaimie Duffek. Changstrom then worked out of the jam by striking out the top three hitters in the Drake lineup to keep the Bulldogs off the board.
MaKenzie Michael led off the fourth inning by smashing her second home run of the season over the left field fence and the Jays led 2-0.
Creighton held its 2-0 lead until the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Bulldogs used a single, a walk and a hit by pitch to load the bases for pinch-hitter Rose Magaddino. Magaddino coaxed a bases loaded walk to push across the only run of the game for Drake, cutting Creighton's lead in half.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases in bottom of the seventh inning to make things interesting. Bulldog pitcher Jenna DeLong reached on a one out double off the glove of Ellen Homan in left field. With two outs, the game was kept alive when McKewon's throw from shortstop was high, allowing Torey Craddock to reach on the error and move DeLong to third. Erin Mollohan then walked on a full count to load the bases for Molly McClelland, Drake's leading hitter for average entering the game. Changstrom struck out McClelland on three pitches to escape with the win.
Changstrom improved to 15-8 on the year, including a perfect 6-0 in the state of Iowa, with the complete game victory. The rookie right-hander struck out 10 and scattered five hits and five walks.
DeLong (19-6) took the loss, pitching 5.1 innings and allowing both runs to cross the plate. The Bulldog ace struck out six, one week after she fanned 16 Bluejays in a shutout win in Omaha.
Creighton returns to the Missouri Valley Conference road this weekend when it plays at Indiana State in a three-game series. The Bluejays and Sycamores open the series with a doubleheader Saturday at 11 a.m. (CST).