SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Heavy rains and lightning in the Springfield area have forced the suspension of Creighton softball's Missouri Valley Conference Tournament game against Southern Illinois after the completion of five innings Thursday night at Killian Softball Stadium. The final game scheduled for Thursday at the event will now resume on Friday morning at 10 am, with the Bluejays batting to start the top of the sixth inning trailing the Salukis 4-0.
After a few rain drops started to fall during play in the fifth inning, tournament officials decided to pull the tarp following the completion of the frame, just moments before a heavier ran started and before several lightning strikes in the vicinity. The official delay started at 7:40 pm and it took officials just minutes to take a look at the radar and suspend the game with heavy rains and lightning expected to continue for hours.
The Bluejays and Salukis will conclude what proves to be their only meeting of the season starting on Friday morning. Pitcher Becca Changstrom will be leading off for the Bluejays to start the top of the sixth inning when play resumes.
The third-seeded Salukis (35-16) 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 (25-27) 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.
The SIU-CU winner will move on to face No. 2 seed Drake (33-20) at 2:30 pm on Friday in semifinal action.
Creighton opened Thursday with an 8-1 win over Wichita State to reach this quarterfinal contest.