Baker Ties Career RBI Mark with Walk-Off Grand Slam and Solo Homer
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Creighton softball senior Amy Baker's walk-off grand slam capped a come-from-behind 6-2 victory over Youngstown State in eight innings at the Rebel Spring Games Tuesday. Baker added a solo homer in a 4-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson to tie Creighton's all-time runs batted in mark at 146.
Baker moved into a tie with CU assistant coach Renae Sinkler atop the career program RBI list. She also ranks in a tie for third with Sinkler on the all-time Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) RBI career list, just 11 shy of the record of 157 held by Illinois State's Heather Stella since 1999.
The Omaha native's two homers increased her career total to 49 - just one shy of Sinkler's program record of 50 set in 2010. Baker is also just three home runs short of the all-time MVC record of 52 set by Illinois State's Abby Olson in 2011.
Baker's pair of round trippers gives her eight homers this season, already matching her total from 2012.
Creighton (13-7) fell behind 2-0 to Youngstown State (1-8) in the fourth inning of the opener Tuesday but knotted the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the next inning. It remained that way until Baker's heroics provided the 6-2 margin in the eighth inning. In the nightcap a home run by freshman Blake Ringle put CU up 2-0 early over Fairleigh Dickinson (6-6) as the Bluejays cruised to a 4-0 victory.
Junior Becca Changstrom continued her spectacular tournament in the circle. She earned both wins for the Bluejays Tuesday. She came on in relief against YSU and shutout the Penguins through two-plus innings allowing no hits and one walk while striking out three. Against FDU she pitched her third complete-game shutout of the tourney giving up just three hits in seven innings of work while racking up nine strikeouts.
Junior Brittany Telecky started in the circle for the Jays against Youngstown State. She allowed the Penguins just one hit through three innings.
Youngstown State opened the scoring in the top of the fourth. After a leadoff single, YSU connected on a two-out home run to left field to open up a 2-0 advantage.
Creighton tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman Liz Dike sparked a two-out rally with a single through the left side. Junior Ellen Homan followed with an infield single. Classmate Blair Lowe ripped a double that rolled to the fence in left center to score both runners and knot the game at 2-2 after five.
With the game tied at 2-2 and YSU runners at first and second with one out, Changstrom entered the game to shutout the Penguins to close out the sixth inning and the game.
Neither team scored until Creighton's eight-inning rally. With the international run rule in effect, Dike started at second base. A sacrifice bunt from Homan moved Dike to third with one out. YSU then decided to load the bases by issuing intentional walks to Lowe and sophomore Bri Lingl.
Baker made the Penguins regret that decision by cranking a walk-off grand slam to left center to clear the bases and clinch a 6-2 Creighton victory.
After earning the win in game one, Changstrom started game two against Fairleigh Dickinson and went the distance.
After three scoreless innings, Creighton posted two runs in the top of the fourth. Baker doubled down the left field line with one out and was replaced at second by freshman Erin McGonigal. Ringle would pinch hit for the Bluejays with two out and put an exclamation point on that decision with a two-run shot just inside the left field foul pole to put CU up 2-0.
Baker's solo home run to open the sixth inning put Creighton up 3-0 and led to the first baseman tying the CU career RBI record.
Creighton capitalized on two FDU errors in the seventh to score its final run. Homan reached on an error to open the inning. Lowe followed with a single to right. Both runners moved up on a stolen base. A Bri Lingl single to center field allowed Homan to score for the Bluejays' final run.
Changstrom earned her second win of the day to improve to 9-3 on the season. She did not allow a run through 9.2 innings, giving up just three hits and only one walk. Changstrom struck out 12 batters on the day and held opponents to a .094 clip at the plate.
After a day off, Creighton resumes play at the Rebel Spring Games beginning at 2 p.m. CT Wednesday with a contest against Robert Morris before battling Army in the second game of a doubleheader slated for 4 p.m.