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Senior Becca Changstrom returns home to Lincoln with her teammates to battle No. 20 Nebraska live on the Big Ten Network at 6 p.m. CT Wednesday.
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Softball Battles No. 20 Nebraska Wednesday Night on Big Ten Network
Release: 04/01/2014

On Deck: The Creighton softball team travels to intrastate rival No. 20 Nebraska for a live televised game on the Big Ten Network with first pitch slated for 6:05 p.m. CT at the Cornhuskers’ Bowlin Field Wednesday evening.

Creighton (19-13, 2-3 BIG EAST) enters the contest on a three-game losing streak after a three-game setback to Georgetown last weekend in Omaha that snapped a 10-game win streak that spanned March 9-26.

No. 20 Nebraska (23-11, 3-3 Big Ten) has won eight of 11 games entering the matchup with the Jays.  That includes a 3-3 mark against other nationally ranked Big Ten teams in then-No. 16 Minnesota and then-No. 23 Northwestern.

The Cornhuskers have won the last two games in the series after a 6-0 win in Lincoln last April 24 following a 4-3 nail biter at the CU Sports Complex three weeks earlier. The rivals split their games in 2012 with Creighton’s last series win in a 2-1 decision in Omaha two weeks after NU scored a 3-0 home win.

The game is the fourth in a string of nine straight contests in the state of Nebraska for the Bluejays. After visiting NU, the Jays host a five-game homestand over the next week against Villanova and South Dakota State.

Following the Jays: The game at Nebraska will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network by both participating cable and satellite providers. Please check your local listings for channel information. Eric Collins will provide play-by-play action along with analysis from Cheri Kempf for the network.

Live NU audio for the game is also available from the Huskers Sports Network with a link on GoCreighton.com. Live stats links for the contest can also be found on the softball schedule page of GoCreighton.com.

Fans can also keep in touch with Creighton softball by following the Jays on Twitter - @BluejaySoftball and liking the Jays on Facebook.com/CreightonSoftball.

Last Time Out: Creighton stumbled in its BIG EAST home series debut against Georgetown last weekend, suffering a three-game sweep to the Hoyas that snapped the Jays’ 10-game win streak that included a midweek 4-2 road win at Drake in extra innings.

The Bluejays led in both games of a twin bill on Saturday but the visiting Hoyas came back in both contests to sweep the doubleheader by scores of 5-2 and 6-3. On Sunday, Georgetown held CU to just a single run while completing the series sweep by a score of 6-1.

Every Bluejay starter last week connected on at least one hit at the plate led by four each from senior Ellen Homan and sophomore Kelsey Allender. Three Jays also cranked home runs at home versus the Hoyas including Homan’s third of the year and the second round-tripper of the season for both junior Bri Lingl and sophomore Blake Ringle.

Changstrom Racks Up Another BIG EAST Honor: CU senior pitcher Becca Changstrom claimed her sixth laurel from the BIG EAST on Monday as a member of the league’s honor roll. 

Changstrom (11-7) started three of four games for the Bluejays last week and struck out 19 batters in 18.1 innings of work. She also held opponents to a .209 average at the plate. Changstrom surrendered just one earned run in a complete game 4-2 extra-inning victory at Drake on Wednesday.

She currently leads the team and the BIG EAST with a 1.74 ERA and 157 K's for pitchers with more than two appearances this season.

Scouting Creighton (19-13, 2-3 BIG EAST): Despite suffering a three-game sweep at the hands of BIG EAST foe Georgetown at home last weekend, the Bluejays have won 10 of their last 13 contests.

The Bluejays are 1-3 in home games this season after last weekend and a home-opening 1-0 win against Wichita State on March 19.  CU stands at 3-5 in true road games this season including a two-win sweep at Butler on March 22 in Creighton’s BIG EAST conference debut.

Heading into the game with the ranked Cornhuskers, Creighton is 1-3 against top 25 teams with a 6-4 win over then-No. 24 California on Feb. 8 a setback at then-No. 7 Arizona State (Feb. 6) and two downfalls at then-No. 21 Tulsa (Feb. 28).

Senior Ellen Homan continues to lead the Creighton offense this spring. She started all four games for the Jays last week totaling four hits, four RBI and belting her third home run of the season Saturday against Georgetown. Homan led the team with a .533 slugging percentage and added nine putouts and an assist from the outfield on defense. She currently leads the team and is eighth in the BIG EAST with a .365 clip at the plate. Homan saw her season-best 12-game hitting streak come to an end in the Georgetown season finale.

Junior Liz Dike also saw her nine-game hitting streak come to an end in the final game of the GU series on Sunday. The streak is a season-best mark for Dike. The shortstop also leads the team in both multi-hit (8) and multi-RBI (7) games this season.

Dike currently leads the BIG EAST home runs (10) and RBI (27). She also stands second in total bases (63), third in runs scored (19) and fourth in slugging percentage (.630) in the league.

Three Creighton players who have notched at least 74 at-bats in 2013 are hitting .250 or better including Homan (.365), Dike (.270), and senior Alexis Cantu (.253). Creighton ranks sixth in the BIG EAST with a .229 team batting average. The Jays’ 21 home runs and 102 RBI both rank second in the conference behind preseason favorite DePaul.

Last weekend senior Becca Changstrom surpassed 150 strikeouts in her fourth straight season in Omaha. She currently stands at 157 K’s on the year, ranking just outside of CU’s top-10 single season record book.  Changstrom’s career-high total of 254 strikeouts last season ranks seventh all-time at Creighton.

Changstrom currently ranks No. 15 nationally for strikeouts. Remarkably, her total of 157 this season is more than three of the BIG EAST pitching staff team totals for K’s in 2014.

In the circle, CU senior starting pitchers Changstrom and Alexis Cantu are among the top four in the BIG EAST ERA standings. Changstrom leads the conference with a 1.74 ERA while Cantu boasts a 2.12 ERA. As a staff, the Jays lead the conference with a 2.39 ERA and 226 strikeouts.

Changstrom currently leads the BIG EAST in ERA (1.74), strikeouts (157), innings pitched (125.0), starts (19), complete games (16) and shutouts (6).

Scouting No. 20 Nebraska (23-11, 3-3 Big Ten): Nebraska enters the single game Wednesday after taking two out of three games at then-No. 23 Northwestern last weekend.  The Huskers are in sixth place in the Big Ten, but just three games behind No. 5 Michigan in first early in the conference season.

NU is ranked No. 20 in latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll released today down one spot from last week. The Cornhuskers are 2-2 at home in Bowlin Stadium this season.

Nebraska has won eight of their last 11 games overall. That includes a 3-3 mark against other nationally ranked Big Ten teams in then-No. 16 Minnesota and then-No. 23 Northwestern. The Huskers are 7-9 this season against Top 25 teams this season including a 2-1 neutral site victory over then-No. 6 Washington on March 8.

All but two of the Huskers’ 11 overall losses have come against ranked squads. The exceptions are a pair of 1-0 neutral site losses to Stephen F. Austin (Feb. 15) and Fresno State (March 9).

At the plate NU is hitting .274 as a team. Three regular Husker starters are hitting .300 or better at the plate in 2014 including Taylor Edwards (.429), Hailey Decker (.348), and Austen Urness (.313).

Edwards lead the team with 42 hits, 10 homers and a .776 slugging percentage. Decker’s 27 RBI leads the squad while her 40 hits are second to Edwards.

In the circle, Tatum Edwards leads Nebraska with 19 starts and 21 appearances. She carries a 1.64 ERA with a 12-7 mark and 118 K’s this year. Fellow starter Emily Lockman owns with a 2.59 ERA while registering 70 strikeouts and an 11-4 record.

Creighton-Nebraska Series: Nebraska leads the all-time series with Creighton 81-37 after claiming a 6-0 win over the Bluejays last April 24 in Lincoln.

In 2013 the Cornhuskers swept the two-game season series by escaping Omaha with a 4-3 win on April 3. The Jays had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the seventh frame but Edwards regrouped in the circle to strike out the final two Bluejay batters and secure the Huskers’ victory.

In 2012, each team won on its home field. The Bluejays beat the Huskers 2-1 at home after Nebraska claimed the first game by a score of 3-0 in Lincoln.

Creighton has won eight of the last 19 meetings between the schools. The Bluejays have faced the Huskers more than any other team in school history. The teams first met in Omaha on April 26, 1978 with Nebraska winning 12-1 before Creighton edged the Huskers 6-5 in the nightcap of a doubleheader.

The teams have met at least twice each year since 1978 with the exception of the 1986 and 1987 seasons when the schools did not play on the diamond.

The teams’ first postseason meeting was at the 1982 Women’s College World Series when Nebraska edged Creighton 3-2 in eight innings. Since then Creighton is 2-4 against Nebraska in postseason meetings at the 1988, 2004 and 2007 NCAA Regionals hosted in Lincoln.

Creighton has won 21 of the 52 games of the series played in Omaha. The Jays have won 16 of 66 in Lincoln.

CU head coach Brent Vigness is 12-50 overall against Nebraska but has led the Jays to a virtual split with the Huskers since 2005 with an 8-11 mark versus NU.

Creighton Head Coach Brent Vigness: The winningest coach in Creighton athletics history, Brent Vigness enters his 21st season at the helm of one of the most successful softball programs in the Midwest. After 20 seasons in the Missouri Valley Conference, Vigness leads Creighton into its inaugural BIG EAST campaign this year. A four-time MVC Coach of the Year, he has led the Bluejays to seven MVC regular-season titles (1998-2000, 2007-09, 2013), six Valley tournament titles (1999, 2003-05, 2007, 2010) and seven NCAA regional appearances (1999, 2003-05, 2007-08, 2010). He claimed MVC Coach of the Year honors in 1998 and guided the MVC Coaching Staffs of the Year in 2013, 2008 and 2007.

Vigness coached his 1,000th game at Creighton and recorded his 600th win at CU in 2012.

Changstrom Surpasses 150 Strikeouts in Fourth Straight Season: Last weekend senior Becca Changstrom surpassed 150 strikeouts in her fourth straight season in Omaha. She currently stands at 157 K’s on the year, ranking just outside of CU’s top-10 single season record book.  Changstrom’s career-high total of 254 strikeouts last season ranks seventh all-time at Creighton.

Changstrom currently ranks No. 15 nationally for strikeouts. Remarkably, her total of 157 this season is more than three of the BIG EAST pitching staff team totals for K’s in 2014.

In the circle, CU senior starting pitchers Changstrom and Alexis Cantu are among the top four in the BIG EAST ERA standings. Changstrom leads the conference with a 1.74 ERA while Cantu boasts a 2.12 ERA. As a staff, the Jays lead the conference with a 2.39 ERA and 226 strikeouts.

Changstrom currently leads the BIG EAST in ERA (1.74), strikeouts (157), innings pitched (125.0), starts (19), complete games (16) and shutouts (6).

Creighton and the NCAA RPI: Creighton currently stands at No. 105 out of 293 squads in the NCAA ratings percentage index (RPI) compiled on Monday.

The Bluejays are 6-6 this season against teams ranked ahead of them in the latest calculations.

On opening day, CU dropped an 11-2 decision to No. 65 San Jose State and a 3-0 game at then-No. 7 Arizona State at the Sun Devils’ Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

The Jays concluded the Classic with a 4-0 over No. 104 Boise State and a 6-4 victory over No.  54 California.

The Bluejays split with No. 58 Texas Tech at the UTA Hilton Invitational. CU dropped a 7-3 decision before bouncing back for a 1-0 walk-off victory against the Red Raiders the next day. CU dropped a 9-1 contest to No. 47 Illinois to end the tourney.

Creighton dropped a pair of contests to No. 20 Tulsa at the Tulsa Invitational on Feb. 28 by scores of 3-0 and 8-0.

More recently, CU has won three straight against similarly ranked RPI squads. At the Rebel Spring Games last month, the Bluejays blanked No. 99 South Dakota twice by scores of 1-0 and 2-0.

The Jays also knocked off No. 86 Wichita State 1-0 in their home opener on March 19.

Bluejays’ NCAA Rankings this Week: Creighton ranks No. 42 in the country with a  2.42 team earned run average in the latest NCAA weekly statistical rankings released March 30.

The Bluejays stand at No. 76 nationally in win-loss percentage and No. 87 in fielding percentage at .963.

Individually, senior pitcher Becca Changstrom’s six shutouts season is good for No. 14 this season and her 157 strikeouts this year ranks No. 15 in the country. Her average of 8.8 strikeouts per seven innings stands at No. 31 in the NCAA while her 1.74 ERA ranks No. 55 nationally.

Junior shortstop Liz Dike’s 10 home runs ranks at No. 26 in the nation.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Senior Alexis Cantu continues to attract to pitches this season to add to her career hit by pitch total at Creighton.

Last season she set the Creighton single-season mark for being hit by a pitch in 15 plate appearances after taking eight hurls to the body during her first year in Omaha.

This season Cantu has reached first four more times by an HBP to push her career total to 27. She currently ranks second all-time in the CU career record books for the marks behind former Bluejay Michelle Graner (2007-10) who holds the top mark of 34.

Bye-Bye Softball: The have hit 11 home runs over the past seven games including one round tripper in each game against Georgetown last weekend.

Creighton has drilled a home run in 21 through 32 contests, including five multi-homer games. Junior Liz Dike hit five homers of her own from March 19-22 to earn BIG EAST Player of the Week honors.

Six Bluejays have hit multiple home runs this season led by Dike’s league-leading total of 10. Joining Dike with more than one homer in 2014 is senior Ellen Homan (3). Four others own a pair of homers in senior Alexis Cantu, junior Bri Lingl, sophomore Blake Ringle and freshman Jen Daro.

Marching into Spring: Creighton finished the month of March with a 15-5 record this year. The Jays closed out the month on a three-game losing streak to Georgetown that snapped a mid-month 10-game, season-best win streak.  

Last season the Bluejays finished 14-5 compared to a 9-10 mark in the third month of 2012.

Georgetown Series Recap: The Creighton softball team suffered a 6-1 setback to BIG EAST foe Georgetown in the series finale of a three-game series held at the CU Sports Complex Sunday afternoon.

Creighton fell behind early to Georgetown in the game and could not recover. As a result the visiting Hoyas earned a three-game road sweep in conference play to take over first place in the conference.

Junior Bri Lingl led the Jays with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth for Creighton’s only run of the final game. Sophomore Kelsey Allender added a pair of bunt singles for CU.

On Saturday, the Jays dropped a doubleheader to the Hoyas by scores of 5-2 and 6-3 at the CU Sports Complex. Creighton could not overcome late runs scored by Georgetown in the twin bill.  The Jays led in both contests but the Hoyas rallied twice for the wins.

CU senior Ellen Homan led the offense for the Bluejays with three hits, two RBI and her third home run of the year on the day. Junior Liz Dike added two hits and sophomore Blake Ringle belted her second homer of the year to pick up a pair of RBI.

Creighton’s senior pitching staff of Becca Changstrom, Alexis Cantu and Brittany Telecky combined for 16 strikeouts from the circle but allowed 14 earned runs to Georgetown on the weekend.

Drake Game Recap: Creighton defeated former conference foe Drake 4-2 in eight innings in a single game at the Bulldogs’ Buel Field last Wednesday.

CU won its tenth straight contest heading into their BIG EAST home-opening series against Georgetown.  Senior Becca Changstrom struck out eight and held Drake to just four hits in the contest to improve to 11-5 after the complete-game win.

After the Bluejays jumped out to an early 2-0 lead battled back with two in the bottom of the fourth to knot the game at 2-2 and eventually send it into extra innings.

CU posted seven hits from seven different batters to secure the win. Senior Ellen Homan continued her hot bat at the plate with two RBI in the game. Sophomore Kelsey Allender secured the game winning run in the top of the eighth with an RBI single to right field.

Changstrom and Dike Sweep BIG EAST Softball Honors: Creighton softball senior Becca Changstrom and junior Liz Dike swept the BIG EAST Softball weekly honors as Changstrom was the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week and Dike claimed the BIG EAST Player of the week on March 24.

The award was the first for Dike while Changstrom earned the award for the second straight week from the BIG EAST. Previously, the two had combined for four league honor roll appearances from the conference in 2014.

From March 19-22, Dike was 6-of-9 from the plate for a .667 average in a 3-0 week for the Bluejays, which included a mid-week win over Wichita State and a Saturday sweep of league foe Butler. She belted a BIG EAST weekly-best five home runs and 10 RBI, showing a 2.333 slugging percentage. Dike provided the game-winning RBI in all three of Creighton’s wins last week, a solo shot to give the Bluejays’ a 2-1 lead in the second inning against the Shockers, a solo home run in the fourth in the opener at Butler and a three-run blast in the first inning of the second game.

Changstrom earned complete game victories on Wednesday in Creighton's home opener against Wichita State (2-1) and Saturday against Butler (6-0) in the Bluejays’ BIG EAST Conference debut. Over the two-game span, she combined for 14 innings pitched and 27 strikeouts, with her 14 K’s against the Bulldogs being the most in league play this season and one shy of the overall season high.

Butler Series Recap:  CU Liz Dike blasted four home runs and accounted for nine RBI as Creighton opened BIG EAST play with a double-header sweep of Butler, 6-0 and 10-0 (6) on March 22.

Dike opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning with a leadoff home run over the left field wall, her seventh of the season. 

That was all the offense that senior Becca Changstrom would need as she held Butler to just four hits in a complete game, seven-inning, effort.  Changstrom moved to 10-5 on the season, recording 14 strikeouts and walking just two.

Dike was far from done, belting a three-run shot to center in the fifth and drawing a walk in the sixth. Designated player Blake Ringle added a two-run single in the sixth to cap Creighton's scoring.

Creighton continued to mash from the opening pitch of the second game as Ellen Homan led off game number two with a single to center.  Blair Lowe followed with a bunt single and Dike made the Bulldogs pay with her tenth long ball of the season, depositing another one over the center field wall.

The Bluejays tacked on two runs in the second, one in the third to build a 6-0 lead.  In the top of the sixth Creighton delivered crushing back-to-back-to-back home runs.  With one-out in the frame Lowe worked a base on balls.  Dike smashed home run number 10, once again to center.  Alexis Cantu and Blake Ringle liked what they saw so much, each opted for the same result hitting solo home runs to center.

In the circle Cantu was superb, holding Butler to three hits in six innings to move to 4-3 on the year.

Wichita State Game Recap: Powered by solo home runs from Ellen Homan and Liz Dike, Creighton defeated Wichita State, 2-1, in the Bluejays home opener on Wednesday, March 19.

The tone of the game was set in the first inning as senior Becca Changstrom struck out the side in the top of the first, then Homan hit the first pitch of the Creighton half over the right field wall to give the Bluejays a 1-0 lead.

Dike doubled the Bluejay edge with a towering shot over the left-center field wall with one down in the second.  It was Dike's sixth bomb, and Homan’s second long ball of the season.

That was all the offense Changstrom would need as she limited Wichita State to three hits and one walk in a complete game to move to 9-5 on the season. Changstrom surrendered an unearned run in the fourth and stranded a runner at third with one down in the fifth but otherwise cruised.

Changstrom Collects BIG EAST Pitching Honor: Creighton senior Becca Changstrom earned her first BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week honor on March 17.

In four appearances at the Rebel Spring Games, Changstrom went 3-0, putting in 23.0 innings of work. The senior hurled the first Bluejay no-hitter since 2011 with her seven-inning, 11-strikeout showing against Army on March 14. Changstrom recorded double-digit strikeouts in three-of-four appearances last weekend, boasting a 0.30 ERA and allowing just one extra-base hit.

Rebel Spring Games Recap: The Bluejays went 11-1 at the 2014 Rebel Spring Games March 9-15. The wins increased Creighton’s all-time record at the tourney to 60-10 (.857) in seven appearances at the Florida tourney all under current head coach Brent Vigness.

The Bluejays shut out seven opponents (Manhattan, Indiana State, Saint Peter’s, Howard, Army and South Dakota twice) over the six-day span. The Jays’ one downfall occurred March 11 in a 4-1 loss to Utah Valley.

February Finishes: The Bluejays finished the month of February with a disappointing 4-8 ledger. The mark snapped seven straight seasons that head coach Brent Vigness had directed the Bluejays to a winning record in the first month of the season.

Creighton finished the month of February of 2013 with a 5-4 record.

The Bluejays are 50-32 in February spanning the last eight seasons to the beginning of 2007.

Tulsa Invitational Recap: The Bluejays dropped three tough games at the nationally ranked Golden Hurricane’s Tulsa Invitational Feb. 28-March 1. Then No. 21 Tulsa swept the Bluejays in a doubleheader on Feb. 28 by scores of 3-0 and 8-0 (6).

The Bluejays then lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to Northwestern State in eight innings to open the month of March.

Senior Blair Lowe led the Jays’ offense with four hits on the weekend. The CU senior pitcher staff combined for 22 strikeouts on the weekend despite the rough outing.

UTA Hilton Invitational Recap: The Bluejays went 1-4 at the UTA Hilton Invitational in Arlington, Texas on Feb. 21-23.

The Bluejays split a pair of games with Texas Tech of the Big 12 in the first two days of the tourney. CU dropped a 7-3 decision in the tourney opener before a walk-off 1-0 win a day later.

Creighton dropped both games against host UTA by margins of 8-0 (5) and 6-5 in the same span.

The Jays fell 9-1 to Illinois of the Big Ten in their tournament finale.

CU senior Alexis Cantu returned to her former school to lead the Jays’ offense with four hits, three RBI and a home run. Senior Blair Lowe also added four hits on the weekend.

Cantu was also solid in the circle to lead the Jays with a 1.91 ERA and a 1-1 record.

Kajikawa Classic Recap: Creighton opened 2014 at the Kajikawa Classic Feb. 6-8.

After an opening-day doubleheader loss to a pair of NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago in San Jose State (11-2) and at then-No. 7 Arizona State (3-0), the Jays closed out the tourney with three straight wins.

The Jays collected double-bagel wins over Western Michigan (9-0 (5)) and Boise State (4-0), leading to even its record to 2-2 on day two.

Creighton saved the best for last as the Bluejays upset then-No. 24 California 6-4 in their tournament finale. It marked CU’s first win over a ranked foe since last March 2 when the Jays upended then-No. 21 Tulsa 4-3 in extra innings at the UTA Maverick Invitational for its first win over a ranked team since February 2010.

The Bluejays are 8-8 all-time at the Kajikawa Classic following a 2-3 record last season and a 3-3 ledger at Tempe in 2010.

Changstrom Named Candidate for Senior Class Award: Creighton senior pitcher Becca Changstrom is one of 30 softball players in the NCAA to be selected as a candidate for the Senior Class Award on Feb. 20.

The top pitcher in the Bluejay rotation in each of her four seasons in Omaha, Changstrom has a combined record of 59-34 in 103 appearances.  The 2013 NFCA All-Midwest Region Second Team selection, was the 2013 MVC Pitcher of the Year as well as a member of the 2013 All-MVC First Team. 

Changstrom boasts a 3.79 GPA in chemistry. After graduation this spring, she plans on pursuing a Master's degree in Physical Therapy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  A member of the 2013 CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team, she was also a 2013 CoSIDA Academic All-District VII First Teamer.

Over her first three years at Creighton, Changstrom logged over 80 hours of community service in Omaha including working with the Special Olympics, Salvation Army and Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Thirty NCAA® softball student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates today for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate softball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The 2014 candidate class includes 13 student-athletes who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Four were named to the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-American team, and nine were members of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America team in 2013.

The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series® in Oklahoma City May 29 through June 4.

Season-Opening Salvo: The Bluejays’ season-opening loss to San Jose State snapped Creighton’s three-year opening-day win streak of 2011-13. That first-game win streak matches the longest in program history when the Jays previously won three consecutive openers from 2006-08 and 1998-2000. All three streaks were under the direction of current head coach Brent Vigness.

Creighton is 19-19 overall in season-opening contests including an 11-10 record under head coach Brent Vigness.

Preseason Predictions: Creighton was picked to finish second overall in its inaugural BIG EAST season, the league office announced Feb. 5.

Creighton received two first-place votes and collected 44 points, just behind DePaul who amassed 48 points and accounted for the remaining six first-place votes.

While none of the eight conference teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament a season ago, DePaul finished with the best record of returning squads at 32-21 overall and 16-6 in the BIG EAST to claim a fourth-place league finish a year ago. The Blue Demons have appeared in 17 of the last 19 NCAA Tournaments.

The Bluejays won the 2013 MVC regular season title and finished with a 29-18 record overall and a 15-7 mark in conference. The Bluejays were picked fourth in the  preseason.

The second-place prediction is the highest preseason ranking for Creighton since 2010 when they were picked to win the Missouri Valley Conference. Creighton has finished lower than fourth in the MVC regular season standings just three times in the past 16 seasons.

Recapping 2013:  The Bluejays return 13 players from last season's team that compiled a 29-18 overall record and finished first in the MVC at 15-7 to claim the regular season title.

Senior Becca Changstrom leads the Jays in the circle this year after claiming MVC Pitcher of the Year honors last season. At the plate CU returns three 2013 All-MVC selections including seniors Ellen Homan, Blair Lowe and junior Liz Dike.

After guiding the Jays to a regular-season Valley crown, CU head coach Brent Vigness garnered his fourth MVC Coach of the Year honor. He has led the Bluejays to seven MVC regular-season titles (1998-2000, 2007-09, 2013), six Valley tournament titles (1999, 2003-05, 2007, 2010) and seven NCAA regional appearances (1999, 2003-05, 2007-08, 2010) during his 20 years in the dugout.


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