OMAHA, Neb. — The Creighton softball team scored six unanswered runs to pull within a single run but fell 8-7 to St. John’s on Sunday at the Creighton Sports Complex.
The Bluejays scored four runs in the fifth and two in the sixth but left the tying run at second base in the sixth inning and went down in order during the last of the seventh.
Creighton dropped to 1-8 in BIG EAST play and 11-17 overall, while St. John’s improved to 7-1 during league action and 18-16 overall.
St. John’s scored the first seven runs on Sunday with one in the second inning and six in the third. The Red Storm scored the final five runs of the third frame with two outs.
The Bluejays broke into the scoring column with a RBI single by Courtney Sandell in the bottom of the third. Victoria Alvarez led off the inning with a single up the middle, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Sandell’s hit.
Both teams went down in order during the fourth before St. John’s hit a one-out home run in the fifth to grab an 8-1 lead.
Creighton produced its four-run fifth inning behind the strength of five hits, including two extra-base knocks. Kelli Finan opened the Bluejays’ sixth with a bunt single and Alvarez followed with her second hit of the day. After a pop up and strikeout, lead-off hitter Ashley Cantu delivered with a two-out RBI double, as she lifted a 2-2 offering off the right-field wall to drive in Finan for Creighton’s second run of the game. Pinch-hitter Mileah McKelvy pulled the Bluejays within three runs, 8-5, with a full-count three-run homer over the center-field wall for the junior’s fifth home run of the season. Kiara Mills singled and Jayci Foster walked before the potential tying run struck out to end the Bluejays’ fifth.
Laura Roecker retired St. John’s in order during the top of the sixth to keep the score at 8-5.
Finan led off the bottom of the sixth by reaching on an error by the Red Storm pitcher. The Bluejays quickly produced two outs before Sandell tallied her second hit of the day to put runners at first and second for Cantu. Cantu worked a full count and produced her second RBI double in as many innings to drive in both Finan and Sandell to pull Creighton within a single run, 8-7. However, the Bluejays’ lead-off hitter and potential tying run was left stranded at second base as St. John’s tallied an inning-ending strikeout for the second consecutive inning.
The Red Storm went quietly in the top of the seventh but Creighton saw only seven pitches during its final plate appearances.
Cantu finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs, while McKelvy moved into a tie for the team-lead with her fifth homer. Alvarez and Sandell each went 2-for-3 as Alvarez scored twice and Sandell recorded her fourth RBI of the season.
A total of three pitchers each saw action in the circle for the Bluejays with Roecker starting and ending the game. The senior allowed two runs in the 2.1 innings to start the game and allowed only one base runner during the sixth and seventh. In total, Roecker struck out four and did not walk a batter while allowing three hits and two runs during 4.1 innings of work.
With the one-run loss, the Bluejays extended their season-long losing streak to six games.
Creighton returns to action on Tuesday against Nebraska. First pitch between the Bluejays and Huskers is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Creighton Sports Complex.