OMAHA, Neb. — The Creighton softball team needed only five innings to defeat South Dakota, 10-2, on Wednesday afternoon at the Creighton Sports Complex.
The Bluejays moved to 14-11 with the victory, while the Coyotes fell to 13-25.
Ashley Cantu finished 3-for-3 with four RBIs, including a three-run homer during the second inning, while Kiele Miller recorded her seventh victory and allowed only one hit during four innings of work.
Creighton jumped out to an early advantage with a four-run second inning. Mileah McKelvydrove in the first run of the game with a pinch-hit single to right field. Pinch-runner Sydney Jenkins ran through a stop sign from head coach Brent Vigness and slid across home plate safely to score from second base to give Creighton a 1-0 lead. One batter later, Cantu launched a ball into center field that continued to carry before falling beyond the wall for a three-run home run. The long ball marked Cantu’s first homer of the season and second of her career.
The Bluejays added to their lead with one run during the third. Hope Moreno reached base after being hit by the pitch and advanced to third on a single by Jordyn Sturgeon. A passed ball with Tash Coffiel at the plate allowed Moreno to score the fifth Creighton run and extend the advantage to 5-0.
After South Dakota recorded its first hit of the game with a lead-off single during the top of the fourth inning, the Jays built a 10-0 edge with a five-run home half of the inning.
Cantu walked and Sam Crowley bunted to third base for a single to lead off the bottom of the fourth before Nikki McNeil recorded a two-RBI bloop single into center field. McNeil did not waste anytime and dropped the first pitch she saw into shallow right-center field between the South Dakota second baseman, center fielder and right fielder. Sturgeon singled in the eighth run of the game and Tash Coffiel drew a bases loaded full-count walk. Cantu capped the scoring with a single through the left side during her second at-bat of the inning. The sophomore fouled off three consecutive pitches before finding a hole in the South Dakota infield to drive in Sturgeon and make it 10-0.
The Coyotes scored twice during the fifth inning to cut the final deficit to eight runs.
Miller struck out six and walked two during four innings of work and allowed one hit.
In addition to Cantu’s three hits, Sturgeon and Kaitlynn Hunt each had two. Hunt finished 2-for-2 during her first game hitting the left side of the plate after hitting .133 (4-for-30) as a right-handed batter during her first 20 games played this season.
Creighton resumes BIG EAST play this weekend in Indianapolis against the Butler Bulldogs. The Bluejays and Bulldogs are scheduled to play a three-game series beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday at 11 a.m. Central.