VERMILLION, S.D. – The Creighton softball team scored three runs during the second and fourth innings to defeat South Dakota 6-3 on Wednesday afternoon at Nygaard Field.
Creighton improved to 17-12 while South Dakota moved to 14-28.
The Bluejays also defeated the Coyotes, 10-2, in five innings on April 4 in Omaha.
South Dakota loaded the bases during the bottom of the first inning before Hope Moreno recorded an unassisted double play to end the inning without surrendering a run. Moreno snagged a line drive at her first-base position before diving to the base and doubling up a Coyote baserunner.
Creighton scored three times during the second inning to take an early lead. Victoria Alvarez drove in the first run of the game with a ground out to short with runners at second and third base. One batter later, pinch-hitter (and starting pitcher) Logan Black launched a two-run home run over the left-center field wall during her first career at-bat to extend the advantage to 3-0.
After both teams did not score during the third, Creighton added to its lead in the top of the fourth with three additional runs. Sam Crowley singled to center before Mileah McKelvy doubled off the left-center field wall to drive in the fourth Creighton run of the game. After a fly out, Jordyn Sturgeon laced a single through the left side of the infield to drive in pinch-runner Sydney Jenkins from second. Jayci McGill singled to left field for the fifth hit of the inning and drove in Strugeon to give the Bluejays a 6-0 edge.
South Dakota cut into its deficit during the bottom of the fourth. The Coyotes loaded the bases with no outs before a double play ground out plated one run and an RBI double drove in another to make it 6-2 in favor of Creighton.
Neither team scored during the fifth or sixth innings.
The Coyotes loaded the bases with no outs during the last of the seventh. After Creighton reliever Kiele Miller struck out two consecutive hitters, South Dakota produced its third run of the game with a bases loaded walk. Miller jumped ahead in the count to the seventh Coyote to bat during the seventh and induced a game-ending line out to right field.
Miller recorded the save with three innings of relief. The right-handed freshman struck out seven South Dakota hitters to pick up her second save of the season.
In addition to her pinch-hit two-run home run, Black earned the victory with four innings of work in the circle. The freshman gave up seven hits and allowed two runs while striking out two and walking one for her fifth win of the season.
Sturgeon ended the game 3-for-4 to lead the Bluejay offense that produced 11 hits. Crowley and McKelvy also ended with two hits each and four other Bluejays had at least one.
Creighton is scheduled to resume BIG EAST play this weekend in Omaha. The Bluejays host conference-leading DePaul for a doubleheader on Saturday at noon, followed by one game on Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Creighton Sports Complex.