Creighton nips Huskers 2-1
OMAHA, Neb. -- Amy Baker drove in a pair of runs, including a tie-breaking homer in the bottom of the sixth, to lead Creighton Softball to a 2-1 win over in-state rival Nebraska on Wednesday night.
The win was Creighton's fifth straight and improved the Jays to 26-19-1 on the season. Nebraska, which won the first meeting 3-0 on April 11th, fell to 29-18 with the loss.
After Becca Changstrom escaped a 2-on, no-out jam in the top of the first, Creighton drew first blood. Ellen Homan doubled to right and Allie Mathewson followed with a four-pitch walk. Alexis Cantu would strike out looking, but Baker's single up the middle scored Homan with the game's first run. The Jays had a pair of runners in scoring position but couldn't push across any more runs.
Changstrom worked out of a one-out jam with runners at the corners and the heart of the Husker order up in the third inning. With clean-up hitter Ashley Guile up, the Huskers tried a double-steal. Nikki Haget, who had reached on a leadoff double, was instead caught in a 2-5-2-6-1 rundown and thrown out as Taylor Edwards went from first to third on the play. Guile would then fly out to end the scoring opportunity.
Nebraska tied the game on the first pitch of the fifth inning, as Mattie Fowler lined her fourth homer of the year over the fence in left. One pitch later, Madison Drake doubled down the right-field line. A sacrifice bunt moved Drake to third with one out, but Changstrom got a pair of foul outs to escape further damage.
Baker snapped the deadlock with her seventh homer of the season on a 1-0 pitch, taking NU ace Ashley Hagemann deep for the third time in her career. It was Baker's first homer since April 4th, as the Omaha Westside product became the fourth player in MVC history with 40 career homers.
Changstrom finished off her masterpiece in the seventh, pitching around a one-out single by Haget before getting Gabby Banda to foul out to shortstop and Taylor Edwards to fly out to right to end it.
A Lincoln native, Changstrom improved to 16-10 with her second complete game effort in as many days. She allowed seven hits and two walks while striking out three. She pitched out of trouble all night long, holding NU hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position. Creighton managed five hits, all by its first four hitters, and only Baker had two.
Hagemann threw a complete game but dropped to 21-14. She allowed five hits and three walks while striking out eight. Haget had three of NU's seven hits, but the Huskers went 0-for-7 with two outs and stranded eight runners.
Creighton plays its final road series of the year this weekend when it heads to Normal, Ill., to take on fourth-place Illinois State. The series begins with a Noon doubleheader on Saturday.
NOTES: Wednesday's crowd of 594 is the largest home softball crowd for Creighton since April 28, 2009 ... Ashley Hagemann became Nebraska's recordholder in career strikeouts with her punchout of Allie Mathewson in the third inning ... The win was Creighton's first vs. Nebraska since 2009 and first in Omaha since 2008 ... In the team's first meeting, Ashley Hagemann threw a 1-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts, allowing only a hit to Amy Baker ... Baker's 123 career RBI rank third in CU history and tied for 13th in MVC history. Her 44 RBI this season are also third in CU history.
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