OMAHA, Neb. — Kiara Mills hits a go-ahead two-run home run and Jena Lawrence pitched her first career complete game as the Creighton softball team secured a 4-2 victory over UNO on Wednesday afternoon at the Creighton Sports Complex.
The Bluejays improved to 13-8 with the win, while the Mavericks fell to 7-21.
Mills launched a full-count two-run homer over the right-center field wall during the bottom of the third inning to give the Bluejays a 3-1 lead. Cayla Nielsen led off the home half of the third by being hit by the pitch before Mills tallied her sixth home run of the season.
Lawrence allowed five hits and two runs, while striking out four and walking two during her first complete-game effort and second win of the season. The freshman retired the final eight batters she faced.
The Bluejays opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Saren Croker delivered a two-out single to left before a pair of full-count walks loaded the bases. Ashley Cantu drove in one run by lacing a ball that hit off the Mavericks’ shortstop, which allowed Croker to score, but UNO’s second baseman threw out Madeline Vejvoda attempting to score from second base on the play to end in the inning.
UNO tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third. A pair of walks and RBI single produced the first Maverick run.
Following Mills’ go-ahead homer in the bottom of the third, UNO scored again in the top of the fourth. The Mavericks hit a double before a two-out RBI single cut the Creighton advantage to one-run, 3-2.
The Bluejays answered with a run of their own in the last of the fourth. Vejvoda doubled down the left field line before scoring on an error. Brittney Manthie laid down a bunt towards the third-base side of the pitcher’s circle and the UNO pitcher fielded the ball before her throw ended up down the right-field line, which allowed Vejvoda to score. Creighton loaded the bases with consecutive walks but two strikeouts ended the inning.
The Mavericks opened the fifth frame with a single to right field, but the Bluejays turned a 6-4-3 double play on the next pitch to quickly erase the lead-off hit. Lawrence retired the final batter of the inning with a strikeout.
Creighton put one runner on base with a walk in both the fifth and sixth innings but did not score either time.
Lawrence recorded all three outs in the sixth with two ground outs back to the pitcher’s circle and a strikeout and needed nine pitches to end the game in the top of the seventh.
Ashley Cantu paced the Bluejay offense with two hits, while Mills, Croker, Vejovoda and Manthie also tallied base knocks.
Creighton resumes BIG EAST play this weekend with a three-game series at DePaul. The opening game between the Bluejays and Blue Demons is scheduled for noon on Saturday.