OMAHA, Neb. — Kailey Wilson hit a three-run walk-off home run over the left-center field wall to help the Creighton softball team earn a 12-9 victory over St. John’s on Sunday afternoon. The victory also propelled the Bluejays to a series win over the Red Storm after the two teams split a doubleheader on Saturday and Kiara Mills ended the second game of the double dip with a solo home run.
Creighton improved its BIG EAST record 8-4 and overall mark to 12-8, while St. John’s dropped to 5-9 in league play and 8-13 overall.
The two teams combined for 28 hits, seven home runs and four half-innings with three runs scored during Sunday’s contest that lastly nearly three hours before the Bluejays won the game in their final trip to the plate.
Creighton entered the seventh inning with a 9-6 edge, but St. John’s scored three runs in its half of the frame to tie the game.
Brittney Manthie and Ashley Cantu led off the Bluejay half of the seventh with consecutive infield singles to put two on with no outs for Wilson. The sophomore watched three pitches for a 2-1 count before launching the next pitch over the left-center field wall to end the game with one swing of the bat. The home run marked Wilson’s team-leading seventh of the season.
The walk-off home run was also Creighton’s fourth homer of the game. Emma Rosonke hit a three-run pinch-hit home run in the third inning, while Mills homered during both the fourth and sixth frames.
St. John’s started the scoring with two runs off a home run in the top of the second inning.
Creighton responded with three runs in the bottom of the second to take a 3-2 edge. Mikaela Pechar led off the inning by reaching on an error before pinch-runner Katie Clark scored on a single by Madeline Vejvoda. The Bluejays loaded the bases before Wilson and Mills each drew bases-loaded walks to give Creighton the lead.
The Red Storm countered with two more runs in the top of the third with their second two-run home run of the game and gained a 4-3 lead.
The Bluejays put up three more runs in the bottom of the third inning. A double play erased a lead-off hit by pitch, but Vejvoda produced a single up the middle and Cayla Nielsen reached after being hit by the pitch. Rosonke entered the game as a pinch-hitter and delivered with a three-run homer to right field for her first collegiate hit. The long ball pushed Creighton in front, 6-4.
The visitors hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth to trim the deficit to a single run, but Mills answered with a solo shot of her own in the Bluejays’ portion of the inning.
St. John’s continued to put the pressure on Bluejay pitchers and scored for the fourth consecutive inning with an RBI double to left-center field to cut Creighton’s lead to 7-6.
The Bluejays went down quietly in the bottom of the fifth before the Red Storm threatened in the top of the sixth. St. John’s hit a lead-off double and put runners on the corner with only one out, but Mikayla Santa Cruz escaped danger with a pair of strikeouts.
Mills homered for the second time on Sunday with a two-run blast in the bottom of the sixth. The Creighton first baseman launched a 2-2 offering well over the right-center wall and extended Creighton’s advantage to 9-6.
Down to their final at bat, the Red Storm hit a pair of RBI singles and a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 9-9.
St. John’s reentered its starting pitcher for the last of the seventh and an attempt to keep the contest knotted, but the Bluejays produced three consecutive hits — capped by Wilson’s home run — to end the game in walk-off fashion.
Cantu, Wilson, Mills, Vejvoda and Nielsen each tallied two hits for Creighton, while both Wilson and Mills had four RBIs. Santa Cruz recorded the victory after pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief.
Wilson moved into the top position on the BIG EAST leader boards for batting average (.452), slugging percentage (.855) and on-base percentage (.534) after ending the weekend with four hits, one home run, one double, five RBIs and six walks.
The top four batters in St. John’s lineup combined to produce 11 of the Red Storm’s 15 hits, while the team ended the game with 13 runners left on base.
Creighton returns to the diamond for a home game against UNO on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch between the Bluejays and Mavericks is scheduled for 4 p.m.