OMAHA, Neb. — The Creighton softball team snapped its four-game losing skid with a 6-4 victory against South Dakota at the Creighton Sports Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
The Bluejays improved to 14-12 overall and 8-3 at home, while South Dakota dropped its season record to 12-34.
Creighton fell behind 1-0 after a solo home run in the top of the second before the Bluejays responded with three runs on one hit and one error in the bottom of frame.
Sam Alm — playing in her first game since April 10 against St. John’s — led off the inning with an infield single. Madeline Vejvoda walked before Mikaela Pechar tallied a sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third base with only one out. After a walk by Victoria Alvarez, Cayla Nielsen sent a ground ball towards the Coyote second baseman. South Dakota recorded an out at second base, but not before Nielsen reached first base safely and Alm crossed home plate. After a walk by Brittney Manthie loaded the bases for the second time in the inning, Ashley Cantu reached on an error, which allowed both Vejvoda and Nielsen to score. A foul out ended the inning with two runners left on base.
Both teams went quietly in the third before Creighton pushed its lead to four runs with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth. Pechar led off the inning with a double off the right-field wall. Two batters later, Nielsen lifted a 1-0 delivery over the center-field wall for her second home run of the season and extended the Bluejay advantage to 5-1.
Alm helped Creighton score its sixth run in the sixth inning. Following a walk by Kailey Wilson and double from Kiara Mills, Alm singled into left-center field and drove in pinch-runner Kate Mullally from third to. The Bluejays loaded the bases before two fly outs ended the inning.
South Dakota scored three runs in the top of the seventh on a solo home run, an error and an RBI ground out as the Coyotes cut their deficit to just two runs, 6-4. Mikayla Santa Cruz ended the game with her second strikeout of the inning during her lone inning of relief work.
Jena Lawrence recorded the victory for Creighton after allowing two hits and no runs during three innings of relief work. The freshman also tallied two strikeouts and walked a pair. Starting pitcher Parker Boyd went three innings and struck out three, while allowing only one hit — the solo home run in the top the second.
Nielsen led the Bluejays’ offensively with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Alm finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI after missing the last six games because of injury.
Manthie extended her on-base streak to team-best 11 games with a single and walk on Wednesday.
Creighton concludes its nonconference portion of the regular season on Friday with a doubleheader at South Dakota State. First pitch of game one between the Bluejays and Jackrabbits is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Brookings, South Dakota.