CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Creighton softball team fell to Northern Kentucky, 7-1, on Sunday morning during the Bluejays’ final game of the Coach B Classic in Carbondale, Illinois.
Creighton moved its season record to 8-8 and ended the weekend with a 1-3 mark.
The Bluejays recorded 10 hits but managed only one run and left 10 runners on base, including six in scoring position.
Creighton opened the game with an opportunity to score in the first inning. Ashley Cantu led off the contest with an infield single before reaching second on a sacrific bunt. Mileah McKelvy, the Bluejays’ next hitter, hit the ball towards deep center field that resulted in a single and advanced Cantu to third base. Northern Kentucky tallied the second out of the inning on a tag play at the plate. Mikaela Pechar hit a ground ball to the third baseman who fired to the catcher to apply a tag on Cantu at the plate. The inning ended with a ground out to short.
Cantu produced an RBI single in the top of the second inning as Sam Alm scored to tie game at 1-1. Alm hit a one-out double over the head of the right fielder before crossing home plate on Cantu’s single.
Northern Kentucky used a five-run bottom of the second to build a substantial lead. The Norse drove in two runs with a single and three more with a three-run homer to move in front 6-1 after two innings.
Creighton went down quietly in the third as a caught stealing at second base ended the inning.
After Kiele Miller sat down NKU in order during the bottom of the third, the Bluejays put runners at first and second with only one out in the top of the fourth. Alm reached after being hit by the pitch and Victoria Alvarez singled through the middle of the diamond. Kaitlynn Hunt advanced both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt but a three-pitch strikeout ended the frame.
The Norse went quietly in the home half of the fourth and Creighton put runners at first and second with two outs in the fifth but Northern Kentucky produced a strikeout to end the threat.
The Bluejays gave up the seventh NKU run during the bottom of the fifth with a double to left-center field and a single just inside the third base bag down the left-field line.
Creighton threatened once again in the sixth inning with two outs after a bunt single by Hunt and an infield single by Cantu. Cayla Nielsen lifted an 0-1 delivery into the left-center field gap but the Northern Kentucky center fielder tracked down the fly ball for the final out.
Pechar hit a one-out single in the seventh but a double play line out ended the game.
Cantu paced the Bluejays’ offensively going 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Pechar finished 2-for-4. Miller struck out four during six innings of work in the circle and Mikayla Santa Cruz recorded a strikeout and walk during one inning of relief.
Creighton returns to action for THE Spring Games in Florida. The Bluejays will spend the entirety of spring break in Florida and play a total of 12 games in nine days, beginning with a contest on Friday at 10 a.m. in Longwood, Florida against LIU.