DENTON, Texas — Creighton posted a pair of wins on Saturday during the Bluejays’ final day at the North Texas Invitational in Denton, Texas. The Bluejays shutout UT Martin, 2-0 before jumping out to an early lead and holding off Abilene Christian for a 9-6 victory.
Creighton improved to 5-4 after ending the weekend 2-2.
Junior Kiele Miller recorded 10 strikeouts during the Bluejays’ shutout of the Skyhawks. The Dripping Springs, Texas native scattered five hits and walked four during her second complete game of the weekend and the team’s first shutout of the season.
Creighton pushed across the lone two runs of the game during the sixth inning. Mileah McKelvy produced a one-out single before Kiara Mills drove in pinch-runner Brittney Manthie and gave the Bluejays their first run. Sydney Jenkins came in to pinch run for Mills and scored on an error.
Miller kept the game scoreless by stranding a pair of runners on base during the fourth and sixth innings. UT Martin put runners at second and third with only one out in the fourth before Miller induced a fielder’s choice play at the plate and a strikeout to end the threat. The Skyhawks also had a pair of runners in scoring position in the sixth before a pop out and strike out closed the inning.
After the Bluejays took their 2-0 edge in the bottom of the sixth, Miller stranded another pair of runners in the top of the seventh with her 10th strikeout to end the game.
Creighton opened the second game of the day against Abilene Christian with four unearned runs in the top of the first frame. Ashley Cantu started the game by reaching on an error before Victoria Alvarez, Sam Alm and Kaitlynn Hunt delivered consecutive two-out RBI doubles to push the Bluejays in front, 4-0.
Alm produced her second RBI of the game with an RBI sacrifice bunt to drive in Kiara Mills during the top of the third.
The Wildcats cut into the Bluejays advantage to a single run with one in the third and three in the fourth.
Creighton responded by scoring three runs in the top of the fifth and built its lead back to four runs, 8-4. Alvarez recorded her second two-RBI double of the game to plate Mills and pinch-runner Jacey Sawyer, while Hunt tallied the Bluejays’ second RBI sacrifice bunt of the game to drive in Alvarez.
The Wildcats trimmed the deficit to two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Two doubles bookending an error and walk produced a pair of runs and ended the day of Bluejay starting pitcher Mikayla Santa Cruz. Miller entered the game with runners at second and third and no outs before ending the inning with a walk and three strikeouts, including one with the bases loaded, to keep Creighton’s advantage in tact.
Miller pitched three innings of relief and allowed only one hit, while striking out six and walking three for her second save of the season and fifth of her career to move into a tie for fifth on Creighton’s career saves list. The junior ended Saturday with 16 strikeouts during 10 innings of work.
Alvarez finished 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, four RBIs and two runs scored against the Wildcats, while Mills went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and both Alm and Hunt tallied two RBIs.
Creighton returns to action next weekend at the Tiger Classic in Nashville. The Bluejays’ first game of the weekend is scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m. against Rider.