OMAHA, Neb. — Brent Vigness won his 600th game at Creighton as his Bluejays defeated Evansville 4-3 in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader at the CU Sports Complex. Creighton completed the doubleheader sweep with another one-run victory in the nightcap, 2-1.
Creighton scored in each of the first two innings in the opening game to claim an early 3-0 lead. An infield single to lead off the game by Ellen Homan was turned into an early 1-0 lead when she scored on Alexis Cantu’s single through the right side. Cantu would move to second on a single from Amy Baker, then score when Bri Lingl singled.
After Evansville left the bases loaded in the top of the second inning, Creighton scored once again. With one away, Christa Ruf and Homan singled. Ruf would come around to score on an Allie Mathewson base hit to left-center field, making it 3-0.
The Aces scored in the fourth on Niki Rahming’s first homer of the year, but Creighton answered when Lingl homered to lead off the home half of the fifth.
Maggie Little hit her first homer of the year to lead off the Evansville sixth inning, trimming CU’s lead to 4-2. The Purple Aces made it 4-3 when Halie Malone was hit by a pitch, and pinch-runner Kacey Rodgers later scored with a nice slide around catcher Amy Baker on Katie Sears’ single to right.
Evansville’s last hurrah was started with a lead-off single by Kayla Fortner in the seventh inning, but she’d be picked off at first by Baker for the second out, and Victoria Dellorto lined out to third to end the game.
Becca Changstrom threw 142 pitches in a complete-game effort to improve to 13-10 on the year. She allowed six hits, three runs and three walks while striking out seven. Offensively, Creighton got three hits from Homan and two each from Mathewson and Lingl.
Taylor Perry suffered the loss for Evansville, dropping to 4-7 on the season after yielding CU’s first three runs. Sears and Fortner each had two hits for UE, while Little and Rahming also hit solo homers.
Creighton completed the doubleheader sweep with a 2-1 victory against Evansville in the nightcap.
Alexis Cantu started the scoring with an opposite-field homer in the bottom of the third inning — her MVC-leading 13th long ball of the season.
The Jays doubled that margin in the fifth inning with the help of a defensive miscue. With runners on first and second and two outs, Bri Lingl singled to left. A throw home from left field was cut off by third baseman Brianna Villanueva. Villanueva would try to flip the ball to shortstop Niki Rahming to cut down Christa Ruf at third. But her toss got away, and Ruf would scamper home with a crucial insurance run on the play.
Evansville finally scored in the top of the seventh. Maggie Little walked and pinch-runner Kacey Rogers went to second on an illegal pitch. With a 1-1 count, third baseman Sammy Snygg came on in relief of CU hurler Cantu. Snygg got pinch-hitter Kendall Kautz to ground out to second for the first out.
Rahming kept UE’s comeback hopes alive with an infield single that advanced Rogers to third. Pinch-hitter Alicia Betancur singled to center to score Rogers and moved Rahming into scoring position at second. But Snygg got pinch-hitter Allison Aguilera looking for the second out, then closed out the Aces by getting leadoff hitter Katie Sears to fly out to center to end it.
Cantu improved to 7-4 with the win, throwing six innings of two-hit ball while allowing just one run. Snygg notched her first career save by nailing down the last three outs. The Bluejay offense had five players with one hit each, led by Cantu’s round-tripper.
UE’s Sarah Patterson pitched well but was tagged with the loss, falling to 7-15. She allowed five hits and three walks, but struck out eight, in her complete-game effort. UE’s four hits came from four different individuals.