KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two freshmen guided the Creighton softball team to a split of a doubleheader against UMKC at the Missouri 3&2 Complex on Tuesday.
The Bluejays won game two 11-5, and UMKC took game one 6-5.
Freshman right-fielder Ashley Cantu went 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple, three runs and four RBIs, including the game-winning RBI, during the second contest, and freshman utility player Sam Dellinger finished 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and two RBIs as the Bluejays fell during game one.
Creighton is now 16-23 overall, while UMKC is 14-31.
With the score tied 5-5 during the second game, Creighton built a six-run lead with a six-run fifth inning.
Jordyn Sturgeon grounded out to the shortstop and made it 9-5 Bluejays before O’Gorman scored on a passed ball and Reinhart scored the 11th run as Sam Crowley reached on an error to extend the inning. A ground out ended the six-run frame.
The Bluejays opened game two by taking an early advantage with a run in the first. Cantu led off the game with a walk and scored on a single by Allie Reinhart.
Cantu’s double to left field during the second extended the lead to 2-0.
With the bases loaded following a pair of singles, Cantu scored on a passed ball for the Bluejays’ third run.
The Kangaroos scored one in the bottom of the second on a fielder’s choice ground out.
Dellinger, Creighton’s starting pitcher, ended the second with a strikeout and left the bases loaded.
Creighton answered in the third. Sturgeon singled up the middle and Sam Crowley and Jessica Lewis each walked to load the bases. Cantu singled to left field to drive in two more runs, giving the Bluejays a 5-1 lead.
Morgan Bryn led off the home half of the third with her third home run of the doubleheader to make it 5-2.
For the second consecutive inning, Dellinger stranded the bases loaded with a strikeout and held UMKC to only one run during the third.
The Roos scored three runs on two hits and one error during the bottom of the fourth inning to knot the game at 5-5 before Creighton’s six-run fifth.
The Bluejays tied a season-high for hits with 14 during the nightcap.
In addition to Cantu’s three-hit performance, Tash Coffiel also recorded three hits, and O’Gorman, Reinhart and McCoy each finished with two.
Game two ended during the middle of the seventh due to safety concerns with a lack of lighting on the field.
Byrn’s two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning gave UMKC the one-run victory during the first game.
Creighton jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third with a RBI double by O’Gorman and run-scoring single by Reinhart.
Dellinger led off the fifth with a home run over the left-field wall to give Creighton a three-run advantage.
The Roos’ first run came following a two-out walk during the bottom of the fifth. Consecutive walks and a single cut the Creighton lead to 3-1.
Bluejay starter Bryana Clark did not allow a hit until the fourth inning and recorded a season-high seven strikeouts, but ran into trouble in the sixth as UMKC notched three runs without recording an out during the sixth to take a 4-3 lead.
Reliever Michal Hylton recorded three consecutive outs to end the frame and leave two runners on base.
Creighton regained the lead with two runs in the top of the seventh.
Cantu led off the final frame with an infield single to left and came around to score on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Coffiel. The UMKC catcher fielded the bunt before throwing it down the right-field line, allowing Cantu to score from first and Coffiel to end up at third.
Dellinger’s fourth hit of the game produced the go-ahead run. The freshman singled up the middle to drive in Coffiel, making it 5-4 in favor of the Bluejays.
UMKC made a pitching change and recorded the final three outs of the seventh without allowing another base runner.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Roos led off the inning with a hit by pitch before the walk-off two-run homer.
Creighton returns to BIG EAST action this weekend against Butler. The three-game series will start on Saturday, April 22 with a doubleheader starting at noon. The Bluejays will recognize their senior student-athletes between the two games on Saturday afternoon.