SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The Creighton softball team rallied from a four-run deficit to defeat Incarnate Word, 9-6, on Sunday during the final day of the H-E-B Classic.
The Bluejays ended the weekend with a 3-2 record, while the host Cardinals posted a 2-3 mark.
Creighton trailed 5-1 after two innings before scoring four runs in the third inning and four additional times in the fourth through sixth innings to record the victory.
Kiele Miller entered the game with the Bluejays trailing by four runs and allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings of relief while recording seven strikeouts and tallying her first victory of the season.
Creighton had 12 total hits as the team notched 10 or more hits during each of its final four games in San Antonio after producing only one in the season opener.
The Bluejays opened the scoring on Sunday with a sacrifice fly. Cantu led off the game with a single and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and wild pitch before McKelvy hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
UIW scored five times in the bottom of the second inning on four hits and an error to take a 5-1 edge.
The Bluejays responded in the third inning with four runs to tie the game. McKelvy blasted a two-run homer to straight-away center field and Sam Alm sent a ground ball towards first base that resulted in a run-scoring error. Both Alvarez and Mikaela Pechar scored on the play after walking earlier in the frame.
Creighton took the lead with a sacrifice fly from McKelvy in the top of the fourth. Courtney Sandell scored the sixth Bluejay run after leading off the inning with an infield single.
The Bluejays’ seventh run of the afternoon crossed home plate on a squeeze play in the fifth inning. Alm laid down a bunt and Alvarez sprinted home without a play to give Creighton a 7-5 lead.
The Cardinals threatened in the bottom of the fifth with a lead-off single before a strikeout and 5-4-3 double play ended the inning.
Creighton added two unearned run in the sixth inning. Cantu reached first base on a dropped third strike and Cayla Nielsen singled back to the pitcher to start the inning. After a fielder’s choice, Alvarez singled through the left side to send home the eighth Bluejay run and Pechar doubled into shallow left-field to produce the ninth run as Creighton led 9-5 after five and a half innings.
Miller tiptoed out of danger in the bottom of the sixth by stranding runners on the corners with a strikeout to end the inning.
The Bluejays left one on base during the top of the seventh before the Cardinals attempted to rally in the last of the final frame. UIW cut the Creighton lead to three runs with a one-out RBI single. With runners at second and third, Miller induced a line out to Alm at second base and recorded her seventh strikeout to end the game.
Miller ended the opening weekend with 23 strikeouts during 18 innings of work (four appearances, two starts) and posted a 2.72 ERA with a win and two saves.
Creighton returns to action next week at the North Texas Invitational. The Bluejays will play four games in two days, beginning with a Friday afternoon contest against Missouri State.