MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — The Creighton softball team split a doubleheader with Niagara on Wednesday afternoon at the Madeira Beach ROC Complex. The Bluejays defeated the Purple Eagles in the first game, 8-1, before falling 13-8 in the second game of the day.
Creighton moved its season record to 12-11, while Niagara pushed its win-loss mark to 3-6.
The Bluejays hit three home runs and limited the Purple Eagles to just three hits during Creighton’s seven-run victory in game one.
Kiara Mills launched the Bluejays’ first home run during the top of the first. The sophomore hit a two-out homer over the left-center field wall to push the Creighton ahead, 1-0.
Niagara tied the game in the bottom of the first with an RBI single.
Creighton regained the lead with a long ball in the top of the second. Kailey Wilson hit a two-run homer over the center-field fence as the Bluejays built a 3-1 edge.
Kiele Miller allowed a lead-off walk in the bottom of the second but ended the frame with two consecutive strikeouts.
After two consecutive walks opened Creighton’s half of the fourth, Sam Alm singled into left field to drive in Sydney Jenkins for the fourth Bluejay run. A sacrifice bunt pushed Alm to second and Courtney Sandell to third, pinch-hitter Ryann Glenn recorded a sacrifice fly to left field and gave Creighton a 5-1 advantage.
Niagara threatened in the home-half of the fourth, but Miller ended the inning with a strikeout and stranded runners at first and second base.
The Bluejays scored one run in the fifth with a walk, double and sacrifice fly. Mills walked, Mikaela Pechar doubled and Sandell lifted a fly ball into deep left field to drive in Mills from third base with a sacrifice fly.
Creighton’s final two runs came in the top of the seventh. Mileah McKelvy tallied a two-run home run, the Bluejays’ third homer of the game, and pushed the final margin to seven runs, 8-1.
McKelvy finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Mills scored three times.
Miller allowed just three hits and one run, while striking out seven and walking three. Haley Gatica pitched two innings of relief and allowed only one baserunner but faced the minimum as a double play erased the free pass.
Creighton fell behind 13-2 in the second game of the doubleheader but rallied for six runs in the last of the seventh to close the final gap to just five runs, 13-8.
Niagara built a 5-0 lead with three runs in the first and two in the second.
Victoria Alvarez helped the Bluejays cut into the deficit with an RBI double in the second to drive in Alm.
The Purple Eagles scored single runs in the fourth and fifth.
Pechar tripled to left field in the bottom of the sixth as Cayla Nielsen scored on the play to make it 7-2 before a line out ended the inning.
Each team scored six runs in the final inning. Niagara extended its lead to 11 runs, 13-2, with six runs on four hits and an error in the top of the frame.
Creighton started its late attempt at a comeback with a single from Jenkins. After a pair of quick fly outs, Sandell walked to put runners at first and second. Mills sent home all three Bluejays with a three-run home run to right field and trimmed the deficit to eight runs, 13-5. Wilson followed Mills with her second homer of the day to keep Creighton’s hopes alive. McKelvy drew a full count walk before Pechar launched a two-run homer to straight-away center field to make it a 13-8 contest. Alm singled to keep the inning going, but a strikeout ended the game.
MIlls and Pechar each drove in three runs, while Pechar and Alm each finished 2-for-4.
Creighton returns to the fields at the Madeira Beach ROC Complex on Thursday for a pair of games. The Bluejays will face Indiana at 11 a.m. Central before facing Central Michigan at 1:30 p.m.