Softball Prepares for Eight-Game Set at Rebel Spring Games

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Senior Amy baker is closing in on the all-time program records for home runs and runs batted in.
Courtesy: Eric Francis

This Week:  The Creighton softball team travels to its final tournament of the non-conference season this weekend at the Rebel Spring Games located in Kissimmee, Fla. The Bluejays are slated to play an eight-game set over the span of five days beginning Saturday, March 9.

Creighton (8-6) opens the tourney with a pair of early-morning contests Saturday against Saint Francis University (8-6) and North Dakota (2-10). The Bluejays battle Butler (2-9) and Eastern Illinois (4-6) in a doubleheader Sunday afternoon.

After a day off from competition Monday, Creighton returns to action on Tuesday with a twin bill featuring Youngstown State (0-3) and Fairleigh Dickinson (2-1). The Jays conclude the tournament with a Wednesday doubleheader against Robert Morris (5-5) and Army (3-6).

Following the Jays: Live stats links for this weekend can be found on the softball schedule page of Fans can also keep in touch with Creighton softball on Twitter - @BluejaySoftball and Facebook -

Last Time Out: Last weekend the Bluejays went 3-2 at the UTA Maverick invitational in Arlington, Texas, to improve to 8-6 this season. After a pair of wins over host UTA and Lamar on Friday, CU upset then No. 21 Tulsa 4-3 in extra innings Saturday afternoon for its first win over a ranked team since February 2010.

The Bluejays' bats struggled in the final two games of the tourney resulting in losses to Lamar and the host Mavericks. The losses snapped a five-game win streak for the Jays.

The Jays are now 7-9 all-time at tournaments hosted by UTA. Previously CU went 2-4 in head coach Brent Vigness' first year as skipper in 1994. Two seasons ago the Jays posted a 2-3 record, splitting with UTA and dropping a pair to Tulsa.

Scouting Creighton (8-6): The Bluejays posted a 3-2 ledger in five games at the UTA Maverick Invitational. CU won its first true road game against UTA to open the tourney Friday and defeated Lamar later in the day to complete its first intra-day sweep of the season.

Creighton extended its season-long win streak to five after a 4-3 upset of then-No. 21 Tulsa in eight innings. The Jays won in dramatic fashion. Sophomore Liz Dike blasted a two-out, two-run homer to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh and extend the game. CU plated the winning run on an RBI single from sophomore Bri Lingl with the bases loaded.

Prior to the defeat of No. 21 Tulsa, CU's last win over a top-25 team came on Feb. 14, 2010, when the Bluejays topped No. 15 Northwestern, 2-1, at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Creighton's last win in extra innings occurred May 6 in the final regular-season game of 2012 when the Jays edged Missouri State 5-4 in eight innings at the CU Sports Complex.

A week after claiming an MVC Pitcher of the Week honor for the third time in her career, junior Becca Changstrom continued her dominance in the circle at the UTA Maverick Invitational hosted by UT Arlington last weekend.

The junior right-hander pitched three complete games, registering 19 strikeouts through 22 innings pitched resulting in a pair of wins and a 1.91 ERA for the weekend.

In an extra-inning victory over No. 21 Tulsa, Changstrom allowed just three runs and seven hits while racking up 10 K's - one shy of her season high. In the opener against UTA the Lincoln, Neb., native and the Bluejays' defense retired 14 batters in a row. Additionally, Changstrom did not allow a hit through five straight innings in the matchup.

Changstrom held opposing batters to a .193 average at the dish and allowed only six walks and six earned runs at the tourney. Entering the week, she leads the Valley at 8.03 strikeouts per game.  

Sophomore Liz Dike led the Bluejay offense with a .385 average and a .769 slugging percentage last weekend. With two outs and one runner on in the bottom of the seventh against No. 21 Tulsa, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup smashed a homer over the left field wall to tie the score at 3-3. Her first home run of the season forced extra innings. The Jays went on to stop the Golden Hurricane 4-3. Dike's three extra-base hits, including a pair of doubles, and 10 total bases tied for the team lead at the tournament.

Three Creighton players have started 14 nine games and are hitting over .300 in 2013 including senior Amy Baker (.452), freshman Kelsey Allender (.385) and Blair Lowe (.302).

One month into the season, Creighton ranks third in the Valley with a .277 batting average. The Jays' 14 home runs and .456 slugging percentage lead the MVC. In the circle, the Jays stand third among Valley teams with a 3.02 ERA.

Individually, Baker leads the Valley in multiple offensive categories including batting average (.452), slugging percentage (.976), home runs (6) and total bases (41). Changstrom is third in the league with a 2.14 ERA.  

Rebel Spring Games History: The Bluejays will participate in the Rebel Spring Games for the sixth time in school history this weekend. Creighton boasts a 43-7 record at the tournament over its five previous appearances all under current head coach Brent Vigness.

The Jays' last participated in the tournament in 2006. That year CU posted a 6-2 record. A win in the 2006 Rebel Springs Games opener extended Creighton's unbeaten streak at the tournament to 23 games following the 2005 (14-0) and 2004 (8-0) outings. In 1996 Vigness led his squad to a 7-3 record at the tournament following an 8-2 ledger in CU's first appearance at the tourney in 1995.

Creighton is undefeated all-time against its foes at the Games. The Bluejays are 9-0 against the four schools it has previously met: North Dakota (2-0), Eastern Illinois (4-0), Youngstown State (1-0) and Robert Morris (2-0). Each of those wins occurred since 2000 and was under the direction of Vigness.

The Bluejays will face four of their opponents for the first time on the diamond this weekend including Saint Francis (Pa.), Butler, Fairleigh Dickinson and Army.

Scouting the Opponents:

Saint Francis (Pa.) (8-6): The Red Flash have already begun the Rebel Spring Games with a 2-2 record in Kissimmee this week. SFU opened with a 2-0 loss to UT Martin Tuesday before blanking Grambling State 5-0. On Wednesday Saint Francis fell 3-1 to South Dakota before edging Holy Cross 3-2.

SFU will face Niagara and Holy Cross again on Friday before opening Saturday against the Bluejays.

The Red Flash is 7-4 in neutral site games this season. SFU loss to UT martin snapped a five-game win streak that saw the team go undefeated at 4-0 at the UMBC Spring Classic outscoring Saint Peter's, Morgan State and UMBC by a margin of 40-8.

In her first season as head coach, Jennifer Patrick-Swift led the Red Flash to their best season in four years, posting 22 wins and placing three players on All-Northeast Conference Teams.

Two of those all-conference returners include sophomore second baseman Taylor Parsons and senior first baseman Taylor Darneille. Parsons' .395 average is second on the team this season behind Chelsy Cosentino's .476 clip at the plate.

In the circle, freshman Ketarah DeVries leads the team with a 5-3 record and 2.73 ERA. She claims the only shutout for the Red Flash this season and leads the squad with six complete games.

Saturday's meeting will be the first between Creighton and Saint Francis University in softball.

North Dakota (2-10): UND comes into the Rebel Spring Games on a six-game losing streak. Besides a pair of wins over South Dakota State during the opening weekend, North Dakota has lost 10 contests including five shutouts.

Part of the reason for the streak is that UND played three games against ranked teams and one against a team receiving votes last weekend at Arizona State. UND will open the tourney against Detroit before taking on the Bluejays Saturday.

North Dakota is 2-6 in neutral site games this season.

The coaches of the Big Sky Conference have picked North Dakota to finish sixth in the league's preseason poll. In 2012 UND finished fourth in the Great West Conference with a 2-4 conference record and a 17-28 overall mark. North Dakota returns every position besides first base this year.

Two UND players have started nine or more games and are hitting over .300 including D Jantzler (.367) and Caralyn Chewning (.313). Jantzler leads the team in hits (11), RBI (7), slugging percentage (.533) and on-base percentage (.441). She also claims one of the squad's two homers.

In the circle, Michelle Frank and Abby Jo Tometich have shared starting duties. Frank is 2-6 with a 15.00 ERA. Reliever Emma Gonseth carries a 6.50 ERA to lead UND.

Creighton is 2-0 all-time against North Dakota. The Bluejays defeated UND in a two-game series in Omaha two seasons ago with a 6-3 win followed by a 9-1 victory. CU's Amy Baker homered in each game while Ellen Homan belted the only home run of her freshman campaign during the series.

Butler (2-9): The Bulldogs enter the tournament on a two-game slide after dropping a pair of contests to Northern Illinois and host Southern Illinois last week at the Salukis' Coach B Classic.

Butler dropped a 3-1 contest to NIU before the Salukis posted a 9-0 shutout of BU. The Bulldogs opened the year with six losses before taking two games at the Tennessee State Invitational over Morgan State and host TSU. BU faces Akron at the Rebel Spring Games before taking on Creighton.

The Bulldogs were tabbed seventh in the poll, released by the Atlantic 10 office on Jan. 22. Butler, heading into its first A-10 softball race, returns 12 letterwinners from last year's 25-32 squad, which placed fifth in the in the Horizon League. 

Among the Bulldogs' returnees are leading hitters Meaghan Sullivan and Kristin Boros. Standout pitcher Jenny Esparza, who missed most of last season with due to an injury, posted a school record of 18 wins in both 2010 and 2011.

This season Sullivan leads the team with a .371 average, 13 hits, seven RBI and a .457 slugging percentage. Krosley Ogden is the only other Bulldog hitting over .300 recording 10 hits towards a .345 clip.

Esparza is 1-1 in four starts for BU this season and carries a 3.27 ERA. Freshman reliever Taylor Lockwood leads the Bulldogs with a 2.84 ERA in six relief appearances.

Sunday's meeting will be the first between Creighton and Butler in softball.

Eastern Illinois (4-6): The Panthers enter the tourney on a three-game losing streak after a pair of one-run losses at Georgia State and a 5-0 downfall at No. 18 Louisville.

EIU opened the year with a 1-3 record at the Alabama State Invitational then won its first three games at the Louisville Cardinal Classic before the loss to the host Cardinals.

The 2013 edition of Eastern Illinois softball was projected to finish second in the West Division and third overall in the 12-team Ohio Valley Conference in the preseason poll announced Jan. 16. EIU recorded a 28-26 overall mark and 18-10 OVC record in 2012.

EIU returns 13 letterwinners, including eight position and three pitchers from last season.  All-OVC honorees set to return to the lineup include First Team All-OVC member Stephanie Maday, plus Second Team All-OVC honorees Melise Brown and Bailey O'Dell.

Sophomore Hannah Cole leads the Panther bats this season with a .370 average, .481 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage. Junior Carly Willert leads EIU with 11 hits this season.

In the circle, junior Hanna Mennenga and Maday have each made four starts. Mennenga leads the Panther pitching staff with a 3-1 record and 1.46 ERA. Maday carries a 2.50 ERA and 1-3 record this season.

Creighton is 4-0 all-time against Eastern Illinois, all at neutral sites. CU took the last meeting between the schools 6-0 at the Tulsa Festival on Feb. 24, 2007.

Youngstown State (0-3): The Penguins have only played three games in 2013 after the UNC Charlotte Tournament was canceled in mid-February. 

At the Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament YSU fell 9-7 to Campbell before a 1-0 loss to in-state foe Bowling Green. Jacksonville State defeated the Penguins 8-3 in the tourney finale.

Youngstown State is slated to play five games this weekend at the Under Armour Showcase in Florida before opening the Rebel Spring Games against the Bluejays on Tuesday.

The Youngstown State softball team was picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League in a poll of the league's head coaches, the Indianapolis-based office announced. Last season, the Penguins finished fourth in the league and posted a 29-21-1 overall record, the most wins since 2004.

The Penguins return senior Vicky Rumph, a second-team all-league selection last year. Rumph batted .344 with 13 doubles, four home runs and 35 runs batted in.

YSU sophomore Kayla Haslett was named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team after posting an 8-7 record in the circle in 2012.

Through three games of the season, Courtney Ewing and Rumph are the only Penguins hitting over .300 after starting each contest. Ewing and Rumph each have three hits in nine and 10 at-bats, respectively.

In the circle, Casey Crozier pitched the complete game against Bowling Green giving up just one run on seven hits but suffered the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year. Crozier's 0.72 ERA leads the team.

Creighton is 1-0 all-time against Youngstown State. The Bluejays defeated the Penguins 1-0 in eight innings at the 2004 Rebel Spring Games in their only previous meeting.

Fairleigh Dickinson (2-1): The Knights have only played three games entering this weekend with a pair of wins against Delaware State and a loss to Norfolk State at the Norfolk State Spartan Classic Feb. 24-25.

FDU defeated DSU 4-2 in its opener then beat the Hornets again 9-1 the following day before suffering a 5-1 setback to host NSU.

Fairleigh Dickinson is slated to play four games this weekend at the Stetson Hatter Classic in Deland, Fla., before opening the Rebel Spring Games on Monday. FDU will have seven more results after this weekend before battling the Bluejays Tuesday.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University softball team was selected to finish 11th n the 2013 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, announced by the conference on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

The Knights ended the 2012 campaign with an overall record of 30-20 but finished 7-13 in NEC action for ninth-place. The Knights ranked high on the NEC leaderboard in several categories, including first in batting average, hits, RBI and doubles, while being one of five NEC teams to finish above .500 overall.

Former Creighton softball alumnae Candi Letts (CU class of 1983) took over as head coach of the Knights' program in late January after stints at Utah State, Ole Miss and Colorado State. Letts, a member of Creighton's first College World Series squad, is still the Jays' all-time leader in saves at 16. Her 0.76 career ERA stands third overall in the Creighton record books.  Letts' 43 career wins rank ninth all-time in CU history.

Through three games of the season, Angelique Nieves and Madelaine Wilen lead the FDU offense with five and four hits, respectively. Three other Knights have recorded three hits on the young season.

In the circle, Megan Reiner boasts a 1-0 record in two appearances and a perfect ERA through eight innings. Maire Shaughnessy has two relief appearances and a perfect ERA through 4.2 innings pitched for FDU.

Tuesday's meeting will be the first between Creighton and Fairleigh Dickinson in softball.

Robert Morris (5-5): The Colonials enter the tournament after a three-game slide to the host Thundering Herd at the Marshall Invitational last weekend. RMU scored exactly three runs in three straight losses to MU.

Prior to the setbacks the Colonials had won five of thier last six contests at the Charlotte 49ers Invitational and Hampton Inn Invitational to open the season. RMU has three wins over Atlantic 10 teams this season in George Washington (5-1), St. Bonaventure (4-1) and Charlotte (3-2).

Robert Morris will play four games at the Rebel Spring Games beginning Monday before taking on Creighton Wednesday afternoon.

Fresh off its second straight Northeast Conference (NEC) regular-season crown in 2012, the Robert Morris University softball team claimed the most first-place votes in the NEC preseason coaches' poll. League coaches still picked the Colonials for the top spot despite RMU losing four starters and four players who earned NEC postseason honors to graduation.

Colonial sophomore pitcher Nicole Sleith posted a record-setting freshman campaign and brought home both NEC Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year accolades. She tallied a school-record 25 wins and posted a 1.59 ERA, the fourth-lowest single-season mark in RMU history.

Only four players have started all 10 games for RMU this season. In four starts Haileigh Stocks boasts a .429 average and 1.214 slugging percentage to go with a pair of home runs this season. Maritza Jimenez is hitting .333 at the plate in her six starts and carries a slugging percentage of .733.

In the circle, Sleith is leading the way with a 3-3 record in six appearances and a 3.09 ERA. Geena Badolato has split the starts this season and is 2-2 with a 3.63 ERA.

Creighton is 2-0 all-time against Robert Morris with both of the previous meetings also occurring at the Rebel Spring Games. In the last meeting the Bluejays claimed a 7-2 win on March 9, 2006. CU blanked the Colonials the year before with a 12-0 victory.

Army (3-6): The Black Knights enter the weekend after taking one of four contests at the Norfolk State Tournament last weekend. Army defeated Delaware 4-2 in the tourney finale after a loss to Blue Hens the previous day and setbacks to Marist and host Norfolk State.

Army opened the year at Auburn's Plainsman Invitational. The Black Knights scored 10 runs apiece in two wins over Austin Peay and East Tennessee State. Army dropped close games to Furman and Kent State before an 8-0 loss to host Auburn.

The Black Knights will play three contests at the Rebel Spring Games beginning Monday before taking on Creighton Wednesday afternoon.

Army was picked second in the 2013 Patriot League preseason softball poll as voted upon by coaches and sports information directors. Three Army players, senior Alex Reynolds, junior Amanda Nguyen and sophomore Morgan Lashley, were among an elite group of 12 named to the league's preseason all-league team.

Four Army players have started all nine games and are hitting above .300 this season. Nguyen leads that group with a .394 average and 13 hits. Marina Northup is hitting .360 and Christian McKone is batting .333 at the plate. Kasey McCravey leads the team with seven RBI and a .500 slugging percentage to go with her .321 batting average.

In the circle, Lashley owns a 2-5 record in seven starts and carries a 5.59 ERA. Braetana Roy leads the staff with a 3.05 ERA in five appearances resulting in a 1-1 record.

Wednesday's meeting will be the first between Creighton and Army in softball.

Head Coach: The winningest coach in Creighton athletics history, Brent Vigness is in his 20th season at the helm of one of the most successful programs in the Midwest and Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). He carries a 614-434-3 record in 19-plus seasons at Creighton and boasts a 762-505-4 overall record with five years at Assumption College prior to beginning at CU.

A three-time MVC Coach of the Year, he has led the Bluejays to six MVC regular-sea­son titles (1998-2000, 2007-09), six Valley tournament titles (1999, 2003-05, 2007, 2010) and seven NCAA regional appearances (1999, 2003-05, 2007-08, 2010). He claimed MVC Coach of the Year honors in 1998 and guided the MVC Coaching Staffs of the Year in 2007 and 2008.

Vigness coached his 1,000th game at Creighton and recorded his 600th win at CU in 2012.

Changstrom Named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week: Creighton softball junior Becca Changstrom earned Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Scholar-Athlete of the Week honors after a solid performance at the UTA Maverick Invitational that included a win over then-No. 21 Tulsa last weekend the league announced March 6.

The award marks Changstrom's first career MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week honor. At the end of last season she claimed a spot on the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team without winning a weekly accolade. Creighton players won just one scholar-athlete award in 2012 when Sammy Snygg earned recognition on April 11.

A week after claiming an MVC Pitcher of the Week honor for the third time in her career, Changstrom continued her dominance in the circle at the UTA Maverick Invitational hosted by UT Arlington last weekend.

The junior right-hander pitched three complete games, registering 19 strikeouts through 22 innings pitched resulting in a pair of wins and a 1.91 ERA for the weekend.

In an extra-inning victory over No. 21 Tulsa, Changstrom allowed just three runs and seven hits while racking up 10 K's - one shy of her season high. In two outings against host UT Arlington, Changstrom allowed only three earned runs on nine hits. She also struck out nine Mavericks on the weekend and allowed three walks.

In the opener against UTA the Lincoln, Neb., native and the Bluejays' defense retired 14 batters in a row. Additionally, Changstrom did not allow a hit through five straight innings in the matchup.

Changstrom held opposing batters to a .193 average at the dish and allowed only six walks and six earned runs at the tourney. Entering the week, she leads the Valley at 8.03 strikeouts per game. 

A chemistry major, Changstrom currently carries a 3.846 GPA.

Changstrom Collects MVC Pitcher of the Week Honors: Junior Becca Changstrom claimed MVC Pitcher of the Week honors Feb. 25 after a pair of impressive wins at the Central Arkansas Tournament.

It marked the third career MVC Pitcher of the Week accolade for Changstrom after claiming one conference weekly honor in each of the past two seasons. The weekly award is the first of the season by a Bluejay in 2013. Creighton players won a total four weekly honors in 2012.

Changstrom shined last weekend at the UCA Tournament with a pair of complete-game wins to improve to 3-2 this season. She recorded a 0.58 ERA that included a one-hitter Feb. 24 against Grambling State.

The Lincoln, Neb., native and the Bluejay defense fell one out shy of a no-hitter against GSU on Sunday. Changstrom totaled seven strikeouts in the complete game one-hitter following an infield single in the Lady Tigers' penultimate at-bat.

On Feb. 22 Changstrom silenced the Ball State offense with eight K's in a 7-1 victory to open the tourney. The junior right-hander allowed just one run and struck out 15 through 12 innings of work in the circle against the Cardinals and Lady Tigers.

Changstrom held opposing batters to a .182 average at the dish and allowed only three walks on the weekend. She currently leads the Valley at 9.46 strikeouts per game.

Baker Climbing to Top of CU Career Record Books: Senior Amy Baker is fast-approaching the top spot in the all-time Creighton record books for home runs and runs batted in.

The senior's career total of 47 homers is just three shy of the CU mark set by current assistant coach Renae Sinkler in 2010. Baker is also five home runs short of the Missouri Valley Conference mark.

With 140 career runs batted entering the weekend, Baker ranks third on the CU all-time list. She trails only her assistant coaches in the rankings Abby Johnson (144) and Sinkler (146).

Baker is also among the Creighton career top 10 for batting average, total bases and walks. The Omaha native's .452 batting average this season would currently rank second all-time for a single-season mark in program history.

Baker leads the Valley in slugging percentage, homers per game and stopping opponent stolen base attempts.

Homer Cooking: After not hitting a home run in the first two games of 2013, Creighton jacked at least one ball over the fence 10 consecutive contests before the streak was halted last week at UT Arlington. As a result, CU leads the Valley with 14 homers in the early season.

Last weekend at UTA five Jays blasted a home run including senior Amy Baker, junior Alexis Cantu, sophomore Bri Lingl freshman Blake Ringle and sophomore Liz Dike. Dike's two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh with two outs extended the game to extra innings in the Jays' 4-3 win over then-No. 21 Tulsa.

Baker cranked three round trippers two weeks ago to move her season total to five. Additionally, two more Bluejays blasted their first homers of the year at UCA. Lingl cranked her first home run of the season against UAPB Feb. 23. Freshman Kelsey Allender hit her first career home run with an inside-the-park variety against Grambling State Feb. 24.

In the opening weekend, Baker hammered two home runs with one apiece against then-No. 14 Florida and Oregon State. Senior Sammy Snygg also rifled a shot over the wall versus Florida. Cantu capped off the first week with a solo home run against Stephen F. Austin.

Allender's inside-the-park home run is the first since Dike scored two of them last season, the last against Wichita State on April 7.

Fantastic February Finishes: Creighton finished the month of February with a 5-4 record. It marks the seventh straight season that head coach Brent Vigness has directed the Bluejays to a winning record in the first month of the season.

The Bluejays are 46-24 in February spanning those seven seasons to the beginning of 2007. CU's 5-4 mark this season is the same record the Jays had in 2010 - the year of the program's last NCAA Tournament appearance.

Central Arkansas Tournament Recap: The Bluejays went 3-1 at the Central Arkansas Tournament in Conway, Ark., to improve to 5-4 this season. CU's only loss was to host UCA in its first true road game this season. Creighton outscored opponents 35-16 last weekend. The Bluejays hit .353 as a team over the four games while holding opponents to a .271 average.

The Bluejays are 8-1 all-time at tournaments hosted by Central Arkansas. Creighton went undefeated in five games at the UCA Spring Clash to open the 2007 campaign. The Jays are now 2-1 all-time against UCA with two wins in the 2007 tourney.

Kajikawa Classic Recap: Creighton opened 2013 at the Kajikawa Classic Feb. 7-9 with wins over New Mexico and Oregon State, leading to a 2-3 record. The Bluejays are 5-6 all-time at the Kajikawa Classic following a 3-3 ledger at Tempe in 2010.

Déjà Vu vs. OSU: Creighton's win over Oregon State on Feb. 8, marked the Jays' second-straight victory over the Beavers by the same score (5-3) in the same tournament (Kajikawa Classic) at the same location (Tempe, Ariz.), three years apart. CU is now 2-2 against the Pac-12 foe and head coach Brent Vigness is 2-1 versus OSU.

Telecky on Top against Oregon State: Brittany Telecky won her first start of the season in a 5-3 win over Oregon State. The junior pitched 6 innings against OSU allowing just three runs on eight hits. She also came in as a relief pitcher against San Diego State for two innings, allowing no hits or runs and just one walk.

Season-Opening Salvo: The Bluejays' season-opening win over New Mexico is Creighton's third-straight victory to begin a season following opening-day wins in 2011 and 2012.

CU's first-game win streak matches the longest in program history when the Jays previously won three consecutive openers from 2006-08 and 1998-2000. All three streaks were under the direction of current head coach Brent Vigness.

Creighton is 19-18 overall in season-opening contests including an 11-9 record under head coach Brent Vigness.

Preseason Predictions: The Creighton softball team placed four players on the 2013 preseason all-conference team as the league's coaches picked the Bluejays to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), the league office announced Jan. 23.

The fourth-place prediction is the highest preseason ranking for the Bluejays since 2010 when they were picked to win the Valley. Creighton has finished lower than fourth in the MVC regular season standings just three times in the past 16 seasons.

Senior catcher Amy Baker earned the second All-MVC preseason selection of her career to go with a nod from 2011 during her sophomore campaign. Additionally, three juniors claimed their first preseason honors in designated player and pitcher Alexis Cantu, pitcher Becca Changstrom and outfielder Ellen Homan. All four of the CU honorees earned All-MVC accolades after last season.

The four CU player selections match Southern Illinois for the most on the 2013 preseason squad.  Additionally, the four players on the preseason all-conference team are the most for any Creighton squad dating back to 2004 when three Jays earned All-MVC preseason honors and current assistant Abby Johnson collected honorable mention recognition.

Recapping 2012:  The Bluejays return 11 players from last season's team that compiled a 28-25-1 overall record and finished fifth in the MVC at 15-11. Creighton finished last season with a school-record 294 runs.  CU led the MVC with a .292 batting average, 56 homers, 275 RBI and a .464 slugging percentage. The Jays ranked in the NCAA top-30 in scoring (No. 20), home runs per game (No. 22) and slugging percentage (No. 27) in 2012.

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