Baker and Changstrom Sweep MVC Weekly Softball Honors
ST. LOUIS - Creighton softball players Amy Baker and Becca Changstrom swept Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) weekly honors after record-setting performances to help lift Creighton to a 5-2 record last week, the conference office announced Monday evening.
The weekly awards push the Bluejays' total to four this season. Creighton players also won a total four weekly honors in 2012.
Baker claimed MVC Player of the Week honors while Changstrom earned MVC Pitcher of the Week accolades. Baker's award is her first of the season and seventh of her career after capturing a pair of weekly honors in each of the past three seasons.
The Omaha native capped off a record-setting week by blasting career home run No. 52 to spark a come-from-behind victory at Evansville Saturday and tie the MVC career home run record.
Earlier in the week Baker set Creighton career marks in home runs (52) and runs batted in (151). One of those home runs was a walk-off grand slam against Youngstown State on March 12 to secure a 6-2 Bluejay victory in extra innings.
Her career RBI total is currently six shy of the all-time MVC record of 157 that has stood for over 13 seasons. Baker helped CU win its MVC opening series and post a 5-2 record last week while starting each contest.
Baker hit .429 in those games with eight extra-base hits including five home runs, 10 RBI and an amazing slugging percentage of 1.286. The senior leads the Valley in home runs (11), RBI (26), total bases (71) and slugging percentage (.959). She ranks second in the league in batting average (.419), hits (31) and on-base percentage (.494).
Changstrom earned recognition from the Valley for the third time in four weeks this season. It marks the fifth career MVC Pitcher of the Week accolade for Changstrom. She also earned the award last week with her performance at the Rebel Spring Games and three weeks ago after her showing in the circle at the Central Arkansas Tournament. Previously Changstrom won a single conference weekly honor in each of the past two seasons.
The award also marks the fourth straight week that the Valley recognized Changstrom. Two weeks ago she claimed MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week accolades after a solid weekend at the UT Arlington Maverick Invitational.
Changstrom notched an astonishing 47 strikeouts in five appearances over 30.2 innings of work to register a 4-1 record for Creighton last week.
In four starts Changstrom hurled four complete games, including a pair of shutouts, leading to a 0.68 ERA. She also came on in relief against Youngstown State to secure an extra-inning win allowing no hits and one walk over two-plus innings while striking out three.
The Lincoln, Neb., native matched her career high of 13 K's on Friday night in a conference-opening win at Evansville. She struck out 10 more Purple Aces in the series finale on Saturday.
This season Changstrom has notched 10 K's or more on six different occasions including each of her last three outings. The rest of the league owns just four games total with 10 or more strikeouts. No other MVC pitcher can claim more than one such effort in 2013.
For the week, Changstrom allowed only three earned runs and gave up seven walks while holding opposing batters to a .148 average at the plate. The junior leads the Valley in ERA (1.37), strikeouts (125), opposing batting average (.180) and wins (11).
Creighton (16-9) is set to host its first series of the season against defending MVC champion Illinois State (13-12) this weekend.
The Bluejays and Redbirds are scheduled to play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon CT at the CU Sports Complex. The teams will conclude the series with a single game Sunday slated for noon at the Complex.