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Liz Dike had three RBI on Saturday.
Courtesy: Eric Francis

Early Outburst Lifts Softball Over No. 24 Cal, 6-4

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Six runs in the first two innings supplied all the offense that Creighton would need as the Bluejay Softball program posted its third straight win with a 6-4 victory over No. 24 Cal to close out play at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

Creighton stands at 3-2 after the opening weekend of play, posting its first win over a ranked team since a victory over No. 21 Tulsa last March.  Cal fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, dropping to 1-1 this spring.

The Bluejays put up four runs in the top of the first against Cal hurler Stephanie Trzcinski, who was making her collegiate debut. A one-out double by Ellen Homan got the rally started, and she would come around to score on a single from Liz Dike to crack the scoring column. Alexis Cantu followed with a walk to move Dike into scoring position. Two batters later freshman Jen Daro belted the first home run of her young career, a three-run clout to give the Jays a 4-0 lead.

Creighton worked some two-out magic to add to the lead in the top of the second. With two away, Blair Lowe walked and moved to second on Homan's single. Dike then crushed a double that scored both women, making it 6-0 and ending Trzcinski's morning.

Handed a healthy lead to work with, Creighton ace Becca Changstrom did the rest. She didn't allow her first hit until the bottom of the fourth inning, but would work out of that jam by coaxing a double-play ball hit by Ashley Decker.

Cal made things interesting in the sixth inning. Back-to-back singles, followed by a one-out walk loaded the bases for Bears senior Jordan Wallace. Wallace stepped up in a big way, hitting a grand slam to clear the bases and trim Creighton's lead to 6-4. Unshaken, Changstrom would retire the next two batters to preserve the lead.

The seventh inning had similar drama, but Changstrom again worked out of a jam as Creighton earned the victory. Cal's Kylie Reed reached on an error to open the seventh before tying runner LaRisa Jones walked. Reed, however, would be caught stealing for the first out. Cheyenne Cordes followed with a walk as the Bears once again sent the winning run to the plate, but All-Region slugger Danielle Henderson hit into a game-ending 5-3 double play.

Dike and Homan each had two hits on the morning to pace the Creighton offense, while Dike and Daro each had three RBI. Changstrom improved to 2-1 on the season, working around five hits and an equal number of walks in the complete game victory.

Cal's Trzcinski (0-1) earned the loss in the circle during her college debut, allowing six runs, five hits and two walks in 1.2 inning.

Creighton takes next weekend off before returning to the diamond on Feb. 21 at the UTA Hilton Invitational in Arlington, Texas.
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