March 13, 2013
KISSIMMEE, Fla -
Creighton pitcher Alexis Cantu threw a five-hit shutout and battery mate Bri Lingl ripped a pair of home runs driving in all four runs as the Bluejays held off Army's late rally in a 4-0 decision at the Rebel Spring Games Wednesday evening at the Osceola County Softball Complex.
The loss was the second of the day for the Black Knights (5-8) with the long ball sending them to both defeats in leveling their record at the Rebel Spring Games to 2-2.
Cantu stranded four runners in scoring position over the final two frames in turning away Army's most serious scoring threats. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, April Ortenzo and Kasey McCravey ripped back-to-back singles up the middle, but Cantu got out unscathed after inducing the next batter to ground out to the third baseman.
Freshman Paige Valejos doubled down the left field line in leading off the bottom of the seventh and pinch hitter Callie West drew a walk, just the second issued by Cantu. The Bluejay hurler, who struck out eight batters, retired the side on a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to preserve the win and shutout.
Creighton (14-8) took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning on Lingle's two-out home run to left center field with runners at second and third to stake Cantu to a 3-0 lead. Army hurler Morgan Lashley (4-6), touched for six hits, held the Bluejays scoreless over the next two frames before yielding her second home run to Lengl, a leadoff blast in the sixth inning. Lashley retired the side with two strikeouts looking in finishing with six.
Sophomore RHP Jewels Steurer pitched the final inning for the Black Knights and was superb retiring the side with three straight strikeouts, the last looking.
Nguyen, Ortenzo, McCravey, Alex Reynolds and Vallejos collected Army's five hits with Nguyen extending her hitting streak to eight straight games. The junior outfielder is batting .467 (7-for-15) with four runs at the Rebel Games with Reynolds and McCravey each collecting six hits batting .462.
McCravey has five RBI and Reynolds is next with four. Vallejos is batting .364 and two of her four hits went for extra bases (double and home run) to lead the team with a .727 slugging percentage over a four-game span in Florida.
Army is batting .302 and its opponents .255 at the Rebel Spring Games with Lashely showing a 1.68 ERA and 2-1 record as the workhorse pitching 16.2 innings along with 19 strikeouts.
The Black Knights will look to rebound against Youngstown State and Butler on Thursday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.
DIAMOND NOTES: Overall, Army is batting .288 in 13 games with Amanda Nguyen leading the team in batting (.417), hits (20), runs(13) and stolen bases (12) ... freshman Kasey McCravey is next hitting .366 and leads the team in RBI with 12, is second in hits (15) and third in runs scored (nine) .. senior co-captain Alex Reynolds is batting .333 and is second in RBI (12) and third in hits (12) ... Army was touched for five home runs in today's doubleheader - Eastern Illinois had three and Creighton two.