Softball claims 11-8 victory, outlasting Butler by three runs in ninth

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In their fifth extra-inning game of the season, the Creighton softball team scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning and earned an 11-8 victory over Butler on Saturday, April 20 in Indianapolis.

The win moved Creighton to 26-19 overall and 10-7 in BIG EAST play, while Butler fell to 20-24 and to 9-11 overall on the year.

The Bluejays were on the scoreboard for the first time in the series in the top of the first inning as the leadoff hitter Cayla Nielsen singles to center, put into scoring position on a single from Lily West. However, Nielsen was thrown out at home when he tried to score on a single by senior Madeline Vejvoda, which put runners in second and third place. Senior Emma Rosonke then put the Jays on the scoreboard with a sacrifice fly to deep left, followed by a sophomore RBI single Ella Dalton gave Creighton a 2-0 lead.

However, Butler would answer with five unanswered runs over the next three innings to build a 5–2 lead. The Bulldogs scored one in the first, one in the second and three in the third during the run.

Trailing 5-2, Creighton started to put up two runs in the top of the fourth on an RBI single to right from sophomore Erika Perez to cut the deficit to 5-3, before a single by freshman Ashten Piersen loaded the bases with two outs. Senior Alyssa Gappa would then score on a wild pitch, making the score 5-4.

After a goalless frame in the junior circle Kenzie Schopfer, the Bluejays got right back to work at the plate, scoring four more runs to regain an 8-5 lead. West and Vejvoda started the inning with back-to-back singles, before coming in to score on an RBI single to right from Emma Rosonke to tie the game at 5-5. Three pitches later, Creighton retook the lead by scoring two runs on an errant throw by the Bulldogs shortstop when Ella Dalton moved up to second place during the game. After a bunt single by Sydra Sevillemoving Dalton to third base, Gappa delivered an RBI single to center to give Creighton an 8-5 lead.

Butler wouldn’t go away quietly, however, as they tied the game at 8-8 in the bottom of the sixth with a three-run home run from Monique Hoosen, extending her BIG EAST home run lead to 11 as she took the game to extras.

After a scoreless eighth, the Bluejays delivered the knockout blow with three runs in the top of the ninth. Vejvoda reached on an error and a one-out single by Rosonke set the table for Dalton, who hit an RBI double to left center field to give Creighton a 9-8 lead. A single through the left side by Sevilla gave the Bluejays a 10-8 lead, while a sacrifice fly by Gappa secured the 11-8 victory.

Creighton recorded a season-high 16 hits, led by three hits from West. Five other Bluejays added two hits each, while Dalton had a season-high four RBIs. Rosonke and Vejvoda each scored three points for the Bluejays.

Sophomore Natalia Puchino improved to 19-5 on the season, allowing three runs on just one hit with five strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work.

The Bluejays conclude their three-game series with Butler on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. CT.