KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Creighton softball team split a doubleheader against UMKC on Friday at the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy.
The Bluejays fell 7-4 during the opening game before bouncing back for a 4-1 win in the second.
Creighton moved its overall record to 7-8, while UMKC went to 16-8.
Friday’s games marked the Bluejays’ first contests since Feb. 24 as each of the last two weekend home series were canceled because of unplayable field conditions in Omaha.
Creighton scored two runs during both the third and fifth innings to down the Kangaroos by three runs during the nightcap.
Courtney Sandell finished 3-for-4 with one RBI and tied a single-game program record with two doubles to pace the Bluejays’ offense.
Kiele Miller struck out seven batters and allowed only four hits during the complete-game effort for her third victory of the season.
Creighton scored its first run after Kelli Finan lifted a ball towards center field with runners at second and third and one out in the top of the third. UMKC recorded the out and fired the ball home, but the throw went wide of the catcher and all the way to the backstop, allowing Sam Alm to score from third base without a play.
After working a full count, Mikaela Pechar doubled to drive in the Bluejays’ second run of the third inning.
Creighton left two on base during the top of the fourth before host UMKC loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth with two outs. Miller fell behind 2-0 against the Kangaroos’ No. 2 hitter but induced a fly out to Alm in left field for the third out, preserving Creighton’s two-run advantage.
The Bluejays loaded the bases with a single and pair of walks in the fifth before Sandell delivered with a RBI single and Ashley Cantu drew a bases loaded walk as Creighton gained a 4-0 lead.
UMKC’s first two hitters walked in the bottom fifth and one came around to score to cut the Kangaroos’ deficit to three runs, 4-1.
Miller worked around a one-out double in the seventh to guide the Bluejays’ to their seventh victory of the season.
Creighton jumped out to a quick 1-0 edge in the first game as Cantu, the Bluejays’ lead-off hitter, raced all the way around the bases on a hit down the left-field line for an inside-the-park homer.
UMKC quickly countered with a two-out two-RBI single during the bottom of the first inning.
The Kangaroos added to their lead with a single to right field in the third to pull ahead 3-1.
The Bluejays tied the game during the top of the fourth. Jayci Foster and Pechar each recorded sacrifices to plate a pair of runs. Foster put down a bunt and reached on an error as Sydney Jenkins crossed home plate for the Bluejays second run. Pechar followed McGill with a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in Jacey Sawyer and tie the game at 3-3.
Creighton took its second lead of the game with an RBI from Jenkins in the fifth. The Bluejay junior sent a shot down to first base and reached on an error as Kristin Fry scored from third.
UMKC scored four times in the sixth inning to close out the game. A solo home run tied the game, a two-RBI double gave the ‘Roos the lead and a run-scoring single pushed the UMKC edge to 7-4.
Sandell led off the Bluejays’ half of the seventh with a pinch-hit infield single to second base before the Kangaroos escaped the inning without allowing a run.
Cantu led Creighton during the opening game by going 3-for-4.
The Bluejays return to the field at the Urban Youth Academy for a pair of games on Saturday afternoon. Creighton will play South Dakota State at noon followed by a game against UMKC at 2:30 p.m.