Creighton Defeats SIU, 6-2; Wins 2007 State Farm MVC Title
May 12, 2007
NORMAL, Ill. - A three-run first inning was more than enough for Creighton pitcher Tara Oltman, as the freshman hurler went the distance leading the top-seeded Bluejays to the 2007 Missouri Valley Conference Championship with the 6-2 victory over third-seeded Southern Illinois Saturday in Normal, Ill.
The championship for the Bluejays was the fifth all-time in the program's history.
Creighton received stand out performances from Oltman, who struck out eight on her way to recording her 25th win of the season, and catcher TJ Eadus, who went 3-for-4 with a home run and 4 RBI.
The Bluejays' overall record improves to 39-12-1 and they receive the MVC champion's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Salukis' season mark stands at 40-14 and now must wait and see if they earn an at-large bid to the NCAA's postseason tournament.
Creighton wasted little time getting on the board against SIU's All-Conference pitcher Cassidy Scoggins, as the `Jays scored three runs in the top of first. Shortstop Bailey Dawson singled sharply to right driving in the game's leadoff batter Jamie Reiss. Reiss started the game off with an opposite-field single to left and advance to second when center fielder Jessica Wakasugi walked. Both Dawson and Wakasugi advanced an extra base when SIU right fielder Katie Wilson tried to throw Reiss out at the plate. The extra bases proved costly, as Wakasugi scored on a fielder's choice RBI off the bat of catcher TJ Eadus and Dawson crossed home on a RBI ground out by Caitlin Marcano.
The Salukis pushed across their first run of the game on a blast to straight away center field off the bat of Wilson in the bottom of the second inning. Wilson hit her team-leading 14th home run of the season on the first offering she saw from Oltman.
Creighton recorded two insurance runs in the top of the fifth inning as Eadus raked a two-run shot over the 210-foot sign in center field, her 16th blast of the season, off of SIU reliever Ashley Hamby. Dawson came around to score on Eadus' blast after she recorded her second hit of the day, which chased Scoggins from the game.
The Bluejays and the rest of the Missouri Valley Conference hopefuls will anxiously await Sunday's selection show that will air during the 2 p.m. (CST) hour on ESPNEWS to find out where their journeys to the Women's College World Series will begin.