Oltman Shuts Down Bears as Creighton Takes Series with 4-0 Victory
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Creighton pitcher Tara Oltman turned in a five-hit shutout of the Missouri State softball team in a 4-0 CU victory in the rubber match of the Bears’ and Bluejays’ three-game series Sunday afternoon at Killian Softball Stadium. Creighton, which claimed a 3-0 win in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader before falling by a 1-0 score in the nightcap, improved to 31-13 overall and a Missouri Valley Conference-best 17-5 in league play, while the Bears dropped to 19-21 on the year and 8-9 in MVC play.
Oltman had some help on the offensive end Sunday, led by Jessica Wakasugi’s 2-for-2 effort that paced the Jays’ seven-hit attack. Michelle Koch also played a starring role, going 1-for-3 and scoring the first two Creighton runs of the contest after sparking Bluejay scoring threats in the first and third innings. The junior second baseman drew a one-out walk and scored on a Bailey Dawson squeeze bunt to give CU a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. In her next at-bat, she doubled and came around on a Renae Sinkler single to left to make it a two-run ballgame.
That would be more than enough of a cushion for Oltman, who turned in her 11th shutout of the season in moving to within two victories of the MVC’s career record. Oltman (25-9) struck out five Bears en route to her 28th complete game of the season and her 82nd career victory as a Bluejay.
The Bears never could mount a serious scoring threat against Oltman, who completed her third start of the series without allowing a single earned run with the victory. MSU put a pair of runners on base in the fourth and seventh innings, but CU’s junior hurler worked out of trouble in each instance to preserve the Creighton margin.
The Jays added two insurance runs in the sixth, as Michelle Graner walked and scored on a Wakasugi’s second hit of the day. Pinch-runner Kari Sakamoto then came home on a Jessi Jadlowski sac fly to account for the fourth run of the contest.
Lauren McGinley (10-10) suffered the defeat for MSU, allowing two runs on just three hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings.
Jessie Smith spearheaded the Bears’ offense, going 2-for-3 on the afternoon.
Up next, the Bears will begin the final week of the regular season with a Wednesday afternoon contest at Tulsa. Game time is set for 4 p.m., at Donna J. Hardesty Sports Complex.