Late rallies not enough against Central

Carissa Coopman
Carissa Coopman

INDIANOLA - Simpson scored three runs in the seventh inning of game one and loaded the bases in the last at-bat of game two but couldn't come up with the hits it needed most, dropping 8-6 and 4-2 decisions to No. 3 Central on Wednesday at Simpson Softball Complex. 

The Storm (20-10, 6-2 Iowa Conference) suffered their first two conference losses of the season and saw their six-game winning streak come to a close. 

A three-run homer by Annie Sarcone in the seventh proved to be the difference for the Dutch (25-3, 6-0) in game one. Leading 5-3, Katie Tenboer singled and Caitlyn Meyer reached on an error two batters later, putting runners at the corners for Sarcone's shot over the left field fence.

Down five runs, Amanda Enochs, Tieryn Potratz and Veronica Roshek strung together consecutive base-hits to start the bottom of the seventh. Enochs scored on Roshek's single and a one-out base hit by Allie Hock loaded the bases for reining Iowa Conference Player of the Week, Kylie Van Houten.

The freshman delivered with a two-RBI double off the left field wall, making the score 8-6 with runners at second and third. But with two outs and pinch-hitter Chelsea Winegard at the plate, Meyer attempted to pick Van Houten off second and the game ended with pinch-runner Leslie Downing being thrown out at the plate after a short rundown between second and third. 

Sarcone went 3-for-4 with five RBIs and Kiley Lytherberg (11-2) struck out four in the win.

Potratz went 3-for-4 with a home run, her 14th of the season. Van Houten drove in three and Kacee Arey (10-4) took the loss, giving up eight runs - seven earned - in 6 1/3 innings.

The nightcap ended in similar fashion for the Storm.

Down 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh with two outs and pinch-runner Katie Lambert on first, Potratz drew a walk and Roshek connected on an infield single, loading the bases for Keri Sorensen

With Sorensen at the plate, starter Brie Haycraft re-entered the game, retiring Sorensen on strikes.

Simpson also left the bases loaded in the fifth inning.

Angela Davis hit her first home run of the year in the first inning, finishing 2-for-3 with two RBIs for the Dutch. Haycraft (7-1) got the win, tossing five innings in all.

Carissa Coopman provided the offensive firepower for the Storm, breaking up Haycraft's no-hitter with a two-run homer in the fifth that brought Simpson within one at 3-2. Allison Barloon (6-2) took the loss, allowing three runs off five hits in 4 1/3 innings.  

The road ahead doesn't get any easier for the Storm, who travel to Cedar Rapids to take on ninth-ranked Coe (24-5, 6-1) on Saturday. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 2 p.m.