DECORAH, Iowa - The Simpson softball team showed that it has plenty of fight left on Saturday.
No. 4-seeded Simpson staved off elimination, upsetting No. 2-seeded Central 8-4 and knocking out No. 6-seeded Cornell 6-3 to advance to the final day of the Iowa Conference Tournament.
Tieryn Potratz (Fort Dodge, Iowa) hit two home runs and drove in six in game one and Bryn Johnson (Laurens, Iowa) threw all 14 innings for the Storm (24-17), who will play third-seeded Coe (35-8) at 11 a.m. Saturday. The winner will advance to play top-seeded Luther (36-4) in the first championship game of the double-elimination tournament at 1 p.m.
Making only three starts in 27 appearances during the reuglar season, Johnson put the team on her back with two complete-game wins, her first of the season. The senior allowed four unearned runs against No. 5 Central, striking out three. She spread out 10 hits against Cornell, giving up two earned runs and striking out five.
Potratz helped Johnson's cause in game one, going 2-for-3 with a solo homer in the first and a grand slam in the second. The sophomore ended her 11-game homerless streak, giving her 16 long balls on the season and helping set a team record for home runs in a season with 29. She also set Simpson's single-season record for RBIs in a season, moving her total to 44 on the year.
Carissa Coopman (Davenport, Iowa) went 4-for-4, Veronica Roshek (Urbandale, Iowa) and Amanda Enochs (Des Moines, Iowa) had two hits apiece and Keri Sorensen (Bettendorf, Iowa) hit a solo homer in the fifth.
Simpson built a 7-0 lead before allowing four unearned runs in the fifth. After that, Johnson retired six of the last seven batters.
Kylie Van Houten (Des Moines, Iowa) drove in the winning run in the fourth inning of game two and Johnson helped out her own cause with a two-RBI single.
Run-scoring doubles by Allie Hock (Lawrence, Kan.) and Coopman made the score 6-1 after five before Sam Tonelli's two-RBI double in the sixth.
Hock, Coopman and Enochs each went 2-for-3. Roshek added two hits and Johnson finished 1-for-3 at the plate.