WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Simpson softball team split its two games at the Rebel Spring Games on Thursday, beating Illinois Wesleyan 10-8 and falling to Muskingum 8-6.
Simpson closes play at the Rebel Spring Games on Friday, playing regularly scheduled opponents Montclair St. at 11 a.m. and St. Scholastica.at 3 p.m. Simpson will then resume its game against Mount St. Joseph, which the Storm led 5-1 in the 5th before going into a rain delay on Wednesday.
SIMPSON 10, ILLINOIS WELSEYAN 8
Van Vleet hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the top of the seventh then came on to earn the save.
Simpson led 5-1 before the Titans – who were receiving votes in the NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll – scored five in the sixth thanks to a three-run homer by Sara Rogers. Down 6-5, Hailey Jensen and Kylie Van Houten led off the seventh with base hits and Van Vleet made it 8-6 with a three-run blast to left.
Ashley Prettyman drove in her third run of the game on a groundout and Stacie Brown scored on an error to give Simpson a 10-6 cushion. Two batters into the seventh, Van Vleet – who pitched the first 5 1/3 innings – re-entered to retire the final three batters and earn the save. Kaytlyn Ernst got the win, recording the final out of the sixth.
MUSKINGUM 8, SIMPSON 6
Haag went 3-for-3 and Van Vleet had two hits and four RBIs but it wasn't enough against Muskingum, which scored three in the fourth and three in the sixth in the comeback win.
Jensen drove in a run on a fielder's choice and Van Vleet hit a two-run single in the first as Simpson got out to a 3-0 lead. Another two-run single by Van Vleet in the third made it 5-2.
Kelly Martin sparked the Muskingum comeback. Her two-run triple in the fourth helped tie it 5-5, then her two-run single in the sixth sparked another three-run inning to turn a 6-5 deficit into an 8-6 lead.
Courtney Wagner suffered the loss, giving up six runs – all earned – in 4 1/3 innings.