INDIANOLA, Iowa – The Simpson softball team got a clutch home run in a game-one win but let a big lead slip away in the nightcap, splitting a doubleheader against 23rd-ranked Washington-St. Louis on a chilly Friday afternoon.
Tori Haag's fifth-inning home run gave Simpson a 3-2 win in the opener and the Storm (12-8) led 7-2 in game two before the Bears (15-8) scored nine in their last at-bat to steal an 11-7 win.
Game 1: Simpson 3, Washington 2
Abbie Van Vleet handcuffed the Bears offense for most of the day, allowing six hits and striking out four in the complete-game win. Sydney Caldwell took advantage of Van Vleet's only mistake when she hit a game-tying, two-run homer to center in the fourth inning.
Haag, the starting catcher, picked up the slack for her battery mate in the fifth. The sophomore waited on an Annie Pitkin changeup and crushed it over the fence in left field to lead off the inning. The one-run lead was more than enough for Van Vleet, who allowed just one base runner in the final two at-bats.
Game 2: Washington 11, Simpson 7
Home runs by Steele and Hillary Harmon helped Simpson to a 7-2 lead after six, making the sweep seem like a sure-thing before a disastrous seventh inning left the Storm wondering what happened.
Simpson went through three pitching changes, committed two errors and allowed nine hits in the nine-run inning. Hannah Mehrle scored the go-ahead run on a double by Maggie Ingell as Washington sent 13 batters to the plate.
Kaytlyn Ernst was in line for the win when she left the game in the sixth, but ended up with the loss after allowing three hits and a walk upon re-entering in the seventh.
Simpson hosts UW-Eau Claire in a doubleheader Saturday morning beginning at 10 a.m.