Storm sweep Loras, get No. 4 seed in IIAC Tournament

Storm sweep Loras, get No. 4 seed in IIAC Tournament

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Simpson softball team closed the regular season with a doubleheader sweep against Loras, winning game one 4-3 in eight innings and coming back for a 9-7 win in the nightcap.

With the wins, the Storm (25-13, 10-4 Iowa Conference) finish the season in a three-way tie for second in the league standings. Simpson shared the spot with Central and Luther, but will have the No. 4 seed in next week's Iowa Conference Tournament.

Simpson is set to face fifth-seeded Dubuque on Thursday, May 1 at 10 a.m. in Cedar Rapids. The winner will face top-seeded Coe later in the day and the loser will face elimination on Friday.

Game 1: Simpson 4, Loras 3

Simpson trailed 3-2 before scoring one in the seventh and one in the eighth to come back to beat Loras in game one.

Tori Haag drove in the game-winning run on a double with two outs in the top of the eighth, scoring Ashley Prettyman, who led off the inning with a double.

Stacie Brown helped send the game to extras when she doubled to center with two outs in the seventh, scoring Emma Negrete to tie the game 3-3.

Brown went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs to lead the Storm. Abbie Van Vleet (16-2) earned the win in relief of Kaytlyn Ernst, surrendering one run off three hits in the final five innings.

Simpson trailed 2-0 through the first four innings, but tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fifth on an RBI double by Brown and a run-scoring single by Van Vleet. The Duhawks (14-22, 1-13) regained a 3-2 lead on a solo homer by Lara Mangialardi in the bottom of the fifth.

Game 2: Simpson 9, Loras 7

Prettyman drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and Simpson built a 9-5 lead before holding off a late Loras rally in the seventh in game two.

The Storm trailed 5-0 after the first, but scored three in the second and tied it up in the third on a two-run homer by Van Vleet.

With the game tied 5-5 in the fifth, Van Vleet and Prettyman hit back-to-back doubles to give Simpson a 6-5 advantage. Rachel Guessford made it 8-5 with a pinch-hit, two RBI double in the sixth and Haag singled in a run to give Simpson a 9-5 lead going into the last at-bat.

Van Vleet allowed two runs to cross in the seventh before coaxing a pair of fly outs to get out of a bases-loaded jam and secure the complete-game win. Van Vleet (17-2) struck out three, improving her record to 9-1 against the Iowa Conference.

Haag went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, Van Vleet went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Britney Steele went 2-for-2 with a two-RBI triple in the second.

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