CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Simpson softball team got out to a quick start on Sunday but couldn't get over the hump against No. 9 Coe, bowing out of the Iowa Conference Tournament with a 9-2 loss.
The fourth-seeded Storm (27-15) led 2-1 after the first inning but Coe scored three in the second and four in the third to pull away.
The top-seeded Kohawks (35-7) improved to 4-0 on the season against Simpson and advanced to play second-seeded Luther in the first championship game, losing 15-11. With the win, the Norse earned the conference's automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Division III Championship.
Rachel Guessford drove in two runs on a single in the first to give Simpson a 2-0 lead against Kohawk ace, Maddison Woodruff.
Simpson brought a 2-1 lead into the second before Coe scored three runs in the home half. Erin Lang doubled in a run, Danielle Schlotterbeck drew a bases-loaded walk and Lang scored on a wild pitch to give Coe a 4-2 lead.
Abby Flannagan hit a three-run homer in the third and Coe built a commanding 8-2 lead.
Kaytlyn Ernst took the loss in relief of starter Abbie Van Vleet. Ernst entered the game after Van Vleet allowed a leadoff single in the second. Ernst (7-11) went three innings, allowing seven earned runs.
Arran Weeces (13-5) didn't allow a run in three innings of relief for Coe.
Simpson went 2-2 and finished third at the conference tournament, which featured three, top-25 teams. Both of the Storm's losses came at the hands of No. 9 Coe.
The NCAA Division III Championship selection show will air on Monday at 9 a.m. on NCAA.com