INDIANOLA, Iowa – It's not often that a softball team scores 17 runs on 23 hits and blasts five home runs in a doubleheader. It's even less likely for that team to come away winless.
Unfortunately for the Simpson softball team, that's exactly what happened Tuesday evening.
The marquee matchup to open Iowa Conference play went to the Dutch (21-6, 2-0), who came back from an 8-4 deficit in the opener and scored seven runs in the seventh inning to pull away in game two.
Despite impressive offensive numbers, the Storm (21-5, 0-2) were hurt by seven errors on the afternoon.
The teams combined for 10 homers, 46 hits and 44 runs, with the game one lead changing hands four times.
Game 1: Central 11, Simpson 10
Central broke a 9-9 tie with two runs in the seventh and Simpson couldn't capitalize in the home half after loading the bases with one out, losing 11-10.
The back-and-forth affair saw the lead change hands four times. Central scored one in the first before Rachel Guessford hit a three-run homer to give Simpson a 3-1 lead. Whitney Sowers answered with a three-run homer of her own in the second before the Storm plated five, highlighted by a pinch-hit, grand slam off the bat of Chaplin that gave Simpson an 8-4 lead after two.
Simpson took a 9-6 lead on Hailey Jensen's sacrifice fly in the fourth, but Central crept back into the game, tying it up when Abbey Strajack scored off a wild pitch in the eighth. Emily Walton drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh and Paige Schreiner made it 11-9 on a double steal.
Prettyman hammered a solo shot to right-center to lead off the seventh. With one out, Simpson loaded the bases before Mallory Schulenberg got Britney Steele to pop out and Jensen to ground out to end the game. Schulenberg earned her first save of the season, re-entering to record the final three outs after being ineffective in three innings as a starter.
Trisha Smith (10-1) came on in relief to earn the win, holding Simpson to two hits in the final 2 2/3 innings. Kaytlyn Ernst (2-1) suffered the loss in relief.
Game 2: Central 17, Simpson 6
Simpson entered the seventh with a manageable 9-7 deficit before Central broke the game open with seven runs. A grand slam by Abbie Voas and a two-run homer by Karlee Rock provided most of the damage as Central went on to win 17-6.
Jensen hit a three-run homer in the third that brought Simpson within 6-4 and Chaplin roped a two-RBI double to make it 7-6 after five. Central scored two in the top of the sixth, but Grace Hall's first career-home run pulled Simpson within 9-7 going into the final at-bat.
That's when it got out of hand. Central took advantage of Simpson's third error of the game to score three unearned runs, sending 10 batters to the plate in the process.
Schulenberg (8-4) started the game, then re-entered in the fifth to get the win. Abbie VanVleet (10-2) took the loss, allowing nine runs – seven earned – off nine hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Simpson goes to Buena Vista on Saturday, April 4. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.