DECORAH, Iowa – The No. 22 Simpson softball team lost a one-run pitcher's duel in game one and couldn't recover from a slow start in game two, dropping both games of a doubleheader to No. 4 Luther, 1-0 and 9-6 on Saturday.
Riley Fisher surrendered just four hits in the opener, but two came in the third when Miranda McCay drove in the only run of the game on a one-out single for the Norse (29-1, 8-0). Fisher (9-3) struck out five in six innings and retired 11 of 15 after McCay's RBI.
Amanda Witzlib (13-1) held Simpson to two hits and struck out 10 in the shutout.
Simpson trailed 9-4 in the nightcap before getting a two-run, pinch-hit homer from Briana Chaplin in the seventh. The comeback ended there, however, as reliever Annie Versnik retired the final two batters to shut the door.
Game two featured a five-run first inning by Luther as starter Abbie VanVleet (10-4) was chased after an inning.
Its lead trimmed to a run, Luther responded with four more runs in the second.
Versnik (8-0) threw 5 2/3 innings in the win. Kaytlyn Ernst and Maggie Long combined to throw five innings of relief for the Storm. Ernst gave up four runs – one earned – in 2 1/3 and Long held Luther scoreless in 2 2/3.
Errors hurt Simpson in game two. The Storm committed three miscues that resulted in five unearned runs.
Simpson opens a four-game homestand Wednesday, April 15 when Coe visits Simpson Softball Complex for a makeup doubleheader from Wednesday, April 8. The Kohawks (17-11, 3-3) swept Wartburg on Saturday.