BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Stacie Brown had three hits, Abbie VanVleet had two RBIs to help out Riley Fisher, and Simpson beat Anderson (Ind.) 9-3 in the first game of the Bloomington Regional at the NCAA Division III Softball Championship.
The second-seeded Storm (30-10) advance to play the winner of the suspended matchup between top-seeded Illinois Wesleyan and fourth-seeded Alma. That game – Friday's second – was suspended in the second inning due to rain and will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday. The winner will play Simpson at 11 a.m.
VanVleet hit a two-RBI single as part of a six-run second inning that gave Simpson a 7-0 lead. Ashley Prettyman hit the first of her two doubles to lead off the inning as the first seven Storm batters reached base. Hailey Jensen , Brianna Chaplin and Tori Haag also drove in runs in the inning.
Fisher (14-5) went six innings to pick up her 14th win of the season. She was charged with three earned runs on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Anderson starter Sami Frazier (8-4) lasted just one inning, giving up four earned runs on four hits.
The Ravens (30-10) got two runs in the third and pulled within 7-3 on Regan Sharp's RBI single in the fifth. Fisher fanned two batters in a row to get out of the fifth and handed off to VanVleet for a scoreless seventh.
WITH THE WIN, SIMPSON: Advances to play the winner of Illinois Wesleyan and Alma at 11 a.m. Saturday … won its first NCAA Tournament game since 2010, its last appearance … improves to 39-26 all-time in the NCAA Tournament … reached 30 wins in a season for the first time since 2010 … improved to 7-0 all-time against Anderson.