PELLA, Iowa - The Simpson softball team opened Iowa Conference play with a pair of narrow losses to No. 20 Central on Tuesday, losing 6-5 on a walk off in the opener and stranding 11 on base in a 3-1 loss in game two.
Simpson out-hit Central 14-12 on the day, but couldn't come up with enough big hits to knock off the nationally-ranked Dutch (16-8, 2-0). The Storm (21-6, 0-2) stranded 17 baserunners to Central's seven.
Abbie VanVleet hit a game-tying, three-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning before Sadie Baugher hit walk-off sacrifice fly to win it. Pinch hitter Kylie Olson tripled to lead off the frame.
Simpson trailed 5-2 with two outs in its last at-bat when Taylor Davis kept the game - and her hitting streak - alive. Davis recorded a hit for the 14th-straight game with a double to left. Rachel Guessford reached on an error and VanVleet took a Karly Olson offering over the left field fence.
VanVleet (9-2) suffered the loss in the circle, surrendering six earned runs off eight hits. Olson (9-8) fanned eight in the win.
Guessford drove in the first run of the game to give Simpson a 1-0 lead in the third. Central came back with five in the home half, highlighted by a two-run homer from Olson.
Guessford put Simpson on the board for the second game in a row with an RBI single in the first but Simpson wouldn't score again despite leaving runners on in all but one inning.
Fisher (10-1) suffered her first loss of the season despite allowing just three earned runs. Olson earned her second win of the day, allowing just one earned runs on nine hits.
Paige Schreiner drove in a run in the fourth and scored the final run on an Abbie Voas single in the sixth.
Simpson hosts Dubuque on Saturday, April 9. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.