DECORAH, Iowa – A squeeze bunt in the sixth inning proved to be the difference as the Simpson softball team dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to St. Catherine on the first day of the NCAA Softball Regional Tournament.
With the loss, the third-seeded Storm (30-10) will play fourth-seeded Wis.-Superior in an elimination game Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Yellowjackets (27-14) lost to top-seeded Luther 8-0 in six innings.
Pitcher Krista Flugstad helped her own cause on a safety squeeze with one out in the sixth inning, the lone blemish on Riley Fisher's record on the day. Fisher (15-3) allowed just four hits in six innings.
Flugstad (18-14) allowed four hits and struck out nine for the second-seeded Wildcats (32-9), who face Luther on Saturday at 11 a.m. Robyn Rohr and Megan Lindenfelser had two hits apiece.
Simpson's best opportunity to score on Flugstad may have been in the first. Arianna Kim hit an infield single and Rachel Guessford singled to left with two outs. Abbie VanVleet walked to load the bases, but Brianna Chaplin grounded out to Flugstad to end the threat.
Simpson beat Wis.-Superior 8-0 in five innings on Feb. 28 at the Finlandia Dome Tournament in Marquette, Mich.