Softball team travels to Illinois to compete; ending in a 2-4 record


Submitted to the Simpsonian.

by Cole Poots, Staff Reporter

Simpson College women’s softball team started their season on Feb. 26 and left the state of Illinois with a 2-4 record.

The first day of the trip saw the Storm splitting two games, losing 7-0 in the first game off of six hits and winning 10-8 in the second game after producing 12 hits. Both games were against Illinois College.

On the second day of competing the Storm again had a battle of inconsistency, resulting in a split against their two opponents. In the first game, the Storm faced No. 9th ranked DePauw, falling just short of an impressive upset, losing 5-4. The Storm jumped to an early 3-2 advantage through four innings. The contest would go into the seventh inning at a 4-4 standstill. The Tigers managed to score the winning run on a single while they were down to their last out. The second game allowed Simpson to rebound and salvage the day by clamping down on Fontbonne, eliciting a 4-2 victory.

Entering the final day of the trip, Simpson looked to end on a high note until things didn’t quite pan out that way. In the first game, the Storm squared up once again with Illinois College and held a sizeable 7-3 lead going into the final two innings until it evaporated. The Lady Blues managed to get two runs in the sixth and walk-off in the seventh after securing another three runs. An impressive showcase of offense in the second game allowed the Storm to produce 16 hits and 12 runs against Concordia-Chicago. In the second, the Storm catapulted to an early 7-1 stomp. The Cougars were able to climb back on top 8-7 in the fifth. The game would ultimately head into extra innings nodded at 12-12, until the Concordia-Chicago knocked in three runs to win the game.

Head Coach Brent Matthias commented on what time without play causes inconsistency and errors.

“No fault of anybody but mine. I’ll take every loss as a coach and our players get every win. From the weekend as a whole though, everything is fixable. It would be different if we didn’t think we had the horses to run with everybody else. The first weekend out does not make the season and we believe that,” said Matthias.

Matthias continued to speak on what went well for the team and acknowledged how returning players were able to keep the Storm active and competitive in almost every game during the weekend trip.

“Megan Crockett hit really well, Sara Trent performed very well, and Emily Bell would probably grade herself out as medium, but we saw some glimpses of some really great stuff out of her as well,” Matthias said.

Senior, Emily Bell pitched in a total of 11 innings over the weekend and garnered 15 strikeouts. With the bat in her hands, she was able to produce 5 hits, score 4 runs, 1 RBI, 5 walks, 1 stolen base all in 12 at-bats.

“It’s hard to play softball when you have nothing to base your performance on, not having played since 2019,” Bell said. “I think the first day was filled with a lot of nerves. I think we have a really good senior leadership on this team as long as we continue to communicate to each other. Day three was just a bummer and that’s what happens when you put your guard down. Other than that, I think our team can only go up from here.”

Simpson will return to action on March 20 when they start the American Rivers Conference play against Buena Vista.