The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

Geer, signing off
Geer, signing off
by Caleb Geer, Ad Manager/Web Editor • April 27, 2024

I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do with my life when I showed up on campus in the middle of the pandemic almost four years ago. I knew...

Looking back at my time at Simpson
Looking back at my time at Simpson
by Kyle Werner, Managing Editor & Social Media Manager • April 27, 2024

It all started with soup. No, really, let me explain. I was so passionate about the soup in SubConnection as a first year that it caught the...

So long, farewell, I’ve got no more stories to tell
So long, farewell, I’ve got no more stories to tell
by Jenna Prather, Editor-in-chief • April 27, 2024

Unlike my fellow student media seniors who’ve written this before me, I came into Simpson knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I did independent...

Commitment. Respect. Grit.

Abby Hintz
Madeline Peterson and the Simpson Storm softball collected an 18 game winning streak.

The Simpson Storm softball team has been making history this season as the team with the second-longest winning streak in school history. 

The longest winning streak dates back to the 90s when the team won a national championship. This year, the team won 18 straight ball games before falling to Loras in game one of the double-header on April 10. The Storm came back to beat Loras 9-0 in game two.

“Every time we won a game, there was added pressure. Pressure is a good thing. Pressure makes diamonds, but each game kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and sometimes when you’re focused on the streak instead of the process that got you there or is getting you there, that can be a challenge,” Brent Matthias, head coach of the Simpson softball team, said. “But I thought the players did a good job handling that added pressure.”

After beating Nebraska Wesleyan on April 9, the Storm were 6-0 in conference play, marking their best start to conference play since 2011. 

The doubleheader against the Prairie Wolves also saw two players add more milestones to the already stacked season. Ashlyn Steen collected her 100th career hit, and Maddie Luderman became the program’s all-time leader in RBIs and set the all-time program record for walks.

“Our radio guy, Todd Gosford, told me about the RBI record, but I had no idea about the walk record, so that was a bit of a surprise when I did that,” Luderman said. “It was cool. All my teammates were supportive and cheered me on, and then, of course, my family came and hugged me after the game.”

Luderman’s goals going into the season were to go out and have fun. “I’m glad I get to go out with this team. All the girls on the team are some of my best friends, and I’m really excited I get to spend time with them,” she said. 

Luderman hopes to continue having fun building on what the team has already accomplished and focusing on the little things that will help them succeed later down the road.

Alexis Ehlers is also having a stellar season. Ehlers joined the 100-hit club when the Storm swept the Beavers on April 3. At the time, she and Luderman were the only two active players on the team to have hit the milestone.

“I had no idea. They told me after the game, and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s crazy.’ I had no idea I was even that close.I didn’t hit a whole lot my freshman year, so I think that’s why it was so mind-blowing to me that it happened,” Ehlers said. “It’s a good feeling to know that the hard work that I’m doing is paying off, and although it’s not about personal goals, it’s good to see that it is reflecting in some way and that the school’s really good about showing how much hard work you’re putting in by sharing those goals with everyone.

Ehlers eyes first-team all-conference and all-region honors this season, with aspirations for an All-American title. She noted the team’s determination to reach the conference tournament and pursue success beyond.

“(It) isn’t a very measurable goal, but I think it’s a measurable goal in my heart,” Ehlers said. “I would say more than any other year, I’ve seen a connection that is the strongest connection I’ve ever been a part of on a team … I am very thankful for that.”

Ehlers went on to say that the connection and togetherness of the team make going to practice and school a lot easier, on top of competing on the field.

“Knowing that you’re able to compete with people that support you and people that can get you out of a bad mindset or bad game is incredibly awesome,” she said. “But also, with the win streak, as much pressure as it was, it was so much fun being able to experience something that hasn’t been done in a while in program history.”

Ehlers said the winning streak will be a motivating factor to help them focus on going far in the conference tournament. “It helped us see that we are capable and we are good enough to make it,” she said.

So, what’s different this year than years prior? Coach Matthias said he thinks, “They have a team philosophy. A family philosophy that we haven’t had in the past, where everybody is pulling in the same direction versus individual stats and accomplishments. It is a team focus, one through 29. I feel like that’s a big thing.”

The team has three words they chose at the beginning of the season to represent them — commitment, respect and grit. The team focuses on these three words at every practice and game.

The team’s goal before the season started was to play the best they could, and they would let the results take it from there. Now that the season is well underway, their goal hasn’t changed.

“It’s still getting better one percent every day and playing our best. And I think the team has done a very good job with that,” Matthias said.

Another phrase the team uses is “mudita,” which means vicarious joy in the success of others.

“We say that a lot because only nine people get to play at a time, but we’ve got a roster full of people who come to practice every single day and may not get an opportunity to play in the game,” Matthias said, “But when we have ‘mudita,’ the vicarious joy in the success of others, everybody wants to see everybody succeed at what their role is.” 

Even after their 18-game win streak was halted, the team stands at 24-8 overall and 7-3 in conference play as of April 14. They are more motivated than ever and are determined to prove doubters wrong.

“There’s internal motivation from within the team, and then I think there’s a lot of external motivation because not a lot of people believe in us,” Matthias said. “We were picked sixth in the league, and even on our winning streak, we had some doubters, some people who still didn’t believe in us.”

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Abby Hintz
Abby Hintz, ID Magazine Editor-in-Chief & Layout Editor

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