Softball splits on final two days in Florida, come out 18-2

by Brock Borgeson, sports editor

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Simpson College softball team faced a slew of 2014 NCAA Regional Championship Qualifiers in the final two days in Winter Haven, Fla.

The Storm went 2-2, winning a pair of shutouts while dropping two to top 25 teams in Illinois Wesleyan University and Rowan University, finishing the trip 18-2.

Mar. 12: Game 1 – Illinois Wesleyan 7, Simpson 3

No. 6 Illinois Wesleyan Titans scored two in the top half of the first although Simpson bounced back with three in the bottom half of the first to take a 3-2 lead.

Rachel Guessford drove in two on a single and Ashley Prettyman one with a double, pouncing on a Titans error that extended the inning.

The Titans tacked on two in the second, fifth and one in the seventh to put away the 7-3 victory as Riley Fisher lost her first decision of the season, dropping to 7-1.

Mar. 12: Game 2 – Simpson 3, Beloit 0

Simpson responded after their first loss of the season with a 3-0 shutout of Beloit College.

Abbie Van Vleet neared perfection, allowing only two hits as she pitched a seven-inning shutout to improve to 8-0 on the season.

Pincb-runner Annie Stolte scored on a passed ball in the fourth inning to break the 0-0 tie.

Britney Steele tacked on another run in the fourth with a sacrifice fly to drive in VanVleet.

Up 2-0 in the top of the seventh, Tori Haag hit a solo-shot to give Simpson a 3-0 lead.

Mar. 13: Game 1 – Simpson 4, Farmingdale State 0

Simpson shutout a 2014 NCAA Regional Championship qualifier in Farmingdale State College 4-0 on Friday, riding another two-hit outing from VanVleet as she improved to 9-0 on the season.

An unearned run and RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Ashley Prettyman gave Simpson a 2-0 lead after the first and that’s all the Storm would need.

The Storm got two more unearned runs to put the game out of reach at 4-0.

Taylor Davis was the lone Storm player having a multi-hit game as Simpson generated enough offense despite stranding 10 runners.

Mar. 13: Game 2 – Rowan 5, Simpson 0

Simpson and starting pitcher Riley Fisher ran into another tough opponent in No. 21 Rowan University, getting shutout 5-0 in the final game in Florida.

Rowan scored three in the fourth and two in the sixth, getting five runs on nine hits, four of which were earned against Fisher who now stands at 7-2 on the season.

Prettyman and Stacie Brown both had two-hits although Simpson (18-2) stranded 11 runners in the loss, generating six hits as a team.

Coming up:

Simpson has a long break between games, getting back to action on Mar. 27 with non-conference play against Saint Benedict back in Indianola.