Storm trip up No. 9 Luther on the road

DECORAH, Iowa – Ashley Prettyman hit a clutch home run in game one, the offense let loose in game two and the Simpson softball team shook up the conference standings by sweeping league-leading and ninth-ranked Luther, 7-2 and 12-4 (5 innings) on Saturday.

Prettyman finished with five RBIs on the day and the Storm (27-9, 6-6 Iowa Conference) hit better than .400 against Luther pitching in the doubleheader.

The game one win marked Simpson's first against Luther in Decorah since 2005 and knocked the Norse (21-7, 7-3) out of the top spot in the conference standings.

Prior to Tuesday's doubleheader sweep over Buena Vista, Simpson was 2-6 in April, hitting .243 as a team and carrying a 4.96 team ERA during the month. In the four games since then, Simpson has won four in a row, is hitting more than 100 points better (.345) and boasts a team ERA below 1.00 (0.81).

In Saturday's opener, Simpson trailed Luther 2-1 before Prettyman's 3-run homer in the fifth made it 4-2. Hillary Harmon – who finished 4-for-5 on the day – drove in two on a double the next inning as Simpson scored three more en-route to the 7-2 win.

Chelsea Winegard went 2-for-3 with a solo homer in the second and a run-scoring single in the sixth and Kacee Arey (20-8) went the distance in the circle, allowing just four hits.

The nightcap was all Simpson as the offense scored in double figures for the first time since March 9.

Prettyman drove in two runs on a triple in the fourth, Britney Steele hit a 3-run home run in the fifth and the Storm broke open a one-run game with 11 runs in the final two innings.

Winegard's RBI double in the second stood as the game's only run until the fourth, when Stacie Brown doubled home pinch-runner Bri Nelson. Simpson went on to score four in the inning and blew the game wide open with seven in the fifth to run-rule the No. 9 team in the nation.

Katlyn Ernst (7-1) didn't allow a run and scattered four hits in four innings to earn the win.

After playing six games in the last six days, Simpson gets a week off before closing the regular season at home on Saturday, April 27 against Wartburg (4-24, 0-10). First pitch is set for 4 p.m. as Simpson will recognize its five seniors between games.