CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Kacee Arey threw a one-hitter but the fourth-seeded Simpson softball team lost to fifth-seeded Dubuque 2-1 in the first round of an altered Iowa Conference Tournament on Saturday.
Due to inclement weather, the tournament changed from a double elimination format to a single elimination format, resulting in a win-or-go-home scenario.
Arey (21-9) carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, when she retired the first two batters. She walked Meggie Schmidt and Amber Meyer broke up the no-no – and effectively knocked the Storm (29-10) out of the tournament – with a two-run homer.
The Spartans (16-17) advance to play top-seeded Coe in the semifinals on Sunday, while Simpson awaits its postseason fate.
Ranked No. 24 in the nation and No. 5 in the Midwest Region, the Storm will find out if they receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when NCAA.com airs the selection show on Monday at 9 a.m.
Van Houten advanced to second in the third inning, but Chelsea Winegard lined into a double play to end the inning.
Simpson didn't have another base runner until the seventh, when Stacie Brown and Rachel Guessford drew back-to-back, two-out walks. With runners on first and second, pinch-hitter Emma Heitritter saw 11 pitches before grounding out to third to end the game.
Emily Michels (12-13) gave up three hits and struck out six for Dubuque.