Van Vleet powers softball to 3-1 weekend

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Abbie Van Vleet used her bat and her arm to lead the Simpson softball team to a 3-1 record over the weekend at the Rebel Spring Games.

Simpson started the weekend with a controversial 6-4 loss to Wheaton on Saturday, but recovered with a 9-0 win over Roger Williams later in the day before beating Beloit (2-0) and Skidmore (12-2) on Sunday.

A sophomore from Indianola in her first season with the Storm after transferring from Northern Iowa, Van Vleet hit a team-best .692 with nine RBIs and went 2-0 in the circle as Simpson improved to 10-2 on the young season.

The highlight of Van Vleet's weekend came in Sunday's win over Beloit. In that game, she carried a perfect game into the seventh inning and accounted for both Simpson runs, driving in the first and scoring the other.

Van Vleet would have had another hit on her stat line had it not been for a violation of the re-entry rule. Van Vleet appeared to complete a four-run seventh that would have forced extra innings after her two-RBI single brought Simpson all the way back from a 6-2 deficit. However, the Wheaton coaching staff appealed to the umpire, who confirmed that Van Vleet didn't officially re-enter the game after leaving for pinch-runner Kinsey Van Houten in the sixth. So, instead of a game-tying hit, she was called out.

Simpson trailed 6-2 going into the seventh before Rachel Guessford drew a bases-loaded walk and Kylie Van houten hit an RBI single. Ashley Prettyman went 3-for-4, Tori Haag hit a two-run homer in the first and Kaytlyn Ernst went 3 2/3 innings in the loss.

Van Vleet allowed just two hits in five innings of work and went 2-for-3 with a two-RBI triple. Hailey Jensen drove in two runs and Haag, Van Houten and Stacie Brown had two hits apiece. Van Vleet's triple came as part of a big third inning that saw the Storm put up four runs to take a 5-0 lead.

Van Vleet threw a complete-game, one-hitter and brought a perfect game into the seventh inning. She drove in the first run of the game on a single in the second and scored on a base hit by Brown later in the inning. She finished 3-for-3 and Van Houten went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.

SIMPSON 12, SKIDMORE 2 (5 inn.)
Simpson jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back. Van Vleet went 3-for-3 with two triples, a double and six RBIs, one shy of tying a school record. Haag went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, Van Houten drove in two runs and Ashley Prettyman went 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Ernst went two innings and struck out three in the win.