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Storm drop doubleheader to hard-hitting Grinnell

Ashley Allen
Ashley Allen

GRINNELL, Iowa -- The Simpson softball team led in both games of Tuesday's doubleheader at Grinnell but couldn't come away with a win, losing the opener 13-5 in five innings before dropping the nightcap 8-6.

The Storm are now 14-6 on the season heading into this weekend's Iowa Conference opener against Buena Vista. The Pioneers extended their winning streak to five games, improving to 8-3.

Game One
Grinnell 13, Simpson 5 (5 innings)

Grinnell hit four home runs -- including a grand slam in the first inning -- and Simpson's offense couldn't keep pace in a game cut short by the run rule. The Pioneers pounded out 12 hits, tied for the most allowed by the Storm in a game this season.

Key Moments
T1 | Simpson started strong with two runs in the first, getting a sacrifice fly from Ashley Allen and an RBI double from Taylor Davis. But Simpson failed to extend its lead, leaving the bases loaded. SIM 2, GRI 0

B1 | The Pioneers responded with five runs in the home half, highlighted by Emily Jordan's grand slam. The first five batters reached safely against Emily Bell before she got back-to-back strikeouts and a pop out to end the inning. GRI 5, SIM 2

B2 | Grinnell went deep two more times, getting a solo homer from Ashley Wehrenberg to lead off the inning and a two-run shot by Darice Wheeler to put an early end to Bell's day. GRI 8, SIM 2

T3 | The Storm tried to claw back into the game with two runs in the third. Allen drove in her second run of the game on a double that scored Annie Stolte and Madi Bennett brought Allen around with a two-out single. GRI 8, SIM 4

T4 | Simpson pulled within striking distance thanks to Allen's second RBI double in as many innings. GRI 8, SIM 5

B4 & B5 | Grinnell put an end to Simpson's comeback hopes with three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth to bring on the run-rule. Johnson hit the fourth home run of the game for the Pioneers in the fourth, a two-run shot to center. GRI 13, SIM 5

Top Offensive Performances
Ashley Allen | 2-2, 2B, 3 RBIs
Madi Bennett | 2-3, 2B, RBI
Taylor Davis | 1-3, 2B, RBI

Pitching Breakdown
Emily Bell | L (7-2), 1.1 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks
Emily Schilke | 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Arianna Kim | 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 Ks

Game Two
Grinnell 8, Simpson 6

The Storm mounted a furious two-out rally in their final at bat but ultimately came up two runs short. Stolte and Davis had two hits apiece to lead Simpson but a big, five-run second inning by Grinnell ultimately decided the game.

Key Moments
T1 | The Storm got out on top early for the second straight game, plating two runs in their first at-bat. Kasiah Ehresman singled to lead off the game and scored on a base hit by Davis. Allen scored on an error after reaching on a walk. SIM 2, GRI 0

B2 | After going down in order in the first, Grinnell took advantage of three free passes to plate five in the inning. Wehrenberg drew a bases-loaded walk, Morrissey followed with a two-RBI double and Bishop Praise tacked on a two-RBI single. GRI 5, SIM 2

B6 | Hanson held the Pioneers off the board in the fourth and fifth innings before surrendering two critical runs in the sixth. Bishop Parise brought in a run on a sacrifice fly and Wheeler singled in another to add to Grinnell's cushion. GRI 8, SIM 2

T7 | Scoreless since the first inning, Simpson's bats came alive with a furious two-out rally in the seventh that ultimately fell short. Pinch-hitter Megan Crockett got the rally started with a base hit to right before Stolte was hit by a pitch. Both came around to score on Allen's third double of the day. Davis singled to score Allen then scored two batters later on Brooke Brommel's first double of the season. But the rally ended when pinch-hitter Ashlee Mayorga grounded out to third. GRI 8, SIM 6

Top Offensive Performances
Taylor Davis | 2-4, 2 RBIs
Annie Stolte | 2-3, R
Ashley Allen | 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs, R

Pitching Breakdown
Kelli Hanson | L (0-2), 6.0 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 4 BB, 2 Ks

From the Coach
"We had leads in both games but didn't do a good enough job of finishing. Our pitching was working behind in counts a lot today and our hitting wasn't consistent. Those two things mixed together usually don't yield positive results." -- head coach Brent Matthias

Up Next
The Storm open Iowa Conference play Saturday, March 31 when they host Buena Vista for a doubleheader at Simpson Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.

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