STORM LAKE, Iowa -- At the doorstep of getting into the American Rivers Conference Tournament, the Simpson softball team used five home runs to win 6-2 at Buena Vista on Sunday to clinch the sixth seed in the tournament. The Storm lost 7-3 in the series finale.
On the day, Simpson (20-18, 7-9 A-R-C) belted seven homers between the two games, with Ashley Allen and Sara Trent having two each. The team has 15 round trippers in its last nine contests and leads the league with 25 homers as a unit.
The split produced the team's second-straight 20-win season after only having eight triumphs in 2017.
Simpson 6, Buena Vista 2
Simpson got on the board early in the first after Megan Crockett sent one sailing over the fence for her conference-leading ninth home run. The Beavers (19-17, 5-11 A-R-C) answered with a pair in the bottom of the first to take the lead.
Emily Bell tied it up at 2-2 with a leadoff homer in the third inning. Ashley Allen made her presence known later in the inning with a two-run shot to make it 4-2. Sara Trent hit a solo home run in the fifth to push it to 5-2 and Allen wanted to jog once more and hit her fourth of the year two batters later to increase the tilt to 6-2.
Out of the team's nine hits, six were for extra bases. Allen and Trent each had two hits to lead the team and Allen had her first three RBI game since March 27, 2018.
Emily Bell went the distance inside the circle for her 11th victory and moved her earned run average to 2.25 after only allowing two runs. Bell struckout seven batters, her fifth time this year having at least seven strikeouts in a contest. After Bell gave up the two runs in the first, she did not allow a runner to get past second base for the rest of the game.
Buena Vista 7, Simpson 3
After going down 1-0 through the first two innings, Sara Trent connected on her second homer of the day in the third to tie the game.
Buena Vista would tally two runs over the next two frames to make it 3-1 going into the fifth. In the top of the fifth, Camrey Leo stuck to the script and ripped the team's seventh homer of the day, this time a two-run knock to tie it at 3-3. Lexi Morrison scored on the play after pinch running for Madi Bennett.
The Beavers would answer with two runs in the bottom half of the inning and would add two more to stretch it to 7-3 in the sixth and held on for the win.
Heading into the conference tournament, the Storm will play three-seed Wartburg on Friday in Pella, Iowa. The game will begin at 4:30 p.m., following the matchup between No. 4 Luther and No. 5 Dubuque.