INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson softball team enters the American Rivers Conference Tournament as the sixth seed and will take on the three-seed, Wartburg, on Friday. First pitch is slated for 4:30 p.m. as top-seeded Central College hosts the tournament.
The Storm (20-18) are in the tournament for the second-straight year after missing the cut in 2017. The Knights (26-10) missed the cut last season, but were in two-straight league tournaments prior.
The winner of Friday's game will advance to play second-seeded Coe on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Before Simpson plays Wartburg, No. 4 Luther and No. 5 Dubuque will square off at 2 p.m. The winner of that game will take on Central at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The championship will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Todd Guessford will have the call on SimpsonAthletics.com with pre-game beginning at 4 p.m. Fans can also access the video stream via the American Rivers application on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV.
AMERICAN RIVERS CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
First Round — Friday, May 3, all games played at Central College
#4 Luther vs #5 Dubuque
#3 Wartburg vs #6 Simpson
Semifinals — Saturday, May 4
#1 Central vs Winner of #4/5
#2 Coe vs Winner of #3/6
Finals — Saturday, May 4
SIMPSON IN THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
The Storm are making their 13th appearance in the conference tournament since 2006 and are looking for their first win since 2016...currently sitting at 12-20 all-time in the tournament, Simpson is making its second appearance as the sixth seed, as the first time was last year...against the three seed, the Storm are 2-4 and 1-2 against Wartburg.
WARTBURG SERIES NOTES
Simpson and Wartburg meet for the 80th time in a series that dates back to 1974...the Storm claim a 43-36 advantage, but the Knights have a slight edge of late and has won 4 of 6 in the past three seasons...the two teams split the season series back on April 20, with Simpson winning the first game, 9-5, but Wartburg rebounded to win 8-1 in the nightcap in Indianola.
April 20, 2019 — L, 8-1 (Indianola)
April 20, 2019 — W, 9-5 (Indianola)
April 5, 2018 — L, 2-1 (Waverly)
April 5, 2018 — W, 5-4 (Waverly)
April 12, 2017 — L, 8-0 (Indianola)
April 12, 2017 — L, 7-1 (Indianola)
ABOUT THE KNIGHTS
Wartburg and fourth-year head coach Jamie Mueller and has been to the conference tournament in three of her four seasons in Waverly...the Knights cause havoc on the basepaths and lead the conference with 154 stolen bases and are second in the nation with 4.28 per game...Liz Roby-Miklus has 49 stolen bases in her senior campaign and is first in the nation with 1.36 per contest...at the plate, Wartburg is first in the league with a batting average at .351.
LAST TIME OUT
The Storm belted five home runs in a 6-2 win at Buena Vista on Sunday to clinch a spot in the American Rivers Conference Tournament for the second-consecutive season. Ashley Allen tallied two homers, while Emily Bell, Megan Crockett and Sara Trent each had one for the Storm. Bell tossed a complete game with seven strikeouts to help push the team into the conference tournament. Simpson dropped the second game of the doubleheader against the Beavers, but sent two more home runs over the fence.
- Megan Crockett paces the conference with nine homers and the team is first with 25. That is a large improvement since last season when the team only collected six round-trippers.
- The Storm put five balls over the fence in the 6-2 win at Buena Vista on Sunday, the most since the squad had six against Wisconsin-Superior on Feb. 28, 2015.
- Megan Crockett was tabbed as the American Rivers Conference Female and Position Player of the Week last week and Emily Bell was tabbed as the Pitcher of the Week on March 25.
- Crockett has shown a massive improvement since last season in which she had four hits and 1 RBI in 2018 as a freshman. This year, Crockett has 35 hits, nine home runs and six doubles for 30 RBIs.
- Bell has won 10-plus games for the second-straight year in her first two season in a Simpson uniform. She is fifth in the league with 73 strikeouts and sixth with a 2.25 earned run average and
- After starting the conference 2-6, the Storm went on to go 5-3 in the second half to help earn a spot in the conference tournament.
- Simpson tied with Nebraska Wesleyan in the season standings at 7-9, but the Storm swept the Prairie Wolves on April 16 to own the tiebreaker.