Wartburg’s Softball Season Ends With Extra-Inning Loss
Wartburg's softball season came to an end with an extra-inning loss to Simpson in the semifinals of the Iowa Conference Tournament in Decorah on Saturday (May 7, 2016).
Tori Haag's two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning allowed the second-seeded Storm (30-8) to escape the sixth-seeded Knights, 4-2.
The game was scoreless until the third inning, when Simpson took a 1-0 lead on an RBI double to right field. The Storm later doubled their margin on a solo home run in the fifth.
Wartburg (18-24), limited to one hit through five innings, broke out of its offensive slump in the sixth. The Knights rallied to tie the game when sophomore Erica Countryman (Plainfield, Ill.) scored on freshman Tori Brandon's (Cedar Rapids) single. Then, sophomore Sarah Grabowski (Plainfield, Ill.) -- pinch-running for Brandon -- came home on classmate Hannah Blaske's (Bettendorf) single.
Simpson looked to win the game in the bottom of the seventh, but Wartburg escaped the jam to send the game to extra innings. The Storm had runners at first and third base with two out, when the next batter flew out to centerfield.
Wartburg was not able to advance past first base in the eighth inning, but threatened to take the lead in the ninth when sophomore Kristie Sommer (Cedar Rapids) stole second base with two outs. The threat ended, however, when the next Knights' batter struck out.
Simpson capitalized on the situation in the bottom of the ninth when Haag connected for her second home run of theg game.
Wartburg, under the direction of first-year head coach Jamie Mueller, qualified for the Iowa Conference Tournament for the first time since 2009. The Knights had a roster that featured only one senior and one junior.