Simpson stays alive with win over Cavaliers
Simpson University Sports News
REDDING, Calif. - The Simpson University softball team came frustratingly close to topping top-seeded Concordia (Calif.) in the morning of May 13, and then had to come back and beat Concordia (Ore.) in a win-or-go home contest played in the afternoon heat to stay alive in their NAIA Softball Championships first round bracket, played at Irvine, Calif.
The Red Hawks, ranked No. 17 in the national poll, lost 3-1 in nine innings to host Concordia, and then—for the second time in two days—held off Concordia (Ore.) 6-4 to advance to the finals of the first round.
By defeating the Cavaliers for the second time in two days, Simpson, now 37-7 on the year, earned a rematch with bracket host Concordia (Calif.) May 14 at noon. If the Eagles (50-5 overall) beat Simpson, they will advance to the second round of the Championships, but if the Red Hawks are able to win, they will force a second game that will be played at 3 p.m.—meaning a sweep is in order to advance to the second round.
Jodie Richards went 3-for-3, including a pair of home runs to provide much of the offense in the afternoon game against the Cavaliers. Cherie DeJesus also went deep for the second time in three games, this one a two-run shot in the second to give Simpson a lead it would never relinquish.
Simpson scored an important insurance run in the top of the sixth when Richards homered to deep right-center for what proved to be the final run of the game.
Paris Hallums came in relief in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run lead and struck out the side, but not before surrendering two hits that produced a run and cut the Red Hawks' lead to 5-4. Hallums, however, shut down the Cavaliers' offense over the next two innings to seal the victory and the chance to play one more day. The Red Hawks' starter, Katelyn Bell, got the win after completing four inning without giving up a walk or recording a strikeout.
In Monday's first game against the Concordia Eagles, Simpson stretched the contest to nine innings, but fell 3-1 to force the rematch with the Concordia Cavaliers.
Simpson's DeJesus, who unleashed a grand slam in the tournament opener on Monday, led the Red Hawk offense with a pair of singles, the first leading off the third inning when Simpson scored its lone run of the game. Noel Montes sacrificed DeJesus to second and then Mah moved her over to third on an infield single, but on Mah's grounder, a Concordia infielder bobbled the ball, allowing DeJesus to score and Mah advance to second.
Hallums, went the distance against Concordia, striking out eight and surrendering just six hits over nine innings—three of which came in the decisive top of the ninth. Concordia's Emily Craig led off the top of the ninth with a solo shot to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead, and they pushed it to a two-run margin on a Rachel Prentice double.
Monday, May 12
- Game 1 - No. 2 Simpson (Calif.) vs. No. 3 Concordia (Ore.): Simpson wins 5-4
- Game 2 - No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) vs. No. 4 St. Thomas (Fla.): Concordia wins 5-1
Tuesday, May 13
- Game 3 - No. 2 Simpson vs. No 1 Concordia (Calif.) @ 10:30 a.m.: Simpson loses 3-1
- Game 4 - No. 3 Concordia (Ore.) vs. No. 4 St. Thomas (Fla.) @ 1 p.m.: Concordia wins 5-0
- Game 5 - Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Winner @ 3:30 p.m.: Simpson wins 6-4
Wednesday, May 14
- Game 6 - No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) vs. No. 2 Simpson @ 12 p.m.
- Game 7 (If Necessary) - Game 6 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser @ 3 p.m.
Contact: Derrick Pringle, Jr.