Duhawks lose IIAC home openers to Simpson College
Wed, Apr. 4, 2012 - [Softball]

By Marc Venisse for the Sports Information Office


The Duhawks came into their IIAC home opener on Faber-Clark Field with a record of 11-5 and were predicted to finish in 6th in the conference. They faced a tough opponent in the Simpson College Storm who came in with a record of 15-7 and were predicted to finish 4th in the conference.


Game 1 – Simpson 3, Loras 1


The Duhawks struck first in bottom of the third inning when Shelby Perkins reached second base off a series of errors by the Storm defense. Alaina Rigdon singled to bring Perkins around to score and take a 1-0 lead over the Storm.


The Storm were quick to answer back in the top of the fourth inning. Chelsea Winegard led off with a single and scored after a triple by Carissa Coopman. Coopman would later score on a passed ball. The Storm were not done at that point. The designated hitter, Jessica Toyne, would hit a solo home run before the inning would come to a close with the Storm in front 3-1 over the Duhawks.


The Duhawks struggled to reach base the rest of the game and the score would stay 3-1. Loras would lose their first IIAC game of 2012.


Game 2 –  Simpson 7, Loras 5


The Duhawks responded quickly after losing their IIAC home opener and jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. After a walk by Alaina Rigdon, a single by Katelyn Jones and another walk by Katie Serpico, the bases were loaded for Kellie Klein. Klein drove a grand slam out of Faber-Clark Field to put the Duhawks up 4-0 after the first inning.


The Duhawks would score one more run in the second inning after a bunt by Niki Rivera that caught the Storm defense off guard. Rivera would steal second base and advance to third base after a pop out by Shelby Perkins. Alaina Rigdon would drive Niki Rivera in, giving the Duhawks a 5-0 lead after just two innings of play.


The Storm would answer back in the fourth inning with one run when Hillary Harmon scored off a fouled ball that was caught by left fielder Katelyn Jones. After four innings, the Duhawks continued to lead the Storm, 5-1.


The Duhawks pitching struggled in the fifth inning allowing the Storm to score five runs.


It started off with back to back solo home runs by Hailey Jensen and Keri Sorensen. After a pitching change, the Storm's bats would stay red hot with a triple by Chelsea Winegard, who would score off of a bunt by Hillary Harmon. With Hillary Harmon on first, Carissa Coopman hit a two run home run to take the lead 6-5 after five innings of play.


After a series of errors, the Storm would add one more insurance run in the top of the seventh inning to make the score 7-5.


The starting pitcher for the Storm, Kacee Arey, had enough left in the tank to close out the seventh inning and earn her second win of the day for the Simpson College Storm.  


Next up for the Duhawks is their first IIAC road test against Luther College. The 19-3, 2-0 Norse are currently ranked #5 in the country. Loras will then travel to Carthage on Thursday.