SULPHUR – Simpson found itself in an early hole and was unable to make up the deficit as it fell in the Class C State Semifinal.
Errors and miscues plagued the Lady Broncos as Harrisonburg won 6-2, despite recording just two hits.
"There is a lot of pressure here, and playing at 9 in the morning kind of caught us on our heels," Simpson head coach Jessica Dooley said. "We had a few errors and they were costly. They were able to capitlize."
Harrisonburg led 5-0, but Simpson would not go away, scoring a pair of runs in the fourth on as Emily Collins and Sarah Flatt each drove in runs.
"Something we stressed to them is that with a heart of a champion, you don't give up," Dooley said. "Until the last out is called, you give 150 percent. Today, I saw that. I saw they were giving it everything that they have."
Harrisonburg added one more run in the sixth, and Simpson was unable to get anymore runs across the plate.
Simpson (18-11) loses five seniors but completed its goal of playing on Saturday in the state tournament.
"We would love to be playing at five o'clock this afternoon, but we were able to come back and get past the quarterfinal game," Dooley said. "That in itself is an achievement. They were able to see their hard work pay off.
"I wish every kid could experience what it's like to play here."
The Lady Broncos picked up a win Thursday night in the quarterfinals with a big performance from pitcher Emily.
Collins had nine strikeouts and gave up three hits in the Lady Broncos 6-0 win over Saline.
“I said before that we had some unfinished business,” Dooley said. “We came out and played our game. Now, we advance to Saturday. That’s been our goal all along. We want to be here to play Saturday.”
Simpson went up 1-0 early, and the bats came alive in the fourth inning as Simpson scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to go up 4-0.
Leading 6-0 in the seventh, Collins struck out a batter, induced a pop up and a ground ball as Simpson advanced to the semifinals.
“She handled difficult situations with composure,” Dooley said of Collins. “That’s something she’s done all year long, but that’ something you have to do when you’re here. In the fourth inning, we had the bases load with no outs, and we got out of that without them scoring a single run. That tells me, No. 1, that my defense is working hard and we’re making the plays we have to to be successful.”