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Iowa Time Machine: Storm Role to Title - May 18, 1997



Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On May 18, 1997, Simpson College captured the NCAA Division III softball national championship for the first time. Coach Henry Christowski’s Storm rolled to a 39-7 record while winning the national championship 2-1 on a walk-off homer by freshman Amber Ridnour in the bottom of the ninth.



Chirstowski started coaching softball at Norwalk High School in 1969, and led the Warriors to a 440-179 record by the time he left in 1980 to coach at Indianola High School from 1981-87. Next moving to Dowling Catholic he went 272-70 in eight seasons and won a state title with the Maroons in 1992. Soon after, Christowski returned to Indianola to bring his winning ways to the Storm.



After coming close to winning it all in 1996, Simpson entered the 1997 determined to reach new heights. With seniors Jenny White, Jody Bunn, Julie Langbein, and Chrissy Mathews helping lead the way, the Storm put together a dominant season. When graduation Saturday rolled around, the Simpson seniors found themselves playing for a title instead of walking across the stage. Freshman Amber Ridnour ensured the celebration would be complete when she stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the Storm down 1-0. With a crack of the bat, Ridnour sent Montclair State packing and delivered Simpson a dramatic national championship win. 



Under Christowski’s leadership, the Storm captured the only two national championships in the college’s history, winning titles in 1997 and 1999 while finishing third in 1996 and 1998. He also has five Iowa Conference Championships (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2010), nine NCAA tournament appearances (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2015) and four regional titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999). #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar



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