In the first of a pair of pivotal series this week for the Central College softball team, the Dutch hit their way to a split with Luther College in Decorah. Central turned a six-run sixth inning in the first game into a 6-3 win over the Norse, but Luther would get its revenge in the second contest, pulling out a 4-1 victory.
Senior right fielder Laura Braun had a strong day at the plate for the Dutch, picking up two hits in the first game, including a key two-out, two run single; and singled and scored the only run in the second game. In the pitching circle, Kiley Lythberg picked up the victory in game one, while Rhianna Fleetwood to the loss in game two.
The latest NFCA Division III softball rankings also came out yesterday, with Central moving up three spots to No. 11. Luther also advanced up to No. 4 in the poll, while Simpson – who Central hosts on Saturday – came in at No. 21 in the country. Potentially more importantly, Central also debuted at No. 3 in the NCAA Midwest Region rankings, which determine the playoff field in the postseason.
Central is 21-8 overall and 7-3 in the Iowa Conference.