The Central College softball team needed some late-game heroics in both games of Sunday’s doubleheader at the University of Dubuque to keep their hopes of a share of the conference title alive. The Dutch rallied for seven runs in the seventh inning of the first game to take a 10-6 win; then put up nine runs in the final inning for a 15-4 triumph in the nightcap.
The wins let Central tie Luther College and gain a share of its 11th conference championship with a 14-2 mark. The No. 5-rated Dutch improved to 33-5 overall. Luther, which handed Central its only league losses April 23, has the advantage in the tiebreaker and will play host to the six-team Iowa Conference tournament Thursday through Saturday.
Central will carry the No. 2 seed and receive a first-round bye in the double-elimination tournament which determines the league’s representative in the NCAA Division III tournament. The Dutch will play at 4 p.m. Thursday against the winner of a noon game between third-seeded Coe and sixth-seeded Cornell.
Central closes the regular season Wednesday with a non-conference twinbill against winless Grinnell College at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex field, before traveling to Decorah Thursday.