Central College overcame an opening-game stumble and split an Iowa Conference softball doubleheader with Loras College Saturday, falling 3-2 before rolling up a 9-1 six-inning win and securing a second-place league finish.
The No. 6-ranked Dutch close the conference season with a 12-4 mark, three games behind first-place Luther College, who is ranked No. 4, and will carry the No. 2 seed at the six-team league tournament in Decorah next Thursday through Saturday. Central is 31-7 overall and will receive an opening-round bye and play against the winner of an earlier game between third-seeded Simpson College and the No. 6 seed, still to be determined.
The champion of the double-elimination tournament receives the league’s automatic berth in the 61-team NCAA Division III tournament, although the Dutch are ranked No. 2 in the Midwest Region and well-positioned for an at-large berth. Central plays host to an NCAA Division III regional May 10-14.