Two runs in the top of the first inning were all that the Central College softball team needed yesterday afternoon, as the Dutch advanced in the NCAA Division III Pella Regional with a 3-1 win over Fontbonne University. It didn’t come easy however. After Whitney Sowers and Annie Sarcone delivered back-to-back RBI singles right out of the gate, Dutch ace Mallory Scheulenberg ran into some trouble in the bottom of the first. The Griffins sent 5 batters to the plate, and hit the ball hard 5 times, but could only plate one run because the Central “D” cut down two runners on the bases. Fontbonne collected 3 hits in that first inning, but could only muster 2 over the next six innings as Scheulenberg settled in. Dutch Coach George Wares had high praise for his sophomore hurler.
“She’s maturing, she just doesn’t let things bother her. That’s a tribute to her, and it’s a tribute to her teammates. There’s always a situation where, whether it’s (senior catcher) Caitlyn (Meyer) or someone else, just kind of talking to her and settling her down. Gutsy’s the right word, she just competes and throws the pitch she’s supposed to throw”.
Schuelenberg was given a little extra cushion when Sarcone ripped a solo homerun to lead off the fourth inning, and that 3-1 score held up as the final. The win was Central’s 30th of the season, as they improve to 30-8. Up next for the 2nd-seeded Dutch is top-seeded Saint Thomas, who beat Washington University 5-0 yesterday. Wares was asked to sum up the Tommies.
“It’s going to be a tough one, they’re well coached. They obviously are very athletic, we saw what they did to Wash U early, it’s just swing swing swing swing. But we think we’re pretty good too, and it’ll be a pretty entertaining game, we hope. I hope they play well, and I hope we play just a little bit better.”
First pitch between Central and Saint Thomas is scheduled for 2:00 this afternoon at the Kuyper Athletic Complex. Our Pella Motors.com Pregame Show will hit the air at approximately at 1:45, with live coverage on 92.1 FM KRLS and www.kniakrls.com.