Pitcher Kiley Lythberg had a rocky outing in the opening round of the NCAA Division III tournament, but the offense for the Central College softball team came to her aide, as the Dutch outlasted Benedictine 12-7 Thursday afternoon.
The Central College football team begins its postseason journey in challenging fashion this afternoon. The Dutch host Mary Hardin-Baylor in the opening round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. Central Head Football Coach Jeff McMartin says he thinks two factors will weigh heavily on the game’s outcome.
“I think how each team plays defense and then how well you take care of the football [will determine who wins.] Field position is critical, and I think those things play a role,” says McMartin. “If you fumble and give them the ball on the 20 yard line, that’s not going to be good; and vice versa. If we’re able to get it, that’s going to give us a lot of momentum and a big chance. Defensively, you’ve got to shut the other guy down, you’ve got to stop the running game, and the team that does that the best is probably going to have the best chance of winning.”
Mary Hardin Baylor is 9-1 this year, while Central wrapped up their 10-0 season two weeks ago. Both teams are ranked in the top ten in both the AFCA and D3football.com polls, making it the only match-up of top ten teams in the sixteen first-round contests being played today. Coverage of the game can be heard live on 92.1 fm with Trevor Castle providing the play-by-play, starting at 11:45 a.m. Kickoff from Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.