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For the third consecutive year the Luther College softball team has captured an NCAA Regional championship. This afternoon, the Norse defeated UW-River Falls 3-2 securing the Pella Regional title. Today marked the third time these two teams played each other in as many days, with both securing 1-0 victories entering today's rubber match, with a trip to Salem, Va., on the line.
After Shari Huber and Kelsey Kittleson reached base on errors, Lauran Snyder and Abby Christian produced back-to-back singles, giving the Norse an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
Morgan Franklin drove in what proved to be the game winner on a single to left field in the fourth. Kelsey Weindruch, who lead off the inning with an infield single off Falcon pitcher Rose Tusa, scored from second after advancing on a sacrifice bunt by Elisa Smith.
The Falcons made things interesting scoring two runs on three hits in the bottom of the sixth.
Luther pitcher Becca Girvan, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Pella Regional, retired the Falcons in order in the seventh en route to her 29th win of the year. Girvan went the distance in the circle allowing four hits, walked two and struck out five. Girvan pitched every inning during the regional and allowed two earned runs in 35 innings of work.
Also named to the All-Region team was center fielder Shari Huber and catcher Kelsey Kittleson.
The victory gives Luther an overall record of 40-7. UW-River Falls ends its season with a mark of 34-15.
The Norse advance to Salem, Virginia for the NCAA III Softball Championship that will begin Friday, May 18. Luther will play the winner of the Tyler Texas Regional that will be determined today at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586