|Date:||May 5, 2017 - May 6, 2017|
|Time:||12:00 am||Results:||Champions||Location:||Luther College|
No. 3 Luther captured its second consecutive Iowa Conference Softball Tournament this afternoon defeating No. 10 Central College 4-3 in nine innings. The Norse have now won six IIAC Tournament titles in the past eight years.
Natalie Stockman hit a walk off single in the bottom of ninth with runners on first and second and one out. Sammie Harris, Ashley Burrows and Saran Nelson loaded the bases in the ninth all reaching base on a single. Anna Strien tied the game (3-3) with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored pinch runner Lilly Johnson. Three pitches later, Stockman ended the extra inning game with her first hit against the Dutch this season.
Central had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth thanks to back-to-back doubles by Karly Olson and Emily Wilson.
Samantha Bratland picked up the win in relief, her second of the afternoon. Bratland took over for Amanda Witzlib who pitched five full innings and allowed two runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out four. Annie Versnik got the start and allowed just two hits. Bratland allowed one run on three hits and is now 21-2.
In today's semifinal game against Wartburg College, the Norse opened up a close game with a four-run fifth inning, and defeated the Knights 5-1. Stockman had three RBI to lead the offensive attack. Burrows and Nelson were both 2-for-4 and scored a run.
Bratland went the distance in the circle. She allowed one run on seven hits, walked two and struck out a season high 12.
With today's tournament title, Luther earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA III National Tournament. It will the ninth consecutive year Luther has qualified for the national tournament, 18th time in school history and tenth time under the direction of Head Coach Renae Hartl.
The NCAA III National Softball Tournament selection show will air on Monday, May 8 at 1:00 pm ET on NCAA.com
Contact: David Blanchard, 563-387-1586