It was the final double header of the regular season and No. 12 Luther and No. 16 Central split this afternoon in Decorah. The Norse won game one 3-1 and the Dutch won the nightcap 2-1.
In game one, Addy Pender drove in what proved to be the game winner with an infield fielders choice putout with the bases loaded. Anna Strien scored on the play from third. Strien reached base with a double to right center field, her 14th of the year and 53rd of a her career, setting the school record in this category.
Samantha Bratland had another solid outing. Bratland allowed three hits, walked one and struck out five and is now 18-4 with an ERA of 1.54.
In the nightcap with the score tied 1-1 entering the seventh, Central's Daria Parchert drove in what proved to be the game winning run with a double. Paige Roehik scored the game winner pinch running for Kaitlyn Andresen, who started the frame with a walk. Two 3-2 fielders choice putouts by the Norse defense following the go-ahead run, held the Dutch from putting a crooked number on the score board.
The Norse had tied the game in the bottom of the sixth thanks to doubles by Strien and Blake Banowetz.
Courtney Cooper (12-4) was credited with the loss. Cooper allowed two runs on four hits, walked three and strukout one.
The split gives Luther a league record of 10-6, 32-8 overall. Central is now 12-4, 27-9.
Because of the split this afternoon, Central earned the No. 2 seed for the six-team Iowa Conference Tournament that will be hosted by Coe College Friday and Saturday, May 4-5. Luther will be the No. 3 seed and plays No. 6 Simpson at 4:30 p.m. The winner of this game will play Central on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Contact: David Blanchard, 563-387-1586