The Iowa Conference softball race begins this weekend and several teams are poised to make a run at the title. Defending champion Wartburg is off to a 19-1 start and despite losing several position players from last year coach Kara Kehe’s team still has standout pitcher Angela Hartwig.

Hatwig is a senior who was an All-American last year and Kehe says she’s a real asset to the team. The Knights enter the conference race having not surrendered a run in 47 straight innings. She says it’s a neat streak to watch, and says the defense has really helped the pitchers who have done a nice job.

Kehe expects a tough league race as she says the conference has been outstanding in non league play. Wartburg opens on Saturday against a Coe team that also expects to be in title contention. Wartburg is ranked 20th nationally. Central is 15-1 and ranked 15th nationally.

Coach George Wares feels Wartburg is one of several teams that will be in contention. He says if you love softball at this level, you’ll be able to see some great play. Central opens against a Cornell team that made major strides a year ago.

Luther is ranked 25th nationally.