The Iowa Conference softball tournament opens Thursday in Indianola and the top three seeds are hoping to move on to the NCAA division three regionals. Top seeded and host Simpson won the regular season crown while second seeded Luther and third seeded Central were nationally ranked the entire season.

A year ago, the Iowa Conference sent four teams to the regionals and Central coach George Wares believes it will most likely be three this year. He says that could depend on who wins the conference tournament, and they could possibly get four teams.

Central is 26-9 on the season after finishing third in the regular season. The Dutch open against sixth seeded Loras. Wares says they feel good if they make a respectable showing that they will still get a regional bid. He says you get a boost on your strength of schedule by playing conference teams, even if you lose.

Last year Coe won the tournament as a three seed and Wares hopes history repeats itself. He says Coe played well, but there could easily have been a different winner, as the conference is very competative. Fourth seeded Coe opens the tournament against fifth seeded Buena Vista.