Two Iowa teams open the NAIA softball championships in Decatur, Alabama tomorrow. Morningside is making a second straight trip to the national tournament and the Mustangs open against Bethel of Indiana.
Morningside coach Jessica Jones-Sitzman says they played them last year in a tournament and they will be aggressive. Jones-Sitzman says all the games are tough in the national tournament.
Mount Mercy is in the field for the first time since 1990 and opens against William Carey of Mississippi. Like Morningside, Mount Mercy will try to play its way into the double-elimination bracket. Mount Mercy coach Glenn Johnson who says there are no weak teams at this point. He says the California teams are always very strong.
The Luther College softball team heads to Eau Claire, Wisconsin this week for the NCAA division three championships. The Norse have won 16 straight games and coach Renae Hartl says improved defense has been a key as of late.
Hartl says they have focused on defense as they are confident in their pitchers and offense and needed to work more on defense. Luther slammed seven home runs in winning a regional in Whitewater last weekend and Hartl would like to see the power surge continue.
Luther opens on Friday afternoon against Linfield of Oregon, and she says it will be a good first game and they have two pitchers who’re prepared.
Luther is 41-5 on the season.