Three Iowa Conference teams begin play in an NCAA divisions three Regional in Pella on Friday. Regular season champion Luther is the top seed and will play St. Scholastica of Minnesota in the opener.
Luther coach Renea Hartl says they’ve had a good season and bring a good record into the first round. The other non-Iowa schools in the field are St. Thomas of Minnesota and Wisconsin-River Falls.
Hartl says they played St.Thomas twice and beat them twice last year and she says River Falls is playing their best ball right now and will be tough to beat. Central is the second seed and plays River Falls in the opening round.
Central coach George Wares says River Falls won the league tournament by coming through the losers bracket like his team did. And they were in the regional last year, so they have postseason experience. Coe College plays St. Thomas is the other first round game. Wares feels the regional is up for grabs.
Wares says at this level it comes down to a bounce that goes one way or the other and you hope that your pitching and defense can be consistent and that will make you successful.
The winner will advance to the division three championship tournament in Salem, Virginia.
Darin Svenson, KDEC, Decorah also contributed to this story.