Coe softball snags at-large bid to NCAA D-III tournament

Luther, Central to host regionals

Coe College's Mallory McArtor (3) is greeted by her teammates after hitting a home run during the second inning of their college softball game at Coe College in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2016. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Coe College's Mallory McArtor (3) is greeted by her teammates after hitting a home run during the second inning of their college softball game at Coe College in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2016. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Coe and Central will join Iowa Conference champion Luther in the NCAA Division III softball tournament, with the Dutch and Norse each serving as regional hosts.

Coe and Central earned at-large berths after Luther won last weekend’s conference tournament.

The 20th-ranked Kohawks (29-9) will travel to Pella for a regional, taking on Washington (Mo.) (26-12) while No. 10 Central (32-8) faces No. 17 St. Thomas (34-9).

Coe fell to Washington 5-4 on March 24 and beat St. Thomas 4-2 in the season opener Feb. 26. The Kohawks and Dutch split an April 15 doubleheader, with Central winning 2-0 and Coe taking the nightcap, 10-2.

No. 3 Luther (39-3), the IIAC regular-season and tournament champion, will host St. Scholastica (24-15) in the first round, with St. Catherine (32-11) and Chicago (25-12) also traveling to Decorah.

The Norse shut out St. Scholastica, 6-0, Feb. 26.

Regional play is double-elimination and runs from Friday through Sunday.

The winner of the Central regional and the winner of the Luther regional will meet in the best-of-three super regional May 19-20 for a berth in the final eight, a double-elimination tournament hosted in Oklahoma City, Okla., from May 25-30.

[Full bracket]

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