With its season hanging in the balance, the Central College softball team came up with several clutch performances to survive another day in the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament, outlasting Wisconsin Whitewater 5-2 in eight innings.
After beating Anderson of Indiana 3-2 earlier in the day, the fifth-ranked Dutch took their talents to Pella High School, which has the lights that Central’s field lacks, to battle the eight-ranked Warhawks in the tournament’s only nighttime contest.
Whitewater took a 2-0 lead on a pair of solo homeruns, and were within one out of ending Central’s season. Rachel Everingham answered the call with a two-out two-run double to tie the game 2-2. The Warhawks then loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but Central senior ace Kiley Lythberg induced a pop up, a strike out and a fly out to get out of the jam.
In the top of the eighth, the Dutch scored three times on a bunt double by Lythberg, and back-to-back RBI singles by Caitlyn Meyer and Annie Sarcone. Whitewater wasn’t about to give up, getting two runners on with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but Lythberg struck out Emily Epifanio to end the game, and extend Central’s season.
The Dutch are now 38-8, and will play Coe College for the fifth time this season this morning at 10:00am. The Kohawks were trounced 10-0 by top-ranked Linfield yesterday afternoon. Join Trevor Castle for the live play-by-play of today’s contest, beginning with the pregame show at 9:45 on 92.1 FM KRLS.