Four NCAA Div. III championships
Extra inning repeat as Coe outlasts Central, 2-1
PELLA (IOWA)– Eight days after No. 7 Coe escaped No. 5 Central in 14 innings 8-7 at the Iowa Conference tournament, the Kohawks needed nine innings but again prevailed, 2-1, in the NCAA Division III Pella Softball Regional in the cold, wind and drizzle Saturday.
Central pitcher Kiley Lythberg nearly worked her way out of a bases-loaded no outs jam in the ninth but Ashley Hood’s two-out grounder was mishandled, sending Coe into a winner’s bracket showdown with No. 1 Linfield (Ore.) Sunday at noon. Central meets Anderson (Ind.) in an elimination game later Saturday.
Lythberg (18-6) matched Coe ace Ashlee Simon (27-2) most of the way, yielding one earned run on five hits with seven strikeouts and three walks, two of which were intentional. Simon scattered seven hits over nine innings, fanning seven and walking two. Central committed three errors, including two in the decisive ninth inning.
Coe left fielder Shannon Aguero singled home the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning. Central quickly answered when Lythberg doubled and raced home on a bloop single by catcher Caitlyn Meyer.