Four NCAA Div. III championships
PELLA — Central College inched into a tie for 13th in the NFCA Division III top 25 poll and is up to No. 4 in the all-important NCAA Midwest Region rankings.
The regional poll serves as the basis for determining the NCAA Division III tournament field and relies heavily on teams’ strength of schedule. Iowa Conference rival Luther (27-6) tops the Midwest, followed by Coe (33-6), St. Thomas (Minn.) (31-5), Central (30-8) and Washington-St. Louis (Mo.) (30-15).
The Dutch were 14th in the NFCA national poll a week ago. Tufts (Mass.) takes over as a unanimous choice for No. 1, with Texas-Tyler dropping to No. 2. Coe and Luther are Nos. 9 and 11, respectively.
Central travels to Cedar Rapids for the Iowa Conference tournament this weekend. Friday the third-seeded Dutch take on Buena Vista University at noon, with the winner meeting second-seeded Luther College at 4 p.m. Play continues Saturday and concludes Sunday.
The tournament winner receives the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division III tournament which begins May 9.
Audio webcasts of each of Central’s games in the conference tourney will be available through www.kniakrls.com. Trevor Castle will call the action.
National statistics leaders—Central is prominent in the latest NCAA Division III statistics. The statistical rankings do not include Central’s two wins at the University of Dubuque last Saturday.
Third baseman Whitney Sowers (junior, Marshalltown) ranks No. 8 in on-base percentage (.589) and 10th in batting average (.516). Shortstop Annie Sarcone (senior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) is 13th in RBIs per game (1.31).
The Dutch are No. 7 as a team in stolen bases per game (2.56), 15th in batting average (.365), 23rd in double plays turned per game (0.42) and 25th in average scoring (7.08 runs).