Four NCAA Div. III championships
PELLA — Three Central College players were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III All-Region softball teams and two were also tabbed for the NCAA Division III Pella Regional all-tournament team Sunday.
Third baseman Whitney Sowers (junior, Marshalltown) is a first-team all-Midwest Region honoree while shortstop Annie Sarcone (senior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) and second baseman Abbey Strajack (junior, Davenport, Assumption HS) are on the second team.
Meanwhile Sowers and Sarcone were both named to the regional all-tournament team.
Sarcone was the leading hitter in the four-team regional tourney played in Pella Friday through Sunday. She batted .800 in Central’s two games, with four hits in five at-bats and also walked twice for a sizzling .857 on-base percentage. She also stole a base.
Sowers hit .500 in the tourney with three hits and was also hit by a pitch. She also drove in a run, stole a base and made some sparkling defensive plays.
Central (30-12) lost twice in the tourney. The Dutch were making a record 26th NCAA tournament appearance in the past 30 years.
As a first-team NFCA all-region pick, Sowers is now under consideration for all-America honors. Those will be announced May 21, just prior to the start of the NCAA Division III finals in Tyler, Texas.
Despite being limited by injury late in the year, Sowers led the Dutch with a .491 average. She had nine doubles, a triple and nine home runs, stole nine bases in as many tries and committed just two errors for a .983 fielding percentage. She helped start eight double plays. Sowers was also a three-time all-Iowa Conference honoree, including two appearances on the first team.
Sarcone hit .433 with 14 doubles, seven homers and a school-record 51 RBIs. She was also Central’s second-leading base stealer with 14 and had a .930 fielding percentage. Sarcone, a four-time all-conference pick including three times on the first team, set new school career records for home runs (25), RBIs (172) and total bases (304).
Strajack hit .354 with five doubles and a triple. She drove in 17 runs and scored 35 while stealing 12 bases and posting a .958 fielding percentage. She helped start eight double plays. She was earlier named a second-team all-conference pick after being a first-team choice as a designated player in 2012.