Four NCAA Div. III championships
PELLA — For the second straight year, Central College is among eight schools selected to serve as regional sites for the NCAA Division III softball tournament.
On Sunday, May 6, 61 teams will be selected for the championship and assigned to regional sites. Eight teams will compete at six of the regional sites, with seven teams at one site and six teams at another. The eight-team regionals will be staged May 10-14, with the six- and seven-team tourneys held May 11-14. The tourneys use a double-elimination format.
Other regional hosts are Alma College (Mich.), Amherst College (Mass.), Christopher Newport University (Va.), Eastern Connecticut State University (Conn.), Illinois Wesleyan University, Kean University (N.J.) and the University of Texas-Tyler. Central and Texas-Tyler are the only schools that served as 2011 sites as well.
The eight regional champions advance to the national finals May 18-22 in Salem, Va.
Central’s A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex field will serve as a regional host site regardless of whether or not the Dutch make the team tournament field. Central, 23-5 overall, is No. 6 in the NFCA Division III rankings. The Dutch have made NCAA tournament appearances the past three years, with 23 NCAA berths overall. Central finished second in the regional tourney last year behind eventual national champion Linfield College (Ore.).
It’s the ninth time that Central has hosted a softball regional. The NCAA Division III national finals were staged at Central in 1992.