Central ties for 21st in final 2018 softball rankings

Central Dutch Athletics

Central Dutch Athletics

PELLA—Central College is tied for 21st in the final 2018 NFCA Division III top 25 softball rankings.

The Dutch posted a 29-12 mark and received a record 29th NCAA tournament berth, placing second in the St. Paul, Minnesota Regional May 10-12.

Virginia Wesleyan (55-3), which claimed its second straight Division III championship Tuesday in Oklahoma City, is ranked first ahead of runner-up Illinois Wesleyan (40-14-1). Iowa Conference rival Luther College (43-11) is third. St. Thomas (Minn.) (39-8), which topped Central in regional play, is 11th.

It was another memorable ride for the Dutch, who inched ahead of their No. 22 preseason ranking. Central appeared in all 12 polls throughout the season, climbing as high as No. 15 in the March 28 rankings. It’s the seventh time in the past eight seasons that the Dutch closed the year in the NFCA top 25.

Tallman 4th in steals—In final NCAA Division III statistics released Wednesday, center fielder Sara Tallman (sophomore, Pella) ranks fourth in stolen bases per game with 1.12 and tied for 19th in runs per game with 1.22. She stole a school-record 47 bases and scored 50 runs while batting .387. Tallman and right fielder Shaye Witte (sophomore, West Des Moines, Waukee HS) were each first-team NFCA All-Midwest Region honorees. Witte hit a team-high .404.

In the team statistics, Central was fifth nationally in stolen bases per game with 3.22. The Dutch stole 133 bases. It’s the 20th time since 1990 that Central has topped the 100-steal mark and this year’s 133 steals are the sixth-most in school history.

Central coach George Wares added to his glossy record, becoming the first Division III coach to top the 1,100-career win mark. His 1,125-384-3 record over 34 seasons gives him the highest Division III win total ever. Associate head coach Alicia O’Brien, who was head coach at Western Connecticut State for 18 seasons, has a combined 795-351-3 mark.

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Posted by on Jun 1 2018. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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