Luther softball IIAC regular season champion
Delayed one day by inclement weather for the second year in a row, the 2012 Iowa Conference softball regular season drew to a close Sunday as No. 4 Luther posted a 6-2, 8-7 doubleheader sweep of Cornell to improve to 15-1 in league play. The title is the seventh overall and fourth outright for Luther.
In game one, Luther scored twice in the second and exploded for four in the third en route to the victory. Mallory Broderick (‘12) got things started with a two-run home run to left in the second. Broderick also drove in a run with a double in the third and finished the game going 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
Becca Girvan (‘14) (22-2) went the distance in the circle. Girvan spread four hits and allowed two runs, walked three and struck out eight.
In the nightcap, Broderick drove in the game winner in the bottom of the seventh with a single to left field. Kayla Hatting (‘13), who pinch ran for Kelsey Kittleson (‘12) who started the inning with a walk, scored from second base. Hatting advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Abby Christian (‘12).
Cornell player Kari Martin hit a two-run home run to left-center field, which tied the game in the top half of the final frame.
Kittleson, Broderick and Christian led the offensive attack with two RBI each. Kelsey Rose (‘15) pitched the first four innings and gave up two runs on four hits and struck out four. Girvan was credited with the victory pitching the final three innings.
In addition to capturing the title, Luther (34-4, 15-1 IIAC) is the top seed and host for this weekend’s Iowa Conference tournament. The Norse earned a first-round bye when the tournament opens Thursday.
Sixth-ranked Central (31-7, 12-4 IIAC) is the No. 2 seed and captured the tournament’s other first-round bye. Simpson (27-13, 10-6 IIAC) is seeded third, followed by 20th-ranked Coe (31-9, 9-7 IIAC) as the No. 4 seed. Loras (20-16, 7-9 IIAC) and Buena Vista (17-15, 7-9 IIAC) round out the field as the No. 5 and No. 6 seeds, respectively.