The Luther College softball team has advanced to face North Central (Ill.) on championship Sunday after defeating Washington-St. Louis 7-6 in Saturday's second elimination game.
The victory avenged a 7-2 loss to the Bears in the opening round.
Annie Versnik was credited with the win in the circle. Versnik pitched the final five innings and allowed two runs on two hits.
Trailing 4-1 entering the top of the third, the Norse scored four runs on four hits to take a 5-3 lead. Luther added two insurance runs in the fifth that proved to be the difference as the Bears also scored twice in this same frame.
In the third, Iowa Conference Position Player of the Year Kelsey Rose led-off with a double down the left field line. Two batters later, Carli Radil double to left center that scored Rose. Kristen Winter followed with a double to left that scored Radil. Alise Miller followed with a two-run blast to left field. Earlier Saturday, it was announced the Rose and Radil and Becca Girvan were named NFCA first team All-Midwest Region selections.
Miller drove in her third RBI of the game on a double in the fifth and scored what proved to be the game winner on a throwing error by the Bears. Miller finished the game 3-for-3 and scored twice. Rose (3-for-4), Radil (2-for-4) and Winter (2-for-4) also had multiple hit games.
Luther (32-7) will need to defeat North Central (31-11) twice Sunday to advance to Super Regional Play next weekend. Sunday's first game has been moved up to 11 a.m. due to forecasted thunderstorms.
Earlier Saturday
No. 8 Luther stayed alive in the Pella Regional by defeating host Central College 7-3 in an elimination game.
Trailing the Dutch 1-0 entering the top of the sixth, Alise Miller produced the game winner, a two-run home run to left field. The Norse added five more in the seventh thanks to a three-run blast by Katie Wieland and a two-run shot by Kristen Winter.