Interactive NCAA Finals Bracket
NCAA Regional Results
PELLA, Iowa – The scoreboard listed them as “Guests” but it’s unlikely the Linfield Wildcats will be welcomed back to Iowa any time soon.
The top-ranked Wildcats ran roughshod over their fourth straight opponent, this time a 12-0 five-inning thrashing of host Central College in the championship game of the NCAA Division III Pella Regional.
Once all the damage was added up, the Wildcats had outscored their regional counterparts 49-0, hit .505 as a team, and piled up 23 strikeouts in 20 innings of action.
Linfield advances to its fourth NCAA Finals since 2006. The Wildcats play SUNY-Cortland in a first-round game Friday at the Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va.
The Northwest Conference champion Wildcats scored multiple runs in every inning but the second while the Dutch were helpless to plate a single run.
Pitcher Claire Velaski struck out six batters across five innings to record her fourth shutout victory of the tournament, handcuffing the Dutch to just two hits.
Leadoff batter Kayla Hubrich continued her torrid hitting pace with three base hits and Emily Keagbine went 3-for-3 and connected on her 17th home run straight into a head wind at gusty Kuyper Athletics Complex.
Wildcats Alex Hartmann and Emilee Lepp both were 2-for-3 at the plate. Hartmann drove in two runs with a triple down the right-field line to get things rolling in the first.
Six different Wildcats had hits in the game as Linfield piled up 13 hits for the day.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Eleven sets of parents, as well as some grandparents, were able to make the trip to Iowa for the regional tournament . . . Monday’s weather was the nicest of the tournament, with sunny skies and temperatures pushing into the high 60s. . . the Wildcats are unbeaten in their last eight regional tournament games, including 4-0 last season. . . Linfield equaled the program record for most wins in a season (45), tying the 2007 national championship club. . . Linfield outhit its regional foes 50-6. . . named to the all-tournament team were Velaski, Lepp, Hartmann, Karleigh Prestianni, Staci Doucette and Jaydee Baxter.