Pella Regional Website
Central Softball Field
Northwest Conference champion Linfield is headed to Pella, Iowa, for the NCAA Division III Central Regional playoff tournament starting Thursday.
The Wildcats, 41-2 this season, earned the eight-team regional’s top seed and will play the Anderson University Ravens (28-13) in an opening round game on Thursday. Game time is set for 10 a.m. local time (8 a.m. Pacific).
Linfield is expected to depart Tuesday for Iowa to compete in an eight-team double elimination regional hosted by Central College.
The NCAA selection committee announced the 60-team Division III playoff field Monday morning as part of a streamed internet selection show on NCAA.com.
Also receiving bids to the Central regional tournament are Central (Iowa), Fontbonne (Mo.), Washington-St. Louis (Mo.), Coe (Iowa), Wisconsin-Whitewater and Benedictine (Ill.).
Linfield earned the berth to the regional tournament as the automatic qualifier from the NWC. The Wildcats won their eighth straight NWC title by 5½ games over runner-up Pacific Lutheran. Linfield enters the NCAA playoffs riding a school-record 30-game win streak.
The Central Regional features four teams ranked in the Top 10 nationally. In the most recent National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll, Linfield is ranked No. 1, Central is No. 5, Coe is rated No. 7 and Wisconsin-Whitewater is No. 8.
Thirty-five conferences have been granted automatic qualification and six independents were selected for the 2011 championship. The 18 remaining teams were selected on an at-large basis from automatic qualifying conferences and the remaining independent institutions
Eight double-elimination tournaments are scheduled to begin Thursday and Friday on campus sites. Eight teams will compete at six first-round sites starting Thursday and six teams will compete at two first-round sites beginning Friday. All first-round sites will use a double-elimination format.
The eight-team Division III championship finals, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, will be held May 20-24 at Moyer Sports Complex, Salem, Va.
Takes 13-0 record into postseason
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