Central notches top-10 national softball finish


PELLA—For the first time since 2015, the Central College softball team closed the season in the top 10 of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association rankings.

The Dutch are No. 8 in the season’s final NFCA top 25. Central was 6-1 in the abbreviated campaign, after sharing second place at the NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic in Tucson, Arizona March 6-8.

East Texas Baptist closed at No. 1 and received all eight first-place votes, posting a 15-0 mark with the Leadoff Classic title. Texas Lutheran (19-1) remained at No. 2.

No other American Rivers schools were ranked. Central is the highest-ranked team in its region.

It’s Central’s sixth top-10 ranking since 2009. The Dutch were No. 7 in 2011 and 2013, No. 9 in 2012 and No. 10 in 2009 and 2015.

Under NFCA Hall of Fame coach George Wares, Central has reached a record 30 NCAA Division III tournaments with four national titles. Wares, the winningest coach in Division III history, has compiled a 1,158-395-3 (.745) record.