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Rowan, seven others, set for NCAA Division III Softball Championship

Profs will face Illinois Wesleyan in first round Thursday.

The 2017 defending National Champions of Virginia Wesleyan University make their second straight World Series appearance this year, while just falling short in the regional tournament in 2016. The number one seeded Marlins stand at an overall record of  50-2 this season combining for a 104-5 record over the last two years. They face the eighth seeded Bombers of Ithaca College to kick off the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament on May 24 at 12 pm. In the 2018 Super Regional round, Ithaca College knocked out the runner up of the NCAA finals game last year, St. John Fisher College. 

The matchup that will follow the Ithaca- VWU game at 2:30 will contain sixth seeded Luther College from Iowa and the fifth seeded MIT Engineers from Massachusetts. The Norse’s of Luther College have a strong offense led by senior shortstop Anna Strein who finished as a 2017 NFCA all American and led all Division III softball programs with 66 RBI last season. This year she is batting .431 with 18 doubles on 62 hits, and will be a big force in the World Series Tournament as the Norse’s are competing for their first National title in program history. 

UT-Tyler is entering the tournament as the number two seed coming in hungry as the defending champs of VWU knocked them out of the tournament last year. However,  the Patriots have one national championship under their belt back in 2016. Head Coach Mike Reed has led his team to an outstanding overall 515-109 record since 2005, with 10 NCAA tournament appearances. They will be facing the number seven set as the Case Western Reserve University Spartans at 5:00 pm who stand at an overall 37-10 record on the season. 

The last matchup of the day is between the third seeded Rowan University Profs and the sixth seeded Illinois Wesleyan Titans. The two teams met before in 2016 as the Profs defeated the Titans 3-1 in the NCAA Tournament. Kim Wilson and the Profs have made a strong outing this season after winning their conference NJAC Championship, making it Wilson’s sixth title as well as having 15 NCAA appearances in her last 22 seasons as head coach. The profs are fueled behind junior shortstop Carly Anderson who is batting a stellar .500 on the year and sophomore ace pitcher Jesse DeDomenico. Dedomenico has 161 strikeouts in 181 innings with an overall 23-7 record. Sophomore Pitcher Ally Wiegand has posted a .91 ERA, only allowing 68 hits in 130 innings pitched. Her strikeout to walk ratio is a stunning 202-5. The battle between the two teams will be carried by dominant pitching from both sides. Head coach Tiffany Prager took over the position in 2016, leading the Titans to a 37-15 record and making an appearance in Oklahoma City for the second consecutive season.

The tournament will kick off in the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City for the second year in a row starting on May 24 at 12 pm through 7:30 pm on NCAA Gamecenter live. It is a double elimination tournament and the winning team of the tournament will be crowned on May 28 (or May 29 if needed game 3).

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