North Central College has been designated as the host site for its NCAA Division III Softball Championship Super Regional series against the 13th-ranked University of St. Thomas (Minn.) on Friday and Saturday, May 16-17.
All games in the best-of-three series will be played at North Central’s Shanower Family Field, 435 S. Loomis St. The first game will be played at 4 p.m. Friday, followed by a 1 p.m. start on Saturday. If a third game is necessary, it will be played at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Cardinals (32-11) won their third NCAA regional championship May 11 in Pella, Iowa, defeating Luther College (Iowa), 6-2, in the championship round. North Central opened the tournament with a 5-0 win over regional host Central College May 9, then defeated Washington University in St. Louis, 3-2, May 10 to advance to the final. The Cardinals’ previous regional titles were won in 1983 and 2001. This is the first year that the Super Regional round of competition has existed in the Division III championship.
The St. Thomas Tommies (40-6) rallied from an early loss to win the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Regional on Sunday, defeating Augustana College twice, 5-4 (nine innings) and 10-7 in the championship round. St. Thomas won its 11th straight Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) postseason championship on May 3.
The two teams faced each other earlier this season on March 24 in the Dot Richardson Spring Games in Orlando, Florida, where North Central posted a 4-3 victory. The only other previous meeting between the two programs came in 1999 and was won by St. Thomas.
The cost of admission is $5/adults per day and $3/students and senior citizens. Tickets will be sold the day of the event.