Luther shuts out Saint Benedict 3-0 in regional final - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Luther shuts out Saint Benedict 3-0 in regional final

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DECORAH (KWWL) -

The Luther softball team picked up some redemption on Saturday. The Norse topped 13th ranked Saint Benedictine 3-0 to advance to the super regional round of the NCAA Division III national tournament.

Luther came in to the final on the winner's side of the bracket, meaning that, if needed, they'd have two chances to knock out the Bennies. They sat in the same situation in 2017, but lost a pair of games to Saint Catherine to fall out of the tournament.

Luther junior Samantha Bratland dealt her second straight shutout of the weekend on the mound, allowing just three hits while striking out three. The signature play of the game on the final out, when a hard liner ricocheted off the glove of third baseman Blake Banowetz right to shortstop Anna Strien. Strien made the play, firing to first base to send the Norse the Super Regional round.

"That last play of the game says it all," says Bratland, "The ball deflected and we still got the play done with another player. Trusting my defense is huge, and the defense they put out there today was amazing."

The only Norse runs came in the third inning. Bailey Victoria scored on an error for the game's opening score. Moments later, Paige Timmerman delivered her only hit of the weekend series, a line drive double in to the left centerfield gap to plate the final two runs.

The win marked the sixth straight for the Norse during their postseason run.

"We've carried that momentum in from last weekend in the IIAC tournament, and we're just feeling confident," says Strien, "Being able to get it done in three games and not having to play that extra game definitely is a mood booster."

Luther advanced to face seventh ranked Saint Thomas in the Super Regional.

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