A look back at a season to remember for the Luther College softball team

Posted: Tue, May 29, 2018 1:49 PM

The Luther college softball team has been consistently good under head coach Renae Hartl--in 18 seasons it has a record of 557 wins and 182 losses, for a winning percentage of .754.  It has also qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs in ten of the last eleven years.

But even by those lofty standards, the 2018 season has been something special for the Norse.  This year's squad set a school record for most wins in a season (43).  This group of seniors posted a four-year record of 162-27:
2015 - 38-6
2016 - 40-5
2017 - 41-5
2018 - 43-11

Luther had three 2018 NFCA All-Americans:
1st Team - Senior Short Stop Anna Strien (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Waterloo Columbus)
2nd Team - Senior Outfield Ashley Burrows (Bondurant, Iowa/Bondurant-Farrar)
2nd Team - Junior Pitcher Samantha Bratland (Spring Grove, Minn.)
All three were named All-Americans for the second year in a row.

Luther won the 2018 Iowa Conference Tournament Championship (7th time in nine years Luther has captured tournament championship)
- defeated Simpson 8-0 (6 inning)
- defeated Central 9-1 (6 innings)
- defeated Coe 4-0

Luther qualified for NCAA III National Tournament for 19th time in school history (10th year in a row)

Luther was crowned Decorah, Iowa Regional Champions by winning all three games it played.
- defeated Lake Forest 11-3 (5 innings)
- defeated Cornell College (IA) 6-0
- defeated Saint Benedict 3-0

Luther was crowned Decorah, Iowa Super Regional Champions (best of 3 game series)
- defeated St. Thomas 3-1
- lost to St. Thomas 11-8
- defeated St. Thomas 3-1

Luther qualified for the NCAA Division III National Softball Championships for the 7th time in school history - the 5th time under the direction of Head Coach Renae Hart - first time since 2013.
- First round - defeated MIT 6-3
- Winners bracket - lost to defending national champions Virginia Wesleyan 3-0
- Elimination Round - defeated Case Western Reserve 7-6
- Semifinal Round need to defeat Illinois Wesleyan twice to advance to national championship series
- defeated Illinois Wesleyan 5-2
- lost to Illinois Wesleyan 5-1 and were eliminated from the tournament

The third place finish at the national championships was the highest finish in school history (4th place finishes in 1985 and 1990)