The Hope College softball team had to play catch-up for their entire first-round MIAA Softball Tournament game against Trine University.
The Flying Dutch, though, just could not take a lead, even after tying the Thunder twice, and fell to Trine, 5-3, at Wolters Stadium.
Hope plays Saint Mary's College next, who lost to Alma College, 5-1, in the tournament's opener.
The Flying Dutch, hosting the MIAA softball tournament for the first time in 11 years, had won two games against No. 14-nationally-ranked Trine last week. The Thunder, first in the nation in home runs, used their favored weapon twice against Hope, and two Trine homers accounted for three of their five runs.
A towering two-run home run by Kaylee Fox in the first against Hope starter and MIAA Most Outstanding Pitcher, junior Sydney Jones of Norton Shores, Michigan (Mona Shores), gave Trine a 2-0 start. Jones had not allowed an earned run in 32 2/3 innings before giving up that round-tripper to Fox.
Hope patiently chipped away when freshmen Amanda Diaz of Round Lake, Illinois (Mundelein HS) singled and scored sophomore Noelle Jackson of Grand Blanc, Michigan (Grand Blanc HS) in the third. Then, junior catcher Hayley Reitsma of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Grand Rapids Christian) hit a solo home run to left in the fourth to tie the score at two runs apiece.
Trine came right back in the fifth with another run, but Hope evened the score again at 3-3 in the sixth when sophomore Shay Pinhey of Ann Arbor (Pioneer HS) scored after junior Katie Singer of Howell (Hartland HS) singled up the middle.
Two runs in the top of the seventh sealed the score and the game for the Thunder. Trine's Makenna Hartline led off with a solo homer. Then, a miscommunication on a pop-up by Trine's Carly Bachna allowed the ball to drop between two Hope fielders untouched, and pinch runner Erica Robles scored, giving Trine an insurance run and the final 5-3 win.
Jones (15-5) took her first loss since April 21, a 1-0 loss to Calvin College. Jones struck out nine Trine batters, giving her 203 strikeouts on the season, and she walked four.
Winning Trine pitcher Danielle Ray (15-3) struck out four and walked none.
Hope scattered eight hits for the game to Trine's six. Reitsma went 2-for-3 from the plate, the only Hope player with more than one hit.