Down to its last strike, the Hope College softball team rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 6-5 walk-off win against Greenville, Illinois on Friday in the elimination game.
The Flying Dutch (26-14 overall) advanced to a rematch with seventh-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater in the elimination round at 4 p.m. Central. Whitewater beat Hope 4-1 in Thursday's opening round.
Pinch-runner Noelle Jackson of Grand Blanc, Michigan (Grand Blanc HS) scored the winning run after Greenville's catcher dropped the throw at home following a two-out single to left by rightfielder Amanda Diaz of Round Lake, Illinois (Mundelein HS).
Jackson came home from second base. She was in scoring position after stealing second.
Jackson ran for pinch-hitter Kaylee Arendt of Silver Lake, Wisconsin (Wilmot), who hit for Jackson, and delivered a game-tying single that plated first baseman Sarah Jones of Norton Shores, Michigan (Mona Shores) with the tying run. Jones reached base on a one-out bunt.
Arendt's single was the second in 14 at-bats in her Hope career.
Greenville held a 5-4 lead after scoring twice in the top of the fifth.
The game had six lead changes.
Catcher Hayley Reitsma of Grand Rapids, Michigan (GR Christian) hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to even the score at 2-2.
Pitcher Kate Singer of Howell, Michigan (Hartland) put Hope ahead 3-2 with a third-inning sacrifice fly.
Sophomore shortstop Shay Pinhey laced a RBI double in the bottom of the fourth to give the Flying Dutch a 4-3 lead.
Winning pitcher Sydney Jones of South Lyon, Michigan (East) tossed 1 ⅓ innings of scoreless relief for the win. She stranded a Greenville at third when she entered in the sixth inning.
Jones (16-6) struck out three.
Watch post-game interview below.