First baseman Peyton Wells delivered six RBIs, including a go-ahead, two-run single to propel the Hope College softball team to a 10-7 win against eighth-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater on Thursday in the NCAA Division III Tournament opener.
The 25th-ranked Flying Dutch (28-9) advanced to play on Friday at 9 a.m. Central in Lake Forest, Illinois, against 16th-ranked North Central, Illinois (32-7), a 3-2 winner against host Lake Forest in Thursday's second game. The Hope-North Central winner advances to Saturday's championship round.
Wells went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer in the third, a RBI single in the fifth and a two-run single in the sixth. She matched her season high for RBIs from a March 31 win against visiting Trine in a 15-10 Game 2 win at Wolters Stadium.
The senior from Rockford, Michigan (Rockford HS), knocked in junior centerfielder Autumn Anderson of Dorr, Michigan (Wayland HS), and sophomore rightfielder Sammi Adams of Griffith, Indiana (Griffith HS), in sixth to break a 7-7 tie.
Wells shares the team lead for RBIs with 39 with freshman second baseman Sierra Mutschler of Wayland, Michigan (Wayland HS).
Whitewater (36-8) had tied the score with four runs in its half of the sixth.
Anderson went 4-for-4 to raise her batting average to .470.
Winning pitcher Natalie Hiser (9-1) tossed 1 2/3 innings of one-run relief. The senior from Westland, Michigan (Livonia Churchill HS), was the third to pitch for the Flying Dutch.