Third baseman Katrina Ellis of Goodrich, Michigan (Goodrich HS) jumped on the first pitch from the opponent's ace pitcher and launched the ball into centerfield against a drawn-in outfield.
The ball, miraculously for the Hope College softball team, dropped to the ground and gave the Flying Dutch a walk-off win and a split of a doubleheader at Trine Tuesday.
Pinchrunner Sarah Jones of Norton Shores, Michigan (Mona Shores HS) touched home plate for a 4-3 win in Game 2 after the Thunder mishandled Ellis' flyball with two outs.
The Flying Dutch rebounded from a 1-0 loss in Game 1 to put their record at 10-8 overall and 1-3 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association action.
Hope set up the decisive play by having shortstop Jenna Maury of Lawton, Michigan (Lawton HS) and designated player Sam Waller of Oak Lawn, Illinois (Harold L. Richards HS) draw walks off reliever Jenna Robles. Jones ran for Maury after she reached first.
Waller's was a four-pitch walk.
Robles had fired a two-hit shutout in the opener for the Thunder (15-8, 3-1 MIAA). She entered Game 2 in the seventh and retired the final batter of the inning to thwart a Hope scoring threat.
Hope coach Mary VandeHoef was impressed with her team's determination against Robles.
"Every at-bat we were getting a little better against her, but that can be a tough thing psychologically to face a kid who had shut us down," VandeHoef said. "We made contact against her. Sometimes the ball bounces your way."
Reliever Maddie Bellew of Jackson, Michigan (Jackson HS) tossed a 1-2-3 top of the eighth to earn her first win of the season.
Trine forced extra innings by tying the score at 3-3 with single runs in the fifth against starter Kate Laverty of Eaton Rapids, Michigan (Eaton Rapids HS) and sixth against reliever Katie Singer of Howell, Michigan (Hartland HS).
The Flying Dutch took a 1-0 lead on a RBI single from Ellis in the second that scored rightfielder Sammi Adams of Griffith, Indiana (Griffith HS).
Hope broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run fourth. Waller drove in pinch-runner Alex Knorp of Livonia, Michigan (Stevenson HS) with a single. Two batters later, pinch-runner Ashley Ables of Clinton Township, Michigan (Clintondale HS) came home after Ellis stole second.
In the opener, Robles limited the Flying Dutch to five baserunners, including singles to centerfielder Autumn Anderson of Dorr, Michigan (Wayland HS) and Maury.
Losing pitcher Sydney Jones of South Lyon, Michigan (South Lyon East HS) allowed five hits and one earned run over four innings. Jones (3-6) struck out five and walked one.
Hope is scheduled to return to action on Thursday, April 7 at 3:30 p.m. at home against Olivet, weather permitting.