Softball Splits With No. 7-Ranked Saint Mary's

Hayley Reitsma joined an exclusive home run club for Hope College softball while helping the Flying Dutch split a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association doubleheader with seventh-ranked Saint Mary's on Thursday at Wolters Stadium.

The senior catcher from Grand Rapids, Michigan (Grand Rapids Christian HS) belted a two-out, two-run walkoff homer for a 4-3 victory in Game 1 for the 20th-ranked Flying Dutch.

Reitsma, pictured, homered for the fifth consecutive game in Game 2 to give Hope a lead in Game 2, but a sixth-inning Saint Mary's rally propelled the Belles to an 8-4 win in Game 2.

Hope and Saint Mary's have a league-low one loss in MIAA play. The Flying Dutch (19-4 overall, 5-1 in MIAA play) return to action on Friday, April 21 with a 3:30 p.m. home doubleheader against Kalamazoo.

Saint Mary's is now 29-3 overall and 11-1 in MIAA play.

In Game 1, centerfielder Noelle Jackson of Grand Blanc, Michigan (Grand Blanc) set the stage for Reitsma by reaching base on a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh.

Reitsma fouled out several two-strike pitches before launching her 19th home run of the season over the left-field fence.

It was the second home run of the game for Hope. Second baseman Sierra Mutschler of Wayland, Michigan (Wayland) opened the score with a second-inning solo homer — the 22nd of her Flying Dutch career.

Winning pitcher Sydney Jones of South Lyon, Michigan (South Lyon) scattered eight hits and three runs of seven innings for the win. Jones (10-1) struck out eight and walked three.

Jones now has 44 career wins — third-most in Hope history after breaking a tie with Keri Roelofs (1993-96).

In Game 2, Reitsma hit a solo homer to spark a three-run top of the sixth that put the Flying Dutch ahead 4-1. She became the fourth Hope player to reach 20 career home runs — joining Carrie Scott (23 from 1998-2001), Mutschler (22), and Peyton Wells (2012-15).

Three batters later, shortstop Savannah Dixon of Niles, Michigan (Edwardsburg) added a two-run homer.

Saint Mary's, however, answered by sending 12 batters to the plate in its half of the inning and scoring seven times. Megan Knudsen delivered the go-ahead hit with a run-scoring single. | PO Box 9000, Holland, Michigan 49422