by Alan Babbitt
The 2018 Hope College softball team has claimed Easton/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Academic Team distinction.
Also, 11 Flying Dutch student-athletes earned recognition as Easton/NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes: Tena Baar, Claire Bates, Jo Cook, Amanda Diaz, Morgann Kanouse, Alex Knorp, Maddie Nise, Shay Pinhey, Hayley Reitsma, Katie Singer, and Hannah VandeRoovaart. Knorp had a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
The Easton/NFCA rankings and honors recognize the academic prowess of softball teams across the NFCA's membership categories.
Hope, under the direction of head coach Mary VandeHoef, finished last season with a 34-12 overall record and set a school record for wins in a single season. The Flying Dutch won the MIAA Tournament and advanced to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Hope also recorded a composite 3.423 grade point average.
"It is really important to our program that players are committed to their academics and are giving their best in the classroom," VandeHoef said. "We want to pursue excellence in all we do. They are here, first and foremost, to get their degree, get it in four years, and to be prepared to leave this place ready to make an impact in the world."