by Alan Babbitt
The Hope College softball team started the 2019 season with two dramatic non-league victories on Friday in Clermont, Florida.
The Flying Dutch edged Bowdoin College (Maine) by a 3-2 margin on a seventh-inning walk off single, then held off a Millsaps College (Mississippi) rally for a 6-4 victory.
Against Bowdoin (4-1), Hope sent five batters to the plate during the seventh inning for a decisive two-run rally.
Catcher Morgann Kanouse of Cadillac, Michigan (Cadillac) led off with a single. Pinch-runner Jordyn Diaz of Naperville, Illinois (Neuqua Valley) stole second and scored on a single up the middle by second baseman Arinn King of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville).
King moved up to the third on a groundout. After a walk, third baseman Shay Pinhey of Ann Arbor, Michigan (Pioneer HS), pictured, singled to center to plate King with the winning run.
Winning pitcher Avery Slancik of Scotts, Michigan (Vicksburg) tossed three innings of scoreless relief. She struck out one and allowed one hit.
Against Millsaps (9-13), Hope broke a scoreless tie with three runs during the third and fourth innings.
Nine different Flying Dutch recorded a hit, including a RBI triple from centerfielder Jo Cook of Birch Run, Michigan (Birch Run) and a run-scoring double by first baseman Kaelin Callow of Plainfield, Illinois (Plainfield).
Millsaps erupted for four runs in the sixth but were denied twice in the sixth and stranded two runners in scoring position.
Winning pitcher Chloe Haskins of Brighton, Michigan (Brighton) faced all but three batters and recorded 21 all outs for the Flying Dutch. She yielded five hits and was charged with allowing one run. She struck out five.
Hope is scheduled to play twice on Saturday in Clermont, Florida: 1:30 p.m. vs. Lake Forest College (Illinois) and 3:45 p.m. against Linfield College (Oregon).