by Eva Dean Folkert
The Hope College softball team won big early but lost narrowly late on Tuesday in Clermont, Florida. The Flying Dutch defeated Allegheny College (Penn.), 12-2, in five innings in their first game of the day, but lost to Anderson College (Ind.) in their second, 5-4.
The split moves Hope's record to 5-3 on its spring-break swing.
A fifth-inning grand slam homerun by sophomore shortstop Savannah Dixon of Niles (Edwardsburg HS), pictured right, widened Hope's lead over the Allegheny Gators (2-3) who trailed Hope the entire game. Dixon's round-tripper scored centerfielder Jo Cook, designated Shay Pinhey, and leftfielder Noelle Jackson.
Jackson of Grand Blanc (Grand Blanc HS), pictured left, slugged a homer, too. Her two-run blast to leftfield in the fourth innings sent pinch-runner Jordyn Diaz jogging around the bases as well.
In total for the game, Hope had 11 hits; three each by Dixon and sophomore catcher Morgan Kanouse of Cadillac (Cadillac HS), and two each by freshman first baseman Kaelin Callow of Plainfield, Ill. (Plainfield HS) and sophomore rightfielder Abby Wallar of Zeeland (Zeeland West).
Freshman Chloe Haskins of Brighton (Brighton HS) pitched for four innings to earn the win over Allegheny.
In game two, Anderson (4-2) never trailed and extended its lead to 5-0 with three runs in the top of the seventh.
Hope answered with four runs in the bottom of the seventh but stranded runners at first and second on the final out.
Freshman Arinn King of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS) knocked in the Flying Dutch's first run with a RBI double that plated junior pinch-runner Amanda Diaz of Mundelein, Illinois (Mundelein HS). Jackson scored King with a single while Dixon hit a two-run double that brought home Jackson and Pinhey.
Freshman pitcher Janelle Baar of Byron Center (Byron Center H) took the loss in relief.
The Flying Dutch get a day off tomorrow and will be back in action on Thursday, March 21 against Plattsburgh (N.Y.) at 11:15 a.m. and D-Youville (N.Y.) at 1:30 p.m.