Softball Sweeps Alma On Walk Off Single In First Game, 10-Run Second Game

Kaelin Callow posing for a headshot by Kirstin Anderson

The Hope College softball team took two from Alma College in Tuesday's Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener, edging the Scots, 7-6 and 10-6, at Wolters Stadium.

The Flying Dutch improved to 12-4 on the season.

First baseman and cleanup hitter Kaelin Callow, pictured, won Game 1 with a one-out, walk off single to score center fielder Jo Cook from second base.

Cook led off the seventh with a single and advanced to second on shortstop Savannah Dixon's sacrifice bunt.

"Hopefully it's a big boost for her, " head coach Mary VandeHoef said of Callow, a freshman from Plainfield, Illinois (Plainfield). "We have a lot of confidence in her and as a freshman she's doing a nice job."

Callow, who went 2-for 3, hit a sacrifice fly during a five-run fifth that propelled Hope to a 6-2 lead.

Designated player Shay Pinhey of Ann Arbor, Michigan (Pioneer) started the rally by clocking her second RBI single of the game that scored left fielder Noelle Jackson of Grand Blanc, Michigan (Grand Blanc).

Shortstop Savannah Dixon of Niles, Michigan (Edwardsburg) then punched a two-run single that knock in Pinhey and Cook of Birch Run, Michigan (Birch Run). After Callow's sacrifice fly, Dixon scored when Alma mishandled a grounder by catcher Morgann Kanouse of Cadillac, Michigan (Cadillac).

Reliever Janelle Baar of Byron Center, Michigan (Byron Center) earned the win with one inning of scoreless relief. Baar (3-1) threw a scoreless seventh.

The Flying Dutch used their momentum from the first game to power through the second game against Alma (11-9, 1-3 MIAA).

Hope came out swinging with a three-run first inning. Second baseman Arinn King of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) walked with the bases loaded to score Pinhey. Cook and Callow then came home on a Alma throwing error on a Jackson grounder.

The Scots tied the score with three runs of their won in the bottom of the first. A second-inning Dixon sacrifice fly in the second broke the tie in Hope's favor, sending home right fielder Jordyn Diaz of Naperville, Illinois (Neuqua Valley).

Alma, however, took the lead with a two-run second and a one-run third.

Hope tied the score at 6-6 in the fourth on a Kanouse sacrifice fly that plated Cook and a King RBI single that scored Dixon.

In the fifth, Jackson came home with the go-ahead run when Alma mishandled a grounder by pitcher Avery Slancik. Right fielder Abby Waller of Zeeland, Michigan (Zeeland West) smacked an RBI triple to knock in Slancik and scored on Pinhey's sacrifice fly.

Jackson added an RBI single in the sixth to score Callow.

 "It was a game of swings," VandeHoef said. "I'm really proud that we kept fighting and kept our heads up. We didn't let getting down defeat us and just kept plugging away."

Slancik (2-1) threw 26 strikes on 37 pitches in 2 1/3 scoreless relief.

"She came up big," VandeHoef said. "We have a lot of pitchers getting opportunities, and today she really kept us in it in the second game."

Hope's next games are Wednesday, April 3 at Aurora University (Illinois). The non-league doubleheader begins at 3 p.m. Central.

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