A three-run, seventh-inning rally by the Hope College softball team tied up the score of a thrilling, back-and-forth game with Manchester University (Indiana) on Thursday. But a walk-off, one-out single scored the winning run for the Spartans in the bottom of the last inning, and the Flying Dutch lost, 10-9, in Logansport, Indiana.
It was the opening game of the season for both squads. The second game of the doubleheader was cancelled due to weather.
Hope battled back against Manchester on a few occasions. The Spartans scored a single run in the first inning, but the Flying Dutch got two runs off a double by freshman rightfielder Caleigh Ebeling that scored sophomore first baseman Kaelin Callow and senior pinch runner Amanda Diaz of Mundelein, Illinois (Mundelein HS) to make the score 2-1 after two innings.
Two four-run innings by Manchester in the third and the fifth innings had Hope behind, 9-4, but the Flying Dutch took advantage of six hits and three Spartans errors to score a combined five runs in the sixth and the seventh that notched the score with the Spartans. The one-out, walk-off single by Manchester's Gracie Ellis scored teammate Keryna Barrett for the winning run.
Callow of Plainfield, Illinois (Plainfield HS), pictured right, and junior catcher Morgann Kanouse of Cadillac (Cadillac HS), pictured left, each went 3-for-4 at the plate for the Flying Dutch, accounting for six of Hope's 12 hits, including a double apiece.
Two freshman led Hope in RBIs with two each: third baseman Alex Benoit of Bourbonnais, Illinois (Bradley-Bourbonnais HS) and rightfielder Ebeling of Shelby Township (Utica HS).
Sophomore Janelle Baar of Byron Center (Byron Center HS) was the pitcher of record in the seventh inning and took the loss.
The Flying Dutch are slated to host their home-opening doubleheader on Saturday, March 7 against Hanover College (Indiana) at Wolters Stadium. First pitch is at 1 p.m.