2019 Hope College Softball Preview By Alan Babbitt

Pictured above, Shay Pinhey is moving to third base this season after playing first base for the Flying Dutch in 2018.

2019 At A Glance

  • Roster Size: 25
  • Returners: 13
  • Captains: Noelle Jackson, Shay Pinhey
  • 2019 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll: Third Place
  • 2018 Season Recap: Hope set a school record for wins with a 34-12 record. Went 11-5 in MIAA play to finish third place in the regular-season standings. The Flying Dutch won the MIAA Tournament for the sixth time in team history and receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Hope hosted and won an NCAA regional at Wolters Stadium and won four consecutive games after losing in the first round. The Flying Dutch then hosted Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) in Super Regional before losing the series in three games.

Pictured, Morgann Kanouse

Outfielder Noelle Jackson pumps her fist following an out.

2019 Roster

The Flying Dutch's roster this season features two seniors, three juniors, eight sophomores and 12 freshmen. Hope graduated three All-MIAA First Team selections: catcher and MIAA Position Player of the Year Hayley Reitsma, All-American pitcher Sydney Jones and second baseman Sierra Mutschler.

"We certainly had a great group of players graduate, so we're a younger team. We're getting great leadership from all of our upperclassmen, and we're excited about how things are coming together. Our goal doesn't change from year to year, we're trying to win a national championship, and I can't wait to compete with this group." — Head Coach Mary VandeHoef
Head coach Mary VandeHoef talks to her players

Key Returners

  • Senior Shay Pinhey is a career .333 hitter who recorded a team-leading and career-high 63 hits last season. She batted leadoff last season for the Flying Dutch. Pinhey is switching corner spots on the infield this season and moving to third base.
  • Senior Noelle Jackson posted career-highs last season with 42 hits, 27 runs scored and 14 RBIs while batting .275 and starting in centerfield.
  • Junior Amanda Diaz posted her second consecutive campaign with at least 20 hits and 20 runs last season while starting in rightfield.
  • Sophomore Savannah Dixon finished third on the team in 2018 with 30 RBIs while starting at shortstop. She batted .304 with three home runs.
  • Sophomore Jo Cook collected the Flying Dutch's fourth-highest number of hits last season with 42. She hit .313 while starting in leftfield.
  • Sophomore Morgann Kanouse handled the hot corner for Hope last season and recorded 55 assists at third base. She moves behind the plate to catcher this season.
Savannah Dixon and the Flying Dutch are scheduled to play 12 games in Florida to open their season.
Jo Cook extends for a catch at the warning track
Pictured above, Jordyn Diaz, left, and assistant coach Jeanette Olinger look for signs from head coach Mary VandeHoef last season, while, below, Amanda Diaz, left, celebrates with teammate Hayley Reitsma after scoring a run.

2019 Softball Schedule

The Flying Dutch's 38-game schedule starts with the annual spring break trip to Clermont, Florida. Beginning on March 15, Hope will play 12 games down south over an eight-day stretch. The Flying Dutch return to campus for their home opener on Wednesday, March 27 against Wheaton College (Illinois) at Wolters Stadium. Hope's MIAA opener is Tuesday, April 2 against Alma College.

2019 Coaching Staff

Head Coach Mary VandeHoef

In her ninth season at the helm, Mary VandeHoef has guided the Flying Dutch to a 196-125-2 overall record and a 107-49 mark in MIAA games. She has led Hope to three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances, a share of the 2017 MIAA regular-season championship and the 2018 MIAA Tournament title. A co-captain of Central's 2003 NCAA Division III national championship softball team, Mary was a four-time NCAA tournament participant and recipient of the team's most inspirational player award three of her four years. After graduation, she was an assistant coach at Ithaca (N.Y.) and Central (IA) before becoming head coach at Hope.

"The Florida trip is a really important part of our season. We play over a quarter of our season in a span of six days. That's a lot of softball in a short period of time. It's a challenge, but a great test at the beginning of the season to see what we're made of. By the end of spring break, we hope to have settled in on the combination of players we will utilize when we head back north." — Head Coach Mary VandeHoef
Junior Shelby Steele

By The Numbers

  • .312 team batting average in 2018
  • 251 runs scored in 2018
  • 30 home runs in 2018
  • 14 shutouts pitched in 2018
  • 1.95 team earned run average in 2018

Hope's Home-Field Advantage

Built in 2008, Wolters Stadium honors Karla Hoesch ’73 Wolters and her husband Tom ’73. Karla was the head coach of Hope’s softball team for 23 years, coaching 1,792 games. She retired at the end of the 2010 season and passed away in 2016 after ending her battle with cancer.
Created By
Alan Babbitt


Photos by Lynne Powe, Tom Renner, Allen Tedder, and Jon Lundstrom

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