Three members of the softball team have been named Division III All-Americans by the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association. The announcement was made Thursday, May 19, as a prelude to the NCAA Division III championships in Raleigh, N.C.
Senior outfielder Candace Graham has been named to the first team, freshman outfielder Jessica Regnerus to the second team and junior shortstop Jessica Adams to the third team.
The Flying Dutch, coached by Karla Wolters, are coming off their most successful season in a decade during which they posted a 28-11 record. Three softball All-Americans in one season has been accomplished by Hope only once before (1996).
Unique to these players is that they all graduated from the same high school -- Hudsonville High School.
Candace Graham -- Graham had a banner final collegiate season establishing several Hope record including most hits (56), doubles (12), triples (9), total bases (92) and RBIs (45). She batted .459 with a .754 slugging percentage. She was 16-for-16 on stolen bases and committed only one fielding error over 39 games.
Jessica Regnerus -- Regnerus established a Hope single season batting average record in her first collegiate season (.490). She set a mark for the most singles (47). She was errorless in the field and was successful on 19-of-20 stolen base attempts.
Emily Adams -- Adams batted .403 and tied for the team lead in homeruns (4). She was second only to Graham in doubles (11), RBIs (41) and total bases (75).
COACH KARLA WOLTERS ON HER ALL-AMERICANS
Candace Graham -- "In arguably the toughest semester of her college career while student teaching in biology and serving as team co-captain, Candace always came to the park ready to work hard. She practiced and played every day as if it could be her last. In fact, her season was almost cut short in early April when trying to make a diving catch in practice she suffered a broken finger on the left hand. She insisted that she would finish her senior season as a player and play she did with great performances in the outfield, at the plate and on the base paths. Truly, her senior season will go down as one of the finest in Hope softball history!"
Jessica Regnerus -- "Jessica came to the softball team three weeks later than everyone else as she first finished a great season with the Flying Dutch jayvee basketball team. She reported recovering from a concussion and strained hamstring. Even so, she wowed her teammates and coaches with her amazing speed. Jessica is a very difficult player to defend as she can bunt, slap or hit a homerun. She is a terror on the base paths, very aggressive in running and sliding, and was a terrific rightfielder while not having played the outfield very much in high school. Her season will go down as the best for any freshman in Hope history and one of the finest of any Hope player."
Emily Adams -- "Talk about being in the pressure cooker! Emily played at one of the toughest positions on the field (shortstop) and the most demanding position in the batting order (cleanup). And she did so with great poise and confidence. At the plate she hit for both power and average, often with teammates in scoring position. In the field she made routine plays look easy and the tough plays were routine. Emily was simply solid in every way and we look forward to next year when she will be one of our co-captains."