The Hope College softball team is picked third in the 2016 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Preseason Softball Coaches Poll.
Coach Mary VandeHoef’s Flying Dutch received one first-place vote and totaled 54 points in the nine-team poll.
Hope trailed in the preseason projection last season’s champion Trine (60 points) and Alma (54). Both Trine and Alma claimed four first-place votes apiece. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.
The Flying Dutch are coming off a 2015 campaign in which they posted a 29-11 record and reached the regional finals in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Hope returns two All-MIAA First Team players from last season: senior centerfielder Autumn Anderson of Dorr, Michigan (Wayland HS) and junior outfielder Sammi Adams of Griffith, Indiana (Griffith HS).
Anderson, a three-time All-MIAA honoree, will join the team after her basketball season concludes.
Sophomore pitcher Sydney Jones of South Lyon, Michigan (South Lyon East HS) is back after earning All-MIAA Second Team honors in 2015.
Hope's roster of 21 players features four seniors, three juniors, seven sophomores and seven freshmen.
The Flying Dutch open the 2016 season on Friday, March 18 with the first two of 12 games in Clermont, Florida.
Hope’s home opener is Monday, March 28 vs. Aurora, Illinois.
Team Pts. (1st place votes)
1 Trine 60 (4)
2 Alma 56 (4)
3 Hope 54 (1)
4 Saint Mary's 38
5 Calvin 35
6 Adrian 31
7 Olivet 22
8 Kalamazoo 20
9 Albion 8