Four key contributors to a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship season for the Hope College softball team have received all-league recognition for their performances.
Most Valuable Pitcher Sydney Jones is joined by two teammates on the All-MIAA First
Team: centerfielder Sammi Adams and catcher Hayley Reitsma.
Second baseman Sierra Mutschler received All-MIAA Second Team recognition from the league’s coaches.
Jones and Most Valuable Player Cassie Young of Saint Mary’s headline a 12-player All-MIAA First Team that includes Hope centerfielder Sammi Adams and catcher Hayley Reitsma.
Jones is the 10th different Flying Dutch player to be named MIAA MVP. She joins four other pitchers honored as the league’s best: Andrea Reinecke (2012), Becky Whitman (2006), Andrea Adams (2002), and Lisa Walters Jackma (1991).
Jones posted an 8-1 record and a league-best 0.24 ERA in 10 appearances in MIAA games this season.
Jones fired six shutouts in MIAA play and limited league opponents to a .200 batting average. She struck out 102 batters while walking just seven in 58 innings.
Hope coach Mary VandeHoef said Jones had an outstanding conference season.
“She was so steady for us in the circle this year,” VandeHoef said. “She is incredibly competitive, and it shows in the drive she has to personally improve each season and in the way she goes at hitters in the big moments. A .24 ERA, 102 K's in 58 innings, and only giving up 2 runs in the conference season is a testament to her hard work.”
Jones tossed 19 scoreless innings against Trine and Alma over three games during the final week of the regular season that propelled the Flying Dutch to a MIAA title share.
Adams posted the MIAA’s second-highest batting average at .490 with 24 hits and a league-high 20 runs in league play.
The senior from Griffith, Indiana (Griffith) also tied for fourth with six stolen bases against MIAA foes.
Adams handled all 12 of her fielding chances in league play for putouts.
Adams previously was an All-MIAA First Team honoree as a sophomore in 2015 and a second-team selection as a junior.
“Sammi had a great MIAA season in her senior year,” VandeHoef said. “She is so hard for teams to defend because she can drive the ball for extra base hits, or drop a base hit bunt. She has great instincts on the field, and as good as she was offensively, she equals it out in the outfield. Her arm is such a defensive weapon for us.”
Reitsma hit .407 this season against MIAA opponents with 22 hits and a league-high 20 RBIs.
The junior from Grand Rapids, Michigan (GR Christian) tied for the MIAA lead with four triples. She also homered once.
Reitsma recorded a .992 fielding percentage with just one error in 133 chances.
This is Reitsma’s first All-MIAA First Team Selection.
“Hayley has really had a breakthrough year this season,” VandeHoef said. “Her MIAA numbers were very solid, and the intangibles she gives behind the plate are so important to our team. Teams run the bases differently against us because of what she does back there. And she's had a very consistent year at the plate, which has been good to see.”
Mutschler batted .439 in MIAA play this season with 18 hits and 15 RBIs.
The junior from Wayland, Michigan (Wayland) belted two home runs and smacked two doubles en route to 18 hits. She recorded a .739 slugging percentage.
Mutschler finished with a .977 fielding percentage with 29 assists and 13 putouts. She had just one error in 43 chances.
“Sierra is an incredibly powerful hitter, and a very tough out,” VandeHoef said. “ To have 0 strikeouts in the entire conference season is incredibly impressive, and she is a smart hitter who goes in with a plan, and who is very disciplined at the plate. She also played stellar defense at 2nd base, with only 1 error in MIAA games. She helps us significantly on both sides of the ball.”