Five members of the league co-champion Hope College softball team have made the 2021 All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Teams.
Three are first-team selections for the first time: senior Megan Soderbloom and juniors Kaelin Callow and Avery Slancik. Two are second-team honorees: senior Jo Cook and junior Arinn King.
Soderbloom batted .369 in 36 games this season while also making 18 appearances on the mound and posting a 7-5 record with one save.
The public accounting major from Dowagiac, Michigan (Dowagiac) topped the Flying Dutch with 40 runs batted in, including a league-high 24 in games that counted toward the MIAA standings.
“Megan led the league in hits, RBI, and slugging percentage while hitting .462 in the conference season,” head coach Mary VandeHoef said. “She also pitched some really valuable innings and earned four wins in the circle for us in conference play. It was great to see her have her best year in her final season.”
Callow hit a team-high .417 this season. The first baseman and neuroscience major from Plainfield, Illinois (Plainfield) collected 50 hits in 36 games, including 16 for extra bases.
Callow made 276 putouts in 282 chances and finished with a .993 fielding percentage.
“Kaelin had a great year at the plate,” VandeHoef said. “She makes plays at first base that few could make. The combination of her competitiveness and work ethic is really special and she helped fuel our team all year.”
Slancik made a team-high 22 appearances on the mound in 81 ⅓ innings as a starter and a reliever. The neuroscience major from Scotts, Michigan (Vicksburg) went 9-1 with a team-leading 1.81 earned run average.
“Avery went 8-0 in the conference season and threw a significant number of innings down the stretch,” VandeHoef said. “Her ability to keep hitters off-balance was key. She seemed to keep getting better as the season progressed and really thrived in the big moments for our team.
Cook batted .303 in 36 games this season. The left fielder and nursing major from Birch Run, Michigan (Birch Run) did not make an error in 42 chances.
“Jo put together a great year both offensively and defensively,” VandeHoef said. “She gets great jumps and runs down balls in the outfield and had more power to her swing this year than ever before.”
King slugged a team-high six home runs and batted .317 from the leadoff spot. The second baseman and exercise science major from Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) scored a team-leading 33 runs.
“At the leadoff spot, Arinn led the league in runs and was 6th in runs batted in, so she both set the table for us and drove in runs, which is a powerful combination,” VandeHoef said. “She covers so much ground at second base and makes really tough plays look routine.”