The Hope College softball team is predicted to be in the hunt for a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship this spring.
The Flying Dutch finished third in the 2021 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll with 51 points and one first-place vote.
Coaches could not vote for their own teams. Trine University, the 2019 regular-season champion, topped the poll with 61 points and six first-place votes. Calvin University was runner-up with 54 points and two first-place votes.
Led by head coach Mary VandeHoef, Hope returns three All-MIAA athletes this season. The 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senior Savannah Dixon (Niles, Michigan/Edwardsburg HS) is a first-team shortstop who has a career .354 batting average, eight career home runs and 78 career RBIs.
Senior catcher Morgan Kanouse (Cadillac, Michigan/Cadillac) and junior second baseman Arinn King (Hudsonville, Michigan/Hudsonville) were second-team honorees in 2019.
The Flying Dutch are scheduled to open the season with a March 6 doubleheader at Hanover College (Indiana).
Hope’s first games that will count in the MIAA regular-season standings are Tuesday, March 23 at home against Kalamazoo College.