The 2010 season has special meaning for the Flying Dutch and alumnae of the softball program. Coach Karla Wolters will be retiring from the faculty of Hope College at the conclusion of the school year. Coach Wolters has guided Hope's softball fortunes for 23 seasons. Hope's fifth victory this season will be the 500th under coach Wolters.
The 2010 pre-season roster of 18 players includes 11 returning letterwinners. There are five freshmen, four sophomores, five juniors and four seniors. Players come from seven stats -- Michigan, Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Indiana and Ohio.
The tri-captains of the team are senior Deidra Enochs of Summerfield, Fla. (Belleview HS), junior Abby Phillips of Wayland, Mich. (Wayland HS), and senior Beth Yahraus of Bryan, Ohio (Bryan HS). Yahraus was an all-region honoree in 2008.
The Flying Dutch are coming off a rare losing season (16-24). The team posted an 8-6 in the MIAA.
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore outfielder Stephanie Faber of Byron Center, Mich. (South Christian HS), sophomore utility player Anne Henrichs of Waterford, Wisc. (Burlington Catholic Central HS), senior catcher Krista Liverance of Williamston, Mich. (Williamston HS), junior pitcher Michelle Marra of Waldwick, N.J. (Waldwick HS), sophomore infielder Kelly Mulcahy of Long Valley, N.J. (West Morris Central HS), junior third baseman Kori Nieuwsma of Lakeville, Minn. (Bethany Christian Academy), junior pitcher/infielder Andrea Reinecke of Eaton Rapids (Eaton Rapids HS), and junior utility player Suzie Stevenson of Granger, Ind. (Penn HS).
A team strength will be in its senior pitching corps, Deidra Enochs and Michelle Marra. They were involved in all 40 pitching decisions in 2009, Marra compilng a 9-11 mark and Enochs 7-13.
The Flying Dutch will play their home games in the three-year-old Wolters Sftball Stadium, named in honor of Coach Wolters and her husband Tom.