The Flying Dutch will be seeking to maintain Hope's tradition of softball excellence in the competitive Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). In 2008, for the second consecutive season, five MIAA teams won 20 or more games, including the Flying Dutch.
Hope posted a 25-14 record marking the fifth straight year that the Flying Dutch have won 20-or-more games. Coach Karla Wolters' Flying Dutch have won 20 or more games in 13 of their last 14 seasons. Entering the 2009 season, coach Wolters ranks fifth alltime among the winningest NCAA Division III softball coaches.
The Flying Dutch will be playing in the college's new softball stadium for the second season. Wolters Softball Stadium honors coach Wolters and her husband Tom.
The 2009 pre-season roster of 20 players includes 12 returning letterwinners. There are seven freshmen, seven sophomores, four juniors and two seniors. The roster is unique in that the players come from eight different states -- Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Indiana, New Jersey and Minnesota.
Co-captains of the team are senior Kelli Duimstra of Hudsonville, Mich. (Hudsonville HS) and junior Deidra Enochs of Summerfield, Fla. (Belleview HS). Duimstra is a two-time All-MIAA first baseman who also received All-Region honors in 2008. Last spring she batted .448 and committed only one error while starting in all 39 games. Enochs pitched a 10-4 record and batted .406. She enters the 2009 season with a 20-11 career pitching record.
Junior shortstop Beth Yahraus of Bryan, Ohio (Bryan HS) was named to the All-Region team after batting .343.
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore Abby Phillips of Wayland, Mich. (Wayland HS), sophomore Andie Brower of Hudsonville, Mich. (Unity Christian HS), junior Krista Liverance of Williamston, Mich. (Williamston), senior Maddie Garcia of Reno, Nev. (Reno HS), sophomore Suzie Stevenson of Granger, Ind. (Penn HS), sophomore Kori Nieuwsma of Lakeville, Minn. (Bethany Christian Academy), sophomore Michelle Marra of Waldwick, N.J. (Waldwick HS), sophomore Andrea Reinecke of Eaton Rapids, Mich. (Eaton Rapids HS), and sophomore Kali Pierson of Wilmington, Ohio (Wilmington HS).