ANGOLA, Ind. - Calvin opened MIAA Tournament play with an 8-2 victory over Hope Friday afternoon.
The game was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. but was delayed two hours due to wet field conditions.
The Knights advance to the winner's bracket finals on Saturday to face Saint Mary's - a 5-4 winner over top-seed Trine in Friday's second first round game.
Calvin's game against Saint Mary's will begin after the completion of an elimination game between Hope and Trine. The Hope/Trine contest was haulted by darkness tied 4-4 in the ninth Friday evening and will resume Saturday morning at 11:15 a.m.
In Calvin's win over Hope Friday afternoon, sophomore Ellie Borst (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian HS) opened the game by striking our the first three batters she faced. The Knights then jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a three-run homer by junior Abi Colon (Caledonia, Mich./South Christian HS) in the bottom of the first inning. Freshman Hannah Biddlecome (Portage, Mich./Portage Northern HS) reached base on a one-out single and sophomore Grace Stock (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg HS) followed with a walk. Colon then belted a deep fly ball over the centerfield wall for her eighth home run of the spring.
Calvin tacked on five runs in the second highlighted by a solo homerun by junior Kayla Groen (Frankfort, Il./Lincoln-Way East HS). The home run was her fourth of the spring.
Hope added single runs in the fourth and seventh but Borst was able to close the door on the Flying Dutch to claim her 13th victory of the season. Borst finished with eight strikeouts and no walks. She was also aided by staunch Calvin defense including a diving grab in centerfield by Groen in the second inning.
Colon finished with two hits and four RBI. Senior Kristen Newman (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea HS) also had two hits including a double.
COACHES QUOTE: "I'm really proud of how our team started today after some adversity with the delay and field conditions," said Calvin head softball coach Becky Hilgert. "Ellie threw a phenomenal first inning and reall set the tone and it carried to our at bats in the bottom of the inning. I give Hope credit. They kept fighting and forced us into some tough outs as the game went on, but our defense made some key plays with runners on to hault any rally from them. It was great to get that first win and I am happy that we are still in control of our own playoff path."