Dover, Del. (Mar. 17, 2017) --- The Delaware State softball team begins its quest for a fourth straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Northern Division title with a home series against Maryland-Eastern Shoe this weekend.

The Hornets and Hawks are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. and wrap up the series with a single game on Sunday at noon at the Hornets’ Nest.

Delaware State has won the last three MEAC North titles, including the 2016 crown with a 16-2 record. One of the Hornets’ 2016 conference losses was a 4-3 setback to MDES in the division opener in Princess Anne, Md.  DSU bounced back to win the next two games against the Hawks to claim the series.

The Hornets are eager to begin conference play after posting a 1-15 record in early season non-conference play, including tournaments hosted by South Carolina Upstate, Georgia Southern and Central Florida. Delaware State has faced Ohio State and nationally-ranked Georgia in its last three games. The Hornets have dropped their last 11 games since a 16-0 win over South Carolina State on Mar. 3.

So far this season, the Hornets are batting .212 as a team . Mika Lumsden in the team’s top hitter at .317 (13-for-41). Lumsden’s also the team leader in hits (13) and runs scored (7), and is second with six runs batted in. She’s among four players with one home run for DSU this season.

Freshman catcher Desiree Moreno is the Hornet leader with eight RBI and is second on the club with a .244 average. She also has a homer and a team-high three doubles.

Vanessa Washington (.237 avg.) and Micaela Cummings (.135) have also belted home runs for the Hornets this season.

Delaware State pitchers have a combined earned run average of 7.55, which was inflated after allowing a total of 21 runs against Georgia in the last two games.

Jess Shalongo is 0-2 with a team-best ERA of 5.85. Tara Tursellino leads the Hornets with 19 strikeouts in 30 innings in the circle.

Maryland-Eastern Shore is also playing its MEAC North opener this weekend. The Hawks are 2-8 overall. MDES is coming off a doubleheader split against UMBC on Mar. 11, winning the first game 3-0   before dropping the nightcap 5-0.

Samantha Caesarez (jr.) leads the Hawks in batting (.321), hits (9), doubles (2) and RBI (4).

Delaware State softball