Orlando, Fla. (Mar. 10, 2017) --- The Delaware State softball team came out on the short end of two competitive contests in the opening day of the University of Central Florida Wilson/DeMarini Tournament.

The Hornets dropped their tournament opener to Mercer 4-1 and fell to host UCF 11-3 in a game that was closer than the score indicates.

In the Central Florida contest, DSU led 3-1 before the Knights scored 10 times in the sixth to take control of the game.

The Hornets opened the scoring with a run in the top of the second inning. Vanessa Washington drew a two-out walk and Sabrina Quarles singled to put runners at second and first in the inning. Micaela Cummings followed with a double to left center to score Washington with the game’s first run. The Hornets had runners on third and second when the inning ended.

After UCF scored a run in the third to tie the game, Delaware State regained the lead with two runs in the fourth.

Mika Lumsden started the rally when she reached second base on an error to lead off the inning. Khaliyah Flournoy followed with a single to give the Hornets runners at third and first. After Flournoy stole second, Vanessa Washington drove home Lumsden on a sacrifice fly. The next batter, Sabrina Quarles, singled to left to score Flournoy and give DSU a 3-1 lead.

Delaware State starter Tara Tursellino was sailing along until the bottom of the sixth when UCF exploded for 10 runs. Kyra Klarkowski tripled in two runs, while Cassady Brewer and Courtney Rotton had two-run singles in the UCF sixth. Tamesha Glover’s infield single drove in Central Florida’s 11th run of the game and gave the Knights an eight-run lead to end the contest.

In the Mercer contest, the Hornets scored a first inning run, but were kept off the board the rest of the way. DSU pitcher Hannah Shields had a quality outing, but was credited with the loss.

Delaware State got off to a quick start. Jasmine Melgoza tripled to lead off the game and scored the first run of the contest on a sacrifice fly by Lumsden.

The Hornets collected just two hits the rest of the way, singles by Flournoy in the fourth and seventh innings.

Mercer (12-12) answered Delaware State’s first inning run with three of its own. The first run scored on a DSU error, while Abby Walsh drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and Caroline Taylor singled in the final run of the inning.

The Bears scored their final run of the game on a one-out single by Taylor Miller in the second.   

Shields allowed eight hits and four runs, three earned, while striking out one and not allowing a walk in complete game effort.  She shut out the Bears in their final four at bats.

Mercer’s Megan Bilgri threw a complete game, allowing the three DSU hits and one run. She did not record a strikeout or issue a walk.

Lumsden is second on the Hornets with six RBI and leads the team with a .324 average this season.

The Hornets (1-12) will resume tournament play on Saturday (Mar. 11) with contests against Ohio State (10:00 am) and Georgia (12:30 pm).

Delaware State softball