DOVER, Del. - Delaware State University softball head coach Jeff Savage announced Wednesday that five high school seniors have signed National Letters of Intent to attend DSU and play for the Hornets in 2013.

Savage and his staff continue to grow their squad nationally as they welcome three Californians and two New Yorkers to their team.

Utility player Nicole Gazzola will join the Hornets from Longwood High School in Middle Island, N.Y.  At LHS, Gazzola was an All-Division and All-League player and played summer ball with the Long Island Heat. 

"We are extremely happy Nicole has chosen to be a Hornet," commented Savage.  "She brings speed and versatility to our lineup and could become a great table-setter for our offense in the future."

Gazzola will be joined by her Long Island Heat teammate, Sandy Hawthorne.  Hawthorne, who currently attends Hauppauge High School in Hauppague, N.Y., is a versatile, athletic player, who has been named a NFCA Regional All-American as well as the New York All-State, All-Region and League 5 Player of the Year.  She intends to major in psychology at DSU.

"We welcome Sandy to the Hornet Nation," Savage stated.  "She gives us great versatility, as she can play shortstop, second base and the outfield.  "Sandy is a solid contact hitter who can make a lot of things happen offensively."

Outfielder Jessica Madrid, signs with Del State from Foothill High School in Santa Anna, Calif.  She is a member of the strong California Lite Gold travel team and has competed in some of the top summer softball events in the nation.

"We are excited to welcome Jessica to our softball family," remarked Savage.  "She is an athletic player who has the potential to hit in the upper third of our lineup and play a solid centerfield.  Jessica comes from one of the top summer programs in California and we're thrilled to have her at Delaware State next season."

Chloe Oro, a senior at San Pedro High School in San Pedro, Calif., is a speedy shortstop who can also play the outfield.  At SPHS, Oro was an All-City and All-Marine League standout for the Pirates.  She plays travel ball for the SoCal Strikkers and has played in most of the top summer events in the country.  Oro plans on majoring in sociology at Delaware State.

"We can't wait for Chloe to join our softball family," Savage said.  "She has next level speed and we anticipate her being at the top of the lineup and racking up stolen bases for us in 2013."

Power-hitting corner infielder and outfielder Jordan Stamps rounds out the DSU signing class.  Stamps, a SoCal Strikkers teammate of Oro, attends North High School in Torrance, Calif.  While at NHS, Stamps was a member of the Saxon's CIF Division IV Championship team in 2009 and runner-up team in 2010.  Her Saxon team was also 2011 Pioneer League Champions.  Stamps intends to major in psychology.

"We are excited to have Jordan be a part of our Hornet Nation," Savage stated.  "Jordan is a strong and powerful hitter who has the ability to drive in runs for us.  She is versatile enough to play both corner infield and corner outfield positions."

The Hornets anticipate at least one signing during the spring signing period.

Del State begins the 2012 season with 11 days in Florida with two University of North Florida tournaments from March 2-11.  In addition to UNF (Atlantic Sun), the Hornets will face Kansas (Big 12), Eastern Illinois (Ohio Valley), and Mount St. Mary's in the tournaments.  Moreover, DSU will take on McNeese State, Bethune-Cookman and Jacksonville during their time in the Sunshine State.

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Delaware State softball