NORFOLK, Va. -- The University of Delaware softball team will participate in its third tournament of the early season this weekend when the Blue Hens play four games at the Norfolk State Spartan Classic.

Delaware will kick off play at the tournament on Saturday, when the Blue Hens face UMBC at 10 a.m. at the NSU Softball Field. UD will be right back in action at 12 noon, as the Blue Hens take on Monmouth.

Delaware will again face Monmouth on Sunday at 9 a.m., before wrapping up action with a 1 p.m. game against the host Spartans.

UD was originally slated to open the tournament on Friday with a 4 p.m. game against Norfolk State, but that contest was canceled due to inclement weather.

The Blue Hens, who are 2-8 on the young season, will look to bounce back after dropping four of five games at the Citrus Classic last weekend. 

Junior rightfielder Jessica Grisler leads the Blue Hens with a .333 batting average, 10 hits, three runs scored and three doubles on the season, including an impressive performance in the Citrus Classic in which she went 8 for 17 at the plate. Freshman shortstop Sarah Bencivenga is hitting .241 during her rookie campaign, while sophomore Tori Conrad is batting .222 on the season.

Freshman Carolyn Szymanski has earned both Delaware victories in the circle, while sophomore Kelly Lupton sports a team-best 3.86 earned run average.

UMBC is off to an impressive 6-2 start this season, including four wins last weekend at the Phoenix Opening Weekend hosted by Elon. Jaclyn Buckley leads the Retrievers at the plate with a .385 batting average, while Danielle O’Neill is hitting .375 with a team-best eight walks. Caitlin Chance has driven home a team-high eight runs on the season for UMBC, while Jessica Holte is 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA in the circle.

Norfolk State is just 1-6 so far this season, with its lone victory at 3-1 triumph over Yale last Friday at the NSU Spartan Clash. Morgan Boyd is batting an impressive .500 during the early season with team-highs of nine hits, five runs scored and four stolen bases. Alina Moriarty has a .273 batting average so far, while Jamie Schulle has earned the lone victory in the circle for the Spartans.

Monmouth will be opening its 2014 season at this weekend’s tournament, looking to improve on its 31-16 mark last season when the Hawks finished in third place in the Northeast Conference. Monmouth was picked third in its inaugural season in the MAAC, while third baseman Vanessa Cardoza was selected to the Preseason All-MAAC Team after hitting .320 with nine home runs and 61 RBI during her first two seasons with the Hawks.