TOWSON, Md. -- The University of Delaware softball team returns to Colonial Athletic Association play this weekend when the Blue Hens travel south to face Towson for three games at the Tiger Softball Complex.

The Blue Hens and Tigers will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 12 noon, followed by a single game on Sunday starting at 1 p.m.

Delaware, which has recorded shutouts in six of its last eight games, has used strong pitching of late to move over the .500 mark for the first time this season with an 18-17 record. The Blue Hens, halfway through their league slate, currently are tied for third place in the CAA standings with a 4-4 conference mark. UD enters the weekend having won nine of its last 10 games, allowing just 11 runs in that span.

Towson currently holds an 18-16 overall mark, and the Tigers have played just three league games due to a bye and having an entire weekend series rained out. The Tigers got off to a rough start in conference play last weekend when Towson dropped all three games at league-leading James Madison by a combined score of 31-2.

Sophomore centerfielder Gabby Klecko paced the Blue Hens with four hits during Wednesday’s doubleheader sweep at Lafayette, and now leads the Blue Hens with a .382 batting average this season. Freshman third baseman Giovanna Kolofer is hitting .348 during her rookie season, while junior rightfielder Jessica Grisler is batting .348 with team-highs of 40 hits, 27 runs scored, seven doubles and 17 RBI.

Sophomore righthander Kelly Lupton, the current CAA Co-Pitcher of the Week, fired her third shutout of the season against the Leopards and leads the Blue Hens with a 2.09 earned run average. Classmate Kiersten Coffman has won two games to go with a 2.41 ERA, while freshman Carolyn Szymanski is 10-9 with a 3.55 ERA after also firing a shutout at Lafayette.

The Tigers are batting .301 on the season, but rank last in the CAA with a 4.45 team earned run average. Hailey Balk leads Towson and the CAA with a .403 batting average this year, while ranking second in the league with 48 hits and 11 doubles. Olivia Yarbrough is hitting .375 on the season while scoring a team-high 32 runs, while Missy McCormack and Maureen Hepner are tied for the league lead with eight home runs apiece. Additionally McCormack paces the CAA with 39 runs batted in, while Hepner ranks second in the conference with 37 RBI.

McCormack has also been the Tigers’ top pitcher this season, sporting a 9-6 record and a 3.69 earned run average. Ambar Hickman is 6-5 in the circle for Towson while recording a 3.94 ERA.

Delaware has faced Towson during every season of the 39-year history of the program. Last year the Blue Hens swept a three-game regular season series from the Tigers in Newark, although Towson edged Delaware, 3-1, in a CAA Tournament contest.