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Courtesy: Delaware Athletics

Blue Hen Softball Opens Home Schedule This Weekend By Hosting University of Delaware Spring Invitational

Courtesy: Delaware Athletics
Release: 03/13/2014
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NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware softball team will open its 2014 home schedule this weekend when the Blue Hens play four games while hosting the Third Annual University of Delaware Spring Invitational.

The five-team invitational features 11 games during the weekend including three on Friday, four on Saturday and four on Sunday. Delaware opens play on Friday by taking on St. John’s at 11:15 a.m., before Robert Morris faces St. John’s at 1:30 and Villanova takes on Robert Morris at 3:45 p.m.

The Blue Hens will play the first two games on Saturday, facing Robert Morris at 9 a.m. and Cornell at 11:15 a.m. The third game of the day features Cornell taking on Villanova at 1:30 p.m., with Saturday’s action concluding with Robert Morris facing St. John’s at 3:45 p.m.

Robert Morris and Cornell will kick off Sunday’s action at 9 a.m., before Villanova faces Robert Morris at 11:15 a.m. St. John’s will take on Cornell at 1:30 p.m., before Delaware faces Villanova at 3:45 in the final game of the tournament.

The Blue Hens are 6-10 on the season, and enter the weekend having won three of their last four games. Junior rightfielder Jessica Grisler is hitting .360 with team-highs of 18 hits and nine runs scored to pace the UD offense, while freshman catcher Danielle Wissinger is hitting .333 during her rookie campaign.

Carolyn Szymanski has earned three wins in the circle for the Delaware pitching staff, while Kelly Lupton has added two victories and Kiersten Coffman sports a team-best 2.67 earned run average.

Cornell is just 3-6 on the young season, including a pair of wins over George Mason and one over Monmouth. Four Big Red players are batting over .300 this season including Jessica Bigbie, who is hitting .417 with team-highs of 10 hits and seven RBI. Christina Villalon has posted a .400 average so far this season, while Meg Parker and Chloe Pendergast are each hitting .333 on the year. 

Robert Morris enters the weekend with a 12-6 record, and the Colonials have won eight of their last 10 contests. Tess Apke has been the Colonials’ top hitter this year, leading the team with 18 hits, 10 runs scored, five doubles, four home runs and 12 RBI. Robert Morris has posted a 1.75 team ERA so far on the season, led by Nicole Sleith who is 7-2 with an 0.77 earned run average in 63 innings of work.

St. John’s is just 8-12 on the year, although the Red Storm did split six games last weekend at the USF Under Armour Showcase. Erin Burner is leading the way with a .361 batting average, 22 hits, 16 runs scored, six doubles, five home runs and 13 RBI for the Red Storm, while Jackie Reed is hitting .352 and Kaitlin Fitzgerald is batting .345 on the season. Tori Free has split 12 decisions in the circle for St. John’s, while posting a 3.54 ERA.

Villanova carries a 6-10 into the weekend’s action, and the Wildcats have won just one of their last nine games. Villanova is hitting just .209 as a team, led by Chase Snell’s .286 batting average and 14 hits. However the Wildcats have been stellar in the circle, led by Kate Poppe who has picked up four wins and holds a 1.75 earned run average.

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