Your inside access to the Delaware State University softball team. Posts from coaches, players and support staff.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Record Breaking Season

FRESHMAN TURSELLINO EARNS NFCA MID-ATLANTIC ALL-REGION THIRD TEAM RECOGNITIONIf you ask anyone on this team about Tara Tursellino, you will get the same answer every time. Everyone would say that Tara is a hard working player, excellent teammate, and a stand out leader for this program. Tara's dedication to pitching is far above what any coach could ask for. Her leadership skills has blossomed over the years. She has been a captain of this team for the last 3 years. All of her hard work has paid off at DSU. Over the last two years, she has had record breaking seasons, which she has remained humble about the entire way.

Tara had a record breaking season as a Junior in 2016, breaking both the appearances and saves records. She currently has 125 appearances and 10 saves (6 of those coming in her freshman year). Those achievements lead to her third selection to the All-MEAC second team.

This season, Tara is at it again. She is taking down batters and breaking records one at at time. On March 25, against Norfolk State, Tara broke the career record for Innings Pitched. She now sits alone at the top with 501 innings and counting. However, that was not the end of Tara's run for the record books; she again put her name in the books on April 9 at Hampton University where she broke the career record for Strikeouts. She currently has 357.

We asked Tara about the records she has broken here at Delaware State, and this is what she had to say:

SB: HORNETS OPEN MEAC PLAY WITH ROAD SERIES AT UMES"First of all, I want to thank God for giving me the ability to break these records. It feels like a dream come true. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to break these records. I want to thank my coaches for believing in me and my teammates for having my back on the mound. Without them, this accomplishment wouldn't have been possible."

                                          We also asked her what her favorite thing about pitching is.

Tara Tursellino"My favorite thing about pitching is throwing the rev fire ball and seeing how many revolutions I can get. I love competing against myself to beat my previous score. I also love fooling the batter with my rise ball. It is my favorite pitch to throw."

We don't believe that Tara is done breaking records this season. She is 1 win shy of tying the record for wins. The current record is 45 set by Brittney Ruark in 2010. She is also 1 complete game shy of the record held by three other Hornets. Our hope for this season is that Tara sits alone at the top of all of these records. With 10 games remaining in the regular season, we have no doubt that she can pull it off. 

Congratulations Tara!


Check back each week for another Hornet blog update.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Jordan Casey: A Future Soldier

Most student athletes will tell you how hard it is to wake up to be at a 6 am practice, then workout, then go to school, and find time for their social life. Jordan is one of the few exceptions. Jordan never complains about any of these activities AND you would have no idea that before all of that she may have come from Physical Training with her ROTC Battalion. Private Casey or Jordan, as we know her, aspires to be in Military Intelligence. "Military Intelligence is responsible for all collected intelligence during Army missions. They provide essential information that often saves soldiers fighting on the front lines", Jordan explains. The DSU Army ROTC Unit is allowing her to jump start her career. She has the opportunity to become commissioned in the Army as an Officer upon graduation.

Alongside all of her major classes required for her degree in Criminal Justice, Jordan is enrolled in an ROTC course that focuses on leadership, tactics and techniques, personal development, values, ethics, and officership.  Her favorite aspect of the class is the hands on activities and the atmosphere of PT. "The atmosphere of PT is one of my favorite parts. You would imagine that everyone would be tired at 0545, but no we are motivated and excited to be together in order to get stronger and better", says Jordan.

We asked Jordan some questions specifically about the ROTC program. Here is what she had to say.

What is PT like?
At PT we run a lot. Early morning PT is designed to be done to keep us in shape and help us on our AFT, which is a PT test that we have to pass. This includes a 2 mile run, 2 minutes of push ups, and 2 minutes of sit ups.

How is your Battalion (group of students) set up?
At DSU, we are a part of the Blue Hen Battalion. The Battalion is made up of a few schools with the University of Delaware being the host school. DSU is specifically is the Bravo Company inside of the Battalion.

What was your JROTC rank in high school and what is it now?
I graduated high school with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel. I was the Battalion Commander my senior year. That means I was in charge of over 200 cadets. I am currently a Private at DSU.

How do you balance ROTC and softball?
Managing ROTC and softball is difficult, but definitely doable. Coming in as a freshman in the fall and trying to make every single PT session and being at every softball event was difficult. I quickly learned that I cannot be in two places at once. Out of season, I try to make every single ROTC event, even if that meant missing practice. During season though, softball comes first. The physical aspect is not bad, I feel as though doing both only helps me unless I overwork myself. Finding the balance is key.

Delaware State has made all of these opportunities happen for Jordan. She has the opportunity to play the sport that she loves, obtain the degree she desires, and she will have a head start on her career by becoming an officer in the United States Army. These opportunities can be a reality for you as well, as long as you put your mind and heart to it.

Check back every Monday for a new blog! GO HORNETS

Monday, April 3, 2017

Pre-Game Rituals

This week we asked some of the players what their pre-game rituals are. Read below to find out what some of our players had to say.

What are some of your pre-game rituals?

JR Vanessa Washington #23
"I have to visualize myself doing what I want to happen."

JR Jessica Shalongo #20
"On the way to the field I listen to the music I like. It helps me stay relaxed and not overthink. Once we get to the field I always have positive self talk throughout my warm up. Before going on the field I always get a piece of gum and reapply chapstick. On the field I take deep breathes before each pitch and walk to the back of the circle and look at my cleats and than my teammates to make sure they are ready."

SO Alexis Goldsby #2
"A pregame ritual that I have is after warm ups, I pray before I go out on the mound."

SO Sabrina Quarles #1
"During warm ups I prepare mentally. Giving myself certain situations before each swing off the tee and in the cage. I find a focal point on the field to keep me engaged throughout the game. Right after the national anthem, I always say a prayer. Praying for strength and health throughout the game for not only my team but our opponents. Then I thank God for having the opportunity to play this game."

FR Jasmine Melgoza #8
"I only have a few pregame rituals like listening to music which is most likely Rihanna. Also depending on my mood I either chew gum or eat seeds throughout the game. Lastly, I always have to stretch before each at bat."

FR Kaleigh Berry #5
"When I'm getting dressed I always put my right sock on first and when I get to the field I put my right cleat on before my left. I always have one of my teammates braid my hair for me and I always listen to at least 1 song to pump me up before we get to the field."

Assistant Coach Jessica Mattia 
"When I was a player, a lot of our pregame rituals were done as a team. When we jogged or threw, we had a cheer that we all did to just remember the tradition and pride we have in our school and program. We all played volleyball in the parking lot before every home game and we always parked in the same spots. My own pregame rituals were more of superstition. I had a sock that I wore every game on my right foot even if i had to wear it under the game sock for the day. It was from my first college win and I wore it every game. I also ate either bacon or pixie sticks before every game.

As a coach, I don't really have pregame rituals. I have a few in game rituals or superstitions. I make sure I high five the pitchers the same way every time." 

Athletic Trainer Casey Cooper
"I don't really have any, just to make sure I have my kit ready to go in case I need it and also make sure I have enough gum during baseball and enough seeds for softball." :)