Dover, DE - Delaware State University head softball coach Janice Savage has announced that three current high school standouts have committed early to the Hornets, recently signing the National Letter of Intent to attend the University next fall.
Pitchers Tara Tursellino (Rancho Verde, Cal.) and Vanessa Ciacatto (La Habra, Cal.), along with infielder/utility Danielle Velez ( Ayala, Cal.) are slated to compete for the Hornets in the 2014 season.
Tursellino, an ESPN All-America nominee, was Most Valuable Player of the Inland Valley (Cal.) League and First Team All-California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) selection as a junior in 2012. She recorded 171 strikeouts in 14 league games and ranked ninth among California high school players with 278 strikeouts during her junior season.
As a sophomore, she ranked 33rd in California with 204 strikeouts.
"Tara is an extremely talented pitcher who comes from tremendous high school and summer ball programs," Savage said. ". She will add instant experience and poise to our staff and compliment the upper classmen we expect to return when she arrives. We are really happy she has committed to our program and look forward to adding her skills to our pitching staff. "
Ciacatto has helped lead La Habra to three Freeway League (Cal.) championships (2012-12). In 2012, she led the league in every major pitching category, posting a 22-7 overall record with 142 strikeouts and 2.21 earned run average. Ciacatto also competes for the So Cal Wicked summer ball team along with current Hornet freshman Rochelle Sablay.
"Vanessa should be an outstanding compliment to our pitching staff," said Savage. "She is a hard worker who continues to improve. I'm really excited to see the growth she makes this season."
Velez, a four-year varsity letter winner, was a 2012 All-Sierra League (Cal.) Second Team selection. In 2010, she helped lead her team to a CIF championship and fourth place finish in Premier Girls Fastpitch. Velez is also a teammate of current DSU players Chloe Oro and Jordan Stamps on So Cal Strikkers summer team.
According to Savage, "Dani is a scrappy player who seems to always get on base. She has a tremendous work ethic and great heart. I can't wait for her to bring the fire and excitement she has about the game of softball to our team."
The first-year Delaware State head coach and former Hornet standout, believes the early signings bode well for future of the DSU softball program.
"This is a very exciting time for the Delaware State softball program," Savage said." With these ladies starting their college careers and the roster we expect to return, the future looks very bright for our team. Not only are these newcomers talented on the field, but solid in the classroom and very hard workers. They will add to our great Hornet tradition and continue us on the path to a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship".