Karas shuts out Wilton for 11 innings as Darien softball wins 4-0

Darien freshman pitcher Grace Karas has been piling up plenty of innings during her first season with the Blue Wave softball team. In her latest performance, she took it just a little bit further.

Karas shut out the Wilton Warriors for 11 innings and the Wave offense provided all the game’s offense in the final frame, as Darien scored a 4-0 victory Thursday in Wilton.

It was a remarkable effort for Karas, who allowed five hits — all singles, walked just one and had four strikeouts. She had six 1-2-3 innings, and Wilton managed to get a runner to second base twice — first in the third and then in the sixth.

Wilton pitcher Claire Wilson took the hard-luck loss after blanking Darien for 10 innings. She finished with 11 innings pitched, allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits and two walks while striking out 12.

The sixth inning was the biggest threat, as the Warriors’ Sophia Strazza and Julianna Musilli both singled with one out, but Karas ended the inning with a flyout and a lineout.

The Wave broke the scoreless duel in the 11th after Melanie Vernal reached on an error leading off, and Hailey King followed with a single to right.

The runners were sacrificed to second and third on a bunt by Keilani Caruso, and Rosali Pirone plated Vernal with a single to right, with the runners moving up to second and third on the throw home.

After Caroline Krueger was intentionally walked to load the bases, Stefani Gentile singled to center for another run.

Sydney Fagerstrom followed with an RBI single through the middle, and Karas drove in the fourth run with a groundout.

In the bottom of the 11th, Karas allowed a single with two outs but nailed down the victory on the next batter, when she fielded a grounder herself and threw to Caruso at first to end the game.

The win boosted Darien’s records to 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the FCIAC as they are in the thick of the conference playoff hunt.

The Wave will be in action twice this weekend, as they play at West Haven in a non-conference game at 1 p.m., Saturday, and host Ridgefield at 1 p.m., Sunday.

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Darien’s Grace Karas in the wind-up during a recent softball game at DHS. Karas pitched 11 shutout innings in the Wave’s 4-0 win at Wilton on Thursday, April 26. — Dave Stewart photo

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