Osherow's no-hitter leads Darien softball past Middletown and into state quarterfinals
DARIEN -- After having its hopes for a third straight FCIAC championship hopes dashed a week ago, the Darien softball team returned to action hoping to make a run at the school's first state title.
Part one of the mission is complete thanks to another outstanding performance by Erika Osherow, who fired a no hitter to help the Blue Wave reach the second round with a 6-0 win over Middletown on Wednesday. No 4. Darien will take on Naugatuck at home Thursday for a spot in the final eight.
"(Osherow) had a great game," Darien coach Nick DeMaio said. "She had her control and she stayed ahead. That's the key: if she stays ahead you see this type of game."
While the result was never in doubt, the no-hitter sure was. With one out in the top of the seventh, the Blue Dragons' Ashley Tucker appeared to hit a clean single down the right field line. The fast-traveling ball reached the glove of Emily Moscatello quick enough for her to fire it to first base to get the out.
"That play saved me," Osherow joked. "Defense is everything and I can rely on my team to back me up."
Osherow retired the last 15 batters she faced and struck out nine Blue Dragons. Walks to lead off the first and third innings were the only two blemishes on her excellent performance.
"I just got in my rhythm today," Osherow said. "My catcher (Rebecca DeMaio) backed me up and it was good."
More InformationFact box
Osherow also carried the load offensively, going 4-for-4 with a pair of hard-hit doubles. Avery Maley went 2-for-2 with a sac fly and two RBI while Emma Hamilton went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Rebecca DeMaio went 2-for-3.
"Middletown is a good team." Nick DeMaio said. "(Blue Dragons' starting pitcher Cara Brainard) did a nice job; we did get some big hits with two outs so I'm satisfied."
Darien scored three times in the bottom of the third to seal the win. Osherow socked a double to lead off and scored on a sac fly by Julia Domiziano. Maley and Rebecca DeMaio each had RBI singles in the frame that provided a comfortable advantage.
"We capitalized on our decisions and the strikes (Brainard) threw," Osherow said. "We just put the ball in play and put the pressure on them."
The Blue Wave have made deep runs in the state tournament in each of the past two seasons, reaching the Class LL quarterfinals a year ago and the Class L semis in 2011. Darien has reached the final once, in 2009.
"The girls know if they don't step it up they won't be around," Nick DeMaio said. "I think we can (make a run); we are capable of doing it. I don't know if we will, but we are capable of doing it."
"We have a drive underneath us," Osherow added. "We knew we had to take it one game at a time but we want this."
Darien 6, Middletown 0
MIDDLETOWN 000 000 0--0 0 1
DARIEN 103 011 X --6 12 0
Records: Middletown 8-12; Darien 16-4. Batteries: M--Cara Brainard (L) and Madeline Landry; D--Erica Osherow (W) and Rebecca DeMaio. Highlights: D--Erika Osherow threw a no-hitter with two walks. Osherow went 4-for-4 with two doubles. Emma Hamilton went 2-for-4 with an RBI