Darien cruises to Opening Day win over Bassick
Wednesday's softball game between Darien and Bassick was the type of contest that might require a scorekeeper to go through two or three pens. When the dust finally settled, the scorebook showed 24 shaded diamonds, representing the 24 runs that the Blue Wave scored against the Lions in a dominant 24-0 Opening Day victory.
Bassick, which was clearly overmatched against Darien, was unable to put a runner on base against Darien pitchers. Jessica DeMaio pitched the first two innings and struck out five batters and Kelly Nicoletti took care of the final three frames and fanned seven batters before the mercy rule kicked in.
"I felt confident and with the defense behind me I don't have any worries," Jessica DeMaio said. "With our defense, I think we can really be good this year."
Though the outcome of the game was never in doubt, Darien coach Nick DeMaio was still glad to see his girls break out the bats on Opening Day. The Darien skipper was equally impressed with the efforts of his two pitchers, specifically with the way they were able to locate their pitches early in the season.
"They were throwing strikes and hitting their spots, so they did a good job," Nick DeMaio said. "It's Opening Day and everyone was very excited."
The lopsided nature of the contest also enabled Nick DeMaio to unload his bench and get some in-game varsity experience for many of his reserve players.
"We were able to get a lot of players into the game, and we were able to give players an opportunity who don't normally get to see the varsity field an at bat or an inning in the field, so that's nice to do," Nick DeMaio said.
The defensive play of the day belonged to Buch, who chased a ball into the hole, made a backhand stop and fired a strike to first for the second out of the third inning.
In an attempt to avoid running up the score against an overmatched opponent, several Darien base runners intentionally left their base early for automatic outs.
"I wanted to get some of the [reserve] players an at bat or two, and that's why we let it go on as long as we did," Nick DeMaio said.
Darien will face a much more formidable opponent on Friday on the road against Trumbull at 4 p.m.
"We have to play our best no matter who we're playing against," Jessica DeMaio said. "We have a really good opponent in Trumbull on Friday and some really big games coming up. No matter who the opponent is, we've just got to play our game."