Darien cruises past Greenwich into Little League softball final
WILTON -- Darien Little League Softball manager Perry Pierce is a Met fan. So he was one of the few people on hand Saturday at Middlebrooks School not overly surprised by what his team did against Greenwich.
With two outs and nobody on base in the first inning, Darien scored six runs. The next inning, after the first two batters were retired, Darien scored eight times, and went on to a 14-2 victory in the 12-U District 1 Tournament. The win earned Darien a berth in the District 1 final Monday against Redding-Easton at 5:45 p.m. at Middlebrooks School.
For the record, the Mets, amazingly enough, entered play this weekend leading the major leagues in runs scored with two outs.
"I'm a Met fan," Pierce said after the 3Â½-inning game that was shortened due to the mercy rule. "So I'm familiar with two-out rallies."
Led by Emily Gianunzio, Cassidy Schiff, Sophia Barbour and Caleigh Morr, Darien finished the pool play portion of the tournament 4-0. Greenwich (2-2) needed a win to force a three-way tie with Darien and Redding/Easton (3-1) but those hopes were quickly dashed.
"I think because of run ratio, we were probably into the final, win or lose, but we really wanted to play a tight, complete game, and we did," Pierce said. "Kristen (Picard) pitched great and everybody hit."
Darien was aided by seven Greenwich errors in the first two innings.
"We made too many defensive mistakes and we couldn't get the bats going," Greenwich manager John Calicchio said. "But they're 12-year-old girls and that happens sometimes. It's too bad because we played a gem of a game in our last game Tuesday."
Greenwich was nearly flawless in the field in a 0-0 tie against Ridgefield. The result was changed to a 1-0 Greenwich victory because Ridgefield made an improper substitution. That gave Greenwich a shot at reaching the final with a win Saturday.
Schiff, Gianunzio, Barbour and Morr each had doubles and Brittany Pierce had a single in the first-inning, two-out explosion that made it 6-0. Then Gianunzio's double ignited the second Met-like rally an inning later. Leela Krishnan and Schiff added singles to help Darien to a 14-1 lead. In all, 13 of Darien's runs were unearned.
"Greenwich's pitcher (Sam Calicchio) pitched a lot better than the score indicates," Darien's Perry Pierce said.
Schiff and Gianunzio had two hits and two RBIs, Morr added two RBIs and Brittany Pierce scored three runs for Darien, which beat Redding-Easton 12-2 earlier in the tournament.
Jubely Sanchez had an RBI single in the second inning for Greenwich and Madison Blomfeld and Sam Calicchio had hits in the third when Greenwich scored its other run.
Darien 14, Greenwich 2 (3Â½)
GREENWICH 011 0XX X--2 3 8
DARIEN 680 XXX X--14 8 2
Records: Darien 4-0, Greenwich 2-2.
Batteries: G--Sam Calicchio (L) and Madison Blomfeld; D--Kristen Picard (W) and Cassidy Schiff, Emily Gianunzio. Doubles: G--Blomfeld; D--Gianunzio 2, Schiff, Sophia Barbour, CaleighMorr. Triples: none. Home Runs: none.