SOFTBALL

Darien’s motto has been never give up. It has stood them well this stellar season.

But the Wave one-upped its motto in the FCIAC final, never giving, an inch, in its 6-3 victory over Westhill at Sacred Heart on Wednesday.

The game was ours. We kept our energy up.

— Cassidy Schiff

“This is probably the first game we led the entire way,” said Wave senior captain Cassidy Schiff. “It’s great for us. I mean, we’ve always been so close to the top, so we knew it was going to be a battle.”

Darien took a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning and rode it all the way, tacking on two more in the fifth.

“Once we got those runs we never looked back,” Schiff said. “The game was ours. We kept our energy up.”

The powerful top seed Vikings managed two runs in the third and petered out with a single run in the seventh.

League second seed Darien improves to 19-4, while Westhill goes to states with an identical overall record.

Jess Carlo continued her torrid pace in the playoffs at bat, doubling in the three crucial early runs, added with Stefani Gentile’s RBI off a fielded grounder, for the big second inning push.

Kristen Picard had two hits.

The Wave had eight hits in all, two errors.

Westhill had five hits and one error.

Sophia Barbour was tremendous in the pressurized setting, having everything to do with Darien arriving back in the FCIAC winner’s circle for the first time in five years.

She pitched a mean ball for the win, and struck out five as title game MVP.

“I think that the whole team just went out and just left it all out there,” said Barbour. “It’s so amazing; especially seniors, we’ve been playing with this group for so long. Just to finally come out, finally on top.

"There’s no better feeling, it’s a dream come true.”

Eddy Aquino had the loss, fanning two.

Barbour doubled and had an RBI and walked, Schiff scored and had a hit and walked, Hailey King had a hit and walked, Sydney Fagerstrom scored two runs, Picard scored and batted in a run in addition to her team-leading hits, Rosalie Pirone scored, had a hit and walked, Carlo had the three RBI, scored, Caroline Krueger had a hit.

Carlo had a strong two-way championship game.

“Jess Carlo made some nice plays in the field and she also had that hit that brought (the runs) home,” Schiff said.

“The highlight is my third basemen, taking that ball — and destroy it,” Barbour said of Carlo’s big runs-producing hit in the second. “I’ve been playing with Jess for so long. She’s like my sister.

"And to see her succeed in such a big way like that is the most rewarding thing I could ever watch. She really came up big for us.”