SOFTBALL

The Wave returns all but two, including a senior pitcher, and slugger, in Sophia Barbour at her peak.

“We’re expecting her to be at her best,” said Darien coach Nick DeMaio.

We're excited to show everyone what we can do.

— Cassidy Schiff

Captains are Barbour, Cassidy Schiff, Kristen Picard and Brittany Pierce.

“I think the thing that is most encouraging is the veteran lineup we are going to have,” DeMaio said. “From the starting lineup we’re returning seven players. So you have got to think experience is going to be a positive for us.”

“We've all been playing together since we were 10, so senior year is definitely really exciting for us,” said Schiff of the leaders.

Positions are in flux this early on, but the infield looks to be covered by Schiff, Picard, Kalani Caruso, Jess Carlo, while Caroline Krueger and Pierce are catching.

The outfield has Hailey King, Stefani Gentile back.

“I think this team has a very good shot at doing well in the playoffs,” said Schiff. “We have a great group of seniors, there's five of us, and I hope our leadership and experience can carry the team.”

Power-hitters include Barbour, Schiff, Picard, and you can count on King and Caruso to throw a shadow over the fences too.

“All of the returners,” said DeMaio. “We are really looking for them to improve on their offensive numbers.”

“We developed a core group last year that will mostly stay together this year, which is definitely an advantage,” Schiff added. “The energy has been great so far at preseason and the first week of practice and we're excited to show everyone what we can do.”

Darien does not want to do one thing it did too much of last season.

“I think with a veteran group like this, you’ve got to know how to jump out to an early lead and then close the door on your opponent,” DeMaio said. “This is what veterans do. They don’t let teams hang around to come back and try to make a run at you at the end of the game.”

The Wave had at least a half dozen would-be victories shaved from its schedule in crucial games, which should have turned the tide last season.

“That’s exactly what happened to us last year,” DeMaio said. “Where we had leads in games we couldn’t hold.”

Schedule

4/3 St. Joseph Away 4:00 p.m.

4/5 Norwich Free Academy Home 4:30 p.m.

4/6 Trinity Catholic Home 4:00 p.m.

4/8 Newtown DHS 2:00 p.m.

4/10 Greenwich Home 4:00 p.m.

4/12 Trumbull Away 4:15 p.m.

4/13 Bridgeport Central Away 2:00 p.m.

4/17 Fryeburg (ME) Home 4:00 p.m.

4/19 Brien McMahon Away 4:00 p.m.

4/21 Danbury Away 4:00 p.m.

4/24 Stamford Home 4:00 p.m.

4/26 Wilton Home 4:30 p.m.

4/28 Ridgefield Away 4:00 p.m.

5/1 Fairfield Warde Away 4:00 p.m.

5/3 Fairfield Ludlowe Home 4:00 p.m.

5/5 Staples Away 4:00 p.m.

5/8 New Canaan Home 4:00 p.m.

5/10 St. Joseph Home 4:00 p.m.

5/11 Westhill Away 4:00 p.m.

5/17 Norwalk Home 4:00 p.m.