By Bob Kennedy

Correspondent

The keys to postseason success in scholastic softball are simple: get good pitching, solid defense and try and squeeze out a run or two.

Windsor did and Darien didn't Thursday, so the visiting Warriors advanced to the Class L state quarterfinals, and the Blue Wave were denied the opportunity of back-to-back state championship game appearances following Windsor's 1-0 victory.

Windsor's Jennifer Lattai, an All-State selection, held Darien to one hit -- a one-out single in the seventh inning -- while walking one and striking out 12.

"With her pitching we're looking to squeeze out a run or two and see if we can make it stand up," Windsor coach Bill Alexander said. "We've had a lot of close games this season so we're accustomed to playing in a game like this.

"That was a good team we just beat," Alexander said. "Their pitcher was good and they have a solid defense. There were no holes in that defense."

Darien coach Nick DeMaio was impressed with Lattai.

"She's right up there with the upper echelon of pitchers in the FCIAC," DeMaio said. "Unfortunately we had problems hitting those pitchers all season.

"But we're a young team (two freshmen, five sophomores, one junior, one senior starting) and I thought we had a good season," said DeMaio, whose Blue Wave finish at 18-5.

Sophomore Jessica DeMaio allowed only four hits while walking one and striking out nine while suffering the loss for the Blue Wave.

"She pitched well for us this season," coach DeMaio said of his niece. "Our defense was second to none this season and we got good pitching and if we got a few timely hits in some games our record would be better. Hopefully we can work on our hitting."

Windsor had a scoring opportunity in the first when Shauna Greene drew a one-out walk and stole second and third but was stranded.

Darien's only scoring threat was identical to the Warriors when in the bottom of the first Nicole Buch drew a one-out walk before stealing second and third only to be stranded.

Windsor produced the game's only run with two outs in the fifth inning. No. 8 batter Courtney Blanchard singled and stole second before ninth-place hitter Miranda Marris hit an RBI single to center.

Latttai then held Darien at bay with a good fastball she consistently found the corners with.

The best ball the Blue Wave hit in the game was a liner by Buch that was snared by third baseman Kailey Cagney.

Lattai retired 18 straight Blue Wave hitters after the first-inning walk before Courtney Bell broke up the no-hitter with a single up the middle. However, Lattai got the final two batters to send Windsor into the quarterfinal round.