DARIEN -- Normally Darien ace Erika Osherow has a pretty easy go of things when she's in the circle. The senior fire-baller can control the pace of the game, and has a more than adequate defense behind her.

That was not the case Friday afternoon in the Class LL quarterfinals against Newtown. But, as great players often do, Osherow battled and found a way to take her third-seeded Blue Wave team onto the next round with a 3-2 home win over the No. 6 Nighthawks.

"We were getting tight on defense," Darien coach Nick DeMaio said. "Once one miscue happens it can get contagious, as soon as we made a mistake everyone tightened up and Erika really had to bear down and get us through this."

Darien committed four errors in the contest, including two throwing mishaps by the normally sure-handed Osherow, but she was able to persevere and lead her team to the tight win.

Newtown left eight runners on base in the one-run affair, largely because Osherow was able to buckle down and ended the game with a total of 12 strikeouts.

"The taste is still a little bitter in my mouth, the kids played great all year long and they're a great bunch of kids to be around but when's the next time you can get here?" Newtown coach Bob Guererra said. "You hope they seize the opportunity and it slipped through our fingers but it was a phenomenal season, I'm proud of them. It was a tough day to have a bad game especially against a pitcher like that, usually we score eight or nine runs but she did a great job."

Newtown got to the quarters after downing Glastonbury 15-0 in the first round and Westhill 7-2 on Thursday. Darien will get the winner of Saturday's contest between No. 2 Cheshire and seventh-seeded Norwich Free Academy.

The Wave got the scoring started early in the contest; after Osherow worked a walk Kelly Vodola attempted to bunt her over but Newtown's pitcher, Gillian Galante, attempted to throw to second and the ball sailed into center field, plated Osherow and sending Vodola to third. Vodola would score on Rebecca DeMaio's sac-fly.

Darien added one in the fourth on a single from Lexi Lopiano that proved to be the game winner. Newtown came right back in the top of the fifth and scored twice on a single by Emily Woznick.

The Nighthawks had the tying run on second base with no one out in the top of the seventh but Osherow struck out the next two and got Megan Goyda to fly out deep to right where Kristen Picard was waiting to seal the deal.

After a challenge like Darien faced Friday DeMaio hopes the road can only get easier.

"We were saying that the whole time, `if we get through this game you have to feel good about the next one,'" DeMaio said. "Because we made every mistake we could here today."

aparelli@bcnnew.com; @reportedbytheAP

Darien 3, Newton 2

NEWTOWN 000 020 0--2 7 3

DARIEN 200 100 X--3 4 4

Batteries: N--Gillian Galante (3.2, L), Lauren Wilcox and Emily Woznick. D--Erika Osherow (W) and Rebecca DeMaio. Highlights: N--Emily Woznick hit a two-run single in the top of the fifth. D--Erika Osherow pitched a complete game, striking out 12 and getting the win. Rebecca DeMaio hit a sac-fly and Lexi Lopiano drove in the game winner in the fourth with a single.