TRUMBULL -- The most common request on the diamond is always for one more; one more hit, one more run, just one more out.
Yet oddly enough, the Darien softball team needed no extra hit, run or out to defeat previously unbeaten St. Joseph and seat itself atop the FCIAC East division. Instead, all it required was one Erika Osherow.
The Blue Wave junior hurler two-hit the Cadets Wednesday afternoon in a 1-0 Darien victory at St. Joseph High School. Osherow knocked an RBI double in the third inning to plate Keli Reyes, who had singled earlier for the first of four Blue Wave hits on the day. Cadet pitcher Nicole Williams took the loss after striking out 11 in a complete game effort.
Both teams stand at 12-1 overall and 10-1 in the FCIAC after Wednesday's game.
"You've got to give credit to Williams here. She pitched a great game." Darien coach Nick DeMaio said. "We were fortunate enough today to get the bat head down on a few of those pitches and that's the only difference."
The two starters dazzled in the opening two frames, combining for seven strikeouts and only one baserunner. Reyes quickly changed that by singling to start the third, before quickly advancing two bases on an error and a wild pitch. The junior outfielder then came home on Osherow's extra-base hit.
"I think St. Joe's is an amazing team," Osherow said. "I wouldn't take anything away from them. They did a great job. I think we just managed to stay on top of them, keep our at-bats strong and keep getting at them."
Following her surrendered run, Williams sat down 10 of the next 11 Wave hitters. But the Cadets could never make up for their one poor frame.
"She flattened out," St. Joseph coach Jeff Babineau said of Williams' third inning. "That was the issue there. Her pitches, instead of moving, they flattened out. It was really in her legs. Then, we talked to her for a little bit, she fixed it and I think she threw well after that."
Catcher Lauren Blose recorded the first Cadet hit of the game with a one-out single in the home half of the third. Having been moved over to second on a sacrifice, Blose was eventually stranded with a hard hit groundout from shortstop Lauren Pitney. Two innings later, Katie Gardella doubled deep to centerfield, but failed to score once Blose swung at strike three for the third out.
St. Joseph's final chance then came in the sixth when Pitney walked with only one out. However, Mickaela Mallozzi's liner to the right side was reeled in by Darien second baseman Kelly Vodola, who promptly doubled Pitney off at first.
"You have to expect a very good softball game with two good pitchers like that. We just didn't catch any breaks today," Babineau said.
While Darien's streak-snapping victory does make a strong statement in the current FCIAC picture, both coaches revealed afterward they believe strongly this will not be the only meeting between the two powerhouses.
"We have a feeling that we're going to see St. Joe's again in the postseason," DeMaio said. "So, this game was like the free game. If you win it, you feel great about yourself. If you lose it, well, your ship didn't sink. We're trying to get one of the top four spots in the FCIAC playoffs. That's our goal."
Darien 1, St. Joseph 0
DARIEN 001 000 0--1 4 0
ST. JOSEPH 000 000 0--0 2 1
Records: Darien 12-1, 10-1 FCIAC; St. Joseph 12-1, 10-1 FCIAC. Batteries: D--Erika Osherow (W, 9-1) and Rebecca DeMaio; SJ--Nicole Williams (L, 10-1) and Lauren Blose.
Highlights: D--Erika Osherow pitched a complete game, two-hit shutout and knocked in the game's only run. SJ--Nicole Williams struck out 11 batters in seven innings of work.