Darien hangs on to beat Maine’s Fryeburg Academy
DARIEN — Cruising along with a four-run lead in the fifth, Darien and pitcher Sophia Barbour saw it all dissipate in an instant.
Fryeburg Academy — a school from Maine — hadn’t had a hit through the first four, but erupted for four runs, three with two outs, to tie the game midway through five.
Luckily for Darien, Barbour is much more than a one-trick pony.
The senior led off the fifth with a single, and advanced to second on a misplay in center. Kristen Picard (3-for-4) followed with a double and Jessica Carlo added an RBI double of her own in the frame, giving Darien a two-run lead.
The Blue Wave tacked on another in the sixth on Picard’s RBI single, going on to defeat Fryeburg 7-5 at home Monday afternoon.
“I was a little bit angry at myself for letting that go on too long,” Barbour said of her mindset at the plate following the top of the fifth. “I was really just focused on helping my team out. I just wanted to get it started so the rest of my lineup could come up. I know what they can do so I wanted to get on base and let them do their thing.”
“The middle part of our order, especially Sophie and KP, did a great job,” Blue Wave coach Nick DeMaio said. “They took the momentum right back for us.”
Like most of New England, Fryeburg Academy has battled the elements thus far this year. Saturday at Granby was the first time the Raiders saw the outdoors.
This matchup marks the third year in a row Darien and Fryeburg have played each other. On Tuesday, Freyburg heads to Stamford to take on Westhill.
“It’s a god rivalry,” Fryeburg coach Fred Apt said. “We already talked about coming back next year. It’s really good for us, especially being in Maine, we haven’t been on the field until Saturday. I’m happy with the way we’re playing, I want to play teams like this.
“We want to play the best, it’s a great rivalry, we really enjoy it and the people are really nice to us down here.”
Despite a bit of uneven play, Darien is sitting pretty at 6-2 to start the year.
Monday’s game saw the Blue Wave commit four errors, but their 14 hits were enough to get the job done.
“It wasn’t a clean game defensively for us,” DeMaio said. “I thought last week we made some strides defensively, we were smooth. We took a little step back today, but it’s Monday, it’s the day after Easter and these kids are human.
“It’s hard for them to always be at their best, so this is one game. What I told them is the most important thing is, you weren’t at your best today, but you were still tough enough to win the game—and that’s the key for me.”
DARIEN 4, FRYEBURG 5
FRYEBURG (ME) 000 040 1—5 4 3
DARIEN 004 021 0 X—7 14 4