Osherow fans 15 as Darien shuts out Westhill
STAMFORD -- The Darien softball team has already clinched not only a playoff spot but a first round home game when the postseason kicks off next week.
Last season the Blue Wave were in the same spot but the schedule eased up for them over the final week, playing non-qualifying teams ahead of the playoffs.
This year, Darien closes with fellow playoff teams Westhill and Stamford, something Darien coach Nick DeMaio feels can only help his team prepare for the tournament.
The Blue Wave pounded out 13 hits and pitcher Erika Osherow was nearly perfect, striking out 15 and allowing just one hit as the Wave beat the Vikings 6-0 at Allyson Rioux Field.
DeMaio said his the schedule worked out just has he would have drawn it up.
"Westhill today and Stamford Friday, just perfect," DeMaio said. "These are the teams we are going to be playing against next week. These are the games you want to play. We were fortunate today that we started getting the ball up the middle today."
Darien (17-2, 15-2 FCIAC) scored one in the third on a single by Julia Domiziano, two in the fifth and three more in the sixth, padding the lead.
The one run was all Darien really needed as Osherow equaled her season-high with 15 strikeouts, with a sixth-inning single to Zoe Carillo being the only blemish between her and a perfect game.
Osherow said she had everything in her arsenal working.
"Today, yes, I felt like I was in the groove," Osherow said. "I was feeding off everybody's energy during the game, I almost lost my voice cheering. I think today I was definitely in it. Westhill has always been a strong team and we knew coming in they would be strong and today we just had it all in our favor."
Osherow struck out seven in a row in a stretch between the first and third innings, keeping Westhill off balance all afternoon.
Westhill could not break through against Darien's ace but coach Tom Pia said these are the type of games his team needs to be ready for when the playoffs begin next week.
"You definitely want to play a team like that toward the end of the season," Pia said. "They are a quality team and a quality program, they have a stud on the mound and they hit the ball. These are the games you want to play heading into the playoffs because of you make a mistake, it's going to cost you runs and we made a couple mistakes and it cost us a couple runs."
Westhill is now 12-5 in the FCIAC, battling for seeds 5 through 8 with a game against rival Trinity Catholic Friday.
Darien 6, Westhill 0
DARIEN 001 002 3 -- 6 13 1
WESTHILL 000 00 0 -- 0 1 0
Records: D -- 17-2, 15-2 FCIAC; W 12-6, 12-5 FCIAC
Doubles: D -- Cassidy Schiff, Kelly Reyes. Highlights: D -- Osherow one-hitter, 15 Ks; Julia Domiziano 3 for 3 2 RBI, 2 runs, Schiff two hits, two runs, RBI; Reyes 2 for 4, RBI