FCIAC

Eight-Run 4th Inning Carries St. Joseph To 12-1 Win Over Darien For FCIAC Softball Title

FAIRFIELD — A rematch that was supposed to follow the template of three weeks ago instead, surprisingly, became the repeat of a meeting between the St. Joseph and Darien softball teams a year earlier.

The Cadets erupted for eight runs in the fourth inning on Thursday and rolled to a surprisingly easy 12-1 win over the Blue Wave in the FCIAC Tournament championship at Sacred Heart University.

It was the second straight year the top-seeded Cadets (22-1) defeated Darien by 11 runs in the playoffs, following an 11-0 semifinal win last May.

FCIAC

Osherow’s Walk-Off Home Run Lifts Darien To FCIAC Semifinal Win Over Westhill

FAIRFIELD— It all came down to the bottom of the seventh inning between Darien and Westhill during the FCIAC softball semifinals, but in the end, it was a sea of blue that poured out to home plate to mob junior Erika Osherow after she delivered a walkoff three-run home run for a 4-1 win.

“You know that’s why we play the game,” Osherow said. “It’s moments like those you have to capitalize and that’s what we did.”

Both teams were held scoreless until the fourth inning when the Blue Wave’s Rebecca DeMaio drove Julia Domiziano home with a base hit. Cassidy Schiff helped set up the play with a bunt on the previous at-bat to advance Domiziano to second base.

Baseball

FCIAC Tournament Week: A Baseball, Softball, Boys And Girls Lacrosse Primer

It is championship week in the FCIAC — the last one of the school year — and fittingly the one with the most intrigue because of parity.

Starting Tuesday, there will be 20 games in five days to decide the baseball, softball, boys and girls lacrosse champions (and that’s not including the eight lacrosse quarterfinal games held so far.

The conference’s track championships are also Tuesday, while the finals will be held in boys and girls tennis and boys volleyball.

Baseball

Storylines Aplenty For Final Week Of FCIAC Regular Season

This is the final week of the regular season in the FCIAC. The boys and girls lacrosse playoffs begin on Friday. The baseball and softball tournaments open a week from tomorrow.

Except in baseball, where we have one of the best horse races in recent memory, there should be little drama in the other sports.

That all changes once the postseason commences. If there is one across-the-board keyword to the spring sports season, it is parity.

Here is a final-week primer and a look ahead, working from the sports with the fewest amount of storylines upward.

FCIAC

Schelz Pitches Greenwich Softball Team To 6-3 Win Over Stamford

STAMFORD — The ball rocketed off of Shannon Stabile’s bat, and whiplashed necks turned toward leftfield to see whether a Greenwich victory that seemed a certainty just three batters earlier was going to be snatched away.

Stamford, sluggish at the plate most of the day trying to solve Greenwich pitcher Jessie Schelz, was trailing, 6-2, when it came to life with four straight hits, the last an RBI single by Nikki Pease that brought Stabile to the plate as the winning run.

Stabile drove a deep fly, but comfort came to the Greenwich dugout and disappointment to Stamford’s as Erin White, with two hits and two RBIs on her ledger, caught it just a few feet from the fence to give the Cardinals a 6-3 win on Thursday afternoon.

FCIAC

Darien Joins St. Joseph On Top Pedestal After Osherow Stars In 1-0 Win

TRUMBULL — The FCIAC softball storyline shifted slightly on Wednesday afternoon at St. Joseph High School. The Cadets, widely viewed as the conference favorite and possessors of the most potent offense, were limited to two hits by Darien’s Erika Osherow in a 1-0 loss.

Osherow has given the Blue Wave an old-school dynamic, if old school is the right term for just a few years ago, when the distance between home plate and the mound was moved back four feet. Games like Wednesday’s were the norm between contenders, but now have become close to extinct as offenses have caught up and even overtaken good pitching.

Softball

Former St. Joseph Star Jenn Vazquez Having Stellar Freshman Season At Manhattan

When Manhattan College softball coach Tom Pardalis got a commitment from Jenn Vazquez, there was no question he was adding a versatile player with tremendous upside.

But like with most freshman, Pardalis thought the former St. Joseph High School star’s contributions would be modest at the outset.

“I did not think she would make an impact her first year,” Pardalis said. “Especially since I brought her in as a catcher with the idea she could play first base. We have an All-League catcher who is a sophomore. I didn’t think Jenn would get a lot of playing time behind the plate.”

As those who followed the Cadets the last four years are well aware, Vazquez’s drive and skill set defy convention.

FCIAC

St. Joseph Softball Team Shows It Can Also Win The Close Games With 3-0 Win Over Greenwich

TRUMBULL — After rolling over its first nine opponents in a dominant display, the St. Joseph softball team faced its first real test since opening day on Friday afternoon, against its toughest FCIAC opponent to date.

Locked in a scoreless game with Greenwich heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, the Cadets showed they are equally resilient in close contests.

Lauren Pitney’s RBI double staked St. Joseph to a 1-0 lead and Amy Chacho’s two-run double in the sixth lifted it to a 3-0 home victory.

FCIAC

Midseason Softball Report: A Balanced Posse Remains In Pursuit Of St. Joseph

Three weeks ago we wondered whether a balanced pack of contenders could keep up with the St. Joseph softball team. Who might be this year’s New Canaan, which as the sixth seed defeated the Cadets last season for the school’s first championship in the sport.

We are still wondering.

As we reach the halfway point — the other seasons seem like middle- or long-distance races but the spring is always a 100-meter dash — there have been few surprises to date.