The last thing the Amity softball team wanted to do was fall behind early with Darien's Erika Osherow in the circle.
However, two runs in the first and two more in the second for Darien left the Spartans staring at four-run deficit, on the road against one of the top pitchers in the state.
No. 7 Amity stayed patient, working counts and making contact against Osherow, getting one in the third and one in the fourth before rallying for three runs in the seventh, beating No. 2 Darien 5-4 in the Class LL quarterfinals.
Amity will now face No. 11 South Windsor in the semifinals Tuesday at 4 p.m. at West Haven High School.
Chasing four runs, Amity hitters stuck to their game plan, according to coach Loren Purcell.
"Stay patient. That was the key to everything," Purcell said. "They stayed calm, they didn't get worried about it and they played their game and came out on top. This means everything. What can I say at this point? It's a huge success for the girls and this was a tough game to pull out. It's a big win and I think we are all pretty pumped up from it."
Amity pitcher Kate Koshes settled in after the third inning, going the distance for the win.
Darien got on the board in the first with Julia Domiziano driving in Erika Osherow, though Osherow had to escape a rundown, just beating the tag at home.
The Blue Wave went up 2-0 on a sacrifice fly by Rebecca DeMaio.
Osherow helped herself in the second inning, connecting on a long home run to center field after fouling off five two-strike pitches, making it 4-0 Darien.
Darien then began to play tentatively according to coach Nick DeMaio.
"We got tight, like we wanted to just hold on," DeMaio said. "I'm not sure if it was the moment, I'm not sure what happened but we stopped playing the way we play. They hit the ball hard, even when they got out. Erika was not striking people out the way she usually does and I'm not sure if it was her or if they just had a good approach and were able to put the bat on the ball."
Amity got on the board in the third, adding another run in the fourth and trailed 4-2 going to the seventh inning.
Heather Watt and Krista Reynolds each singled, starting the inning and Koshes reached on an error, allowing Watt to score and leaving runners on the corners. Read Full Article
An intentional walk loaded the bases for Heather Ferranti, who lifted a ball to right field for a sacrifice fly, scoring Reynolds.
After Reynolds crossed the plate, Darien caught Jenna DiLorenzo in a rundown between first and second, but Koshes broke for home, beating the throw and giving Amity the lead.
Ferranti said she was just trying to get the ball to the outfield and tie the game.
"It's fantastic that we pulled out this win, I am so happy," Ferranti said. "I just wanted to hit it somewhere far in the outfield so the runner can tag and score so we can at least tie."
Class LL quarterfinals
AMITY 001 100 3--5 7 0
DARIEN 220 00 0--4 8 1
Records: A -- 19-4; D -- 20-3. Batteries: A -- Kate Koshes (W) and Janaya Young; D -- Erika Osherow (L) and Rebecca DeMaio. HR: D -- Osherow. Highlights: A--Koshes 8 Ks; Krista Reynolds 2-4, run; Heather Ferranti 2 RBI; Heather Watt 2-3, 2 runs; D -- Erika Osherow 2-run HR, 2 runs; Julia Domiziano 2 hits, RBI; Kelly Vodola 2-4, run