DARIEN — She hit what her coach said is the longest home run in the history of her team’s relatively new field, pitched a four-hitter and even flashed her defensive prowess by catching a couple of line drives that would have made the goaltenders on her school’s excellent lacrosse teams proud.
There is little that Darien’s Erika Osherow cannot do, and didn’t do in Wednesday’s 8-1 win over Trumbull.
Well, except open up about her performance, or hot start to the season.
All of which makes this the most fitting way to introduce her to strangers: Erika Osherow. That’s Erika with a K. The I is silent.
“We just kept our energy up,” Osherow said after recording 9 Ks, or strikeouts.
Ask Osherow to discuss her hot start and the next word is usually “we.” A rare exception came when asked to assess the different between her dominance on the mound the first two weeks compared to a year ago, when she struggled with her command early on before settling into a groove.
“I think just as another year goes by I just grow as a player,” Osherow said. “I have the same stuff as I had last year and maybe a little better. A lot of it has been working on my stuff. Just working on my pitches and it seems to be working well.”
Osherow led off the bottom of the first on Wednesday with a towering home run that traveled at least 250 feet. That set the stage for a 7-run inning as the Blue Wave (6-1, 4-1) sent 14 batters to the plate, finishing with six hits — Osherow added a single — and taking advantage of three Trumbull errors. Avery Maley had a two-run single and Kelly Reyes and Christina Chariott RBI hits.
The Eagles (5-3, 4-2) are an up-and-coming team, with good young talent, but it was an early deficit impossible to overcome.
“That’s the key to beating them,” Darien coach Nick DeMaio said. “That’s a good team. If we don’t do that in the first inning I don’t know what the outcome will be.”
Sam Platz, the transfer from St. Joseph, came on in relief in the second inning and allowed just one run and three hits the rest of the way in a solid outing.
Osherow neared her fourth no-hitter, retiring 16 of the first 17 batters — one Trumbull player reached on an error — before the Eagles managed four hits, including an RBI single by Emily Clark.
Osherow did not walk a batter and was resourceful with her pitches: 52 of her 61 were strikes.
“Very good. Outstanding,” DeMaio said. “She’s doing everything. She’s hitting her spots, mixing up her pitches. She’s doing a nice job. Shutting teams down completely.”
Because her bar is set so high, Osherow’s home run and pitching didn’t even rank as the Blue Wave’s top play of the day in her dugout. That honor went to No. 2 hitter Kelly Vodola, a slap specialist who homered in the sixth, much to the joyous surprise of her teammates.
As the congratulations continued, Vodola said, “I hit an inside the park home run once but that was it.”
DeMaio may have been more excited by the homer than Vodola.
“Unbelievable,” he said. “We’ve been working on that with her. She’s a great athlete. She’s very strong. There are a couple of different ways we can have her bat.”
Darien, along with Fairfield Ludlowe and Greenwich the main threats to favored and unbeaten St. Joseph, suffered its lone loss to the Falcons.
“We had that little letdown at Ludlowe,” DeMaio said. “We didn’t play poorly. It was not that we made mistakes. We failed to hit. We’re happy where we are.”
Happiness comes with having a shutdown pitcher, an ingredient of most championships teams.
“I think she’s just more of a pitcher now,” DeMaio said of Osherow. “She’s more mature. She’s got the season under her belt. She saw how successful she was last year and now she’s got all the confidence in the world.”
Just remember that’s Erika with a K. The I is silent.