New Canaan's five-game winning streak comes to an end at the hands of Darien
Updated 8:43 pm, Wednesday, April 18, 2012
NEW CANAAN -- Darien standout Jessica DeMaio single-handedly snapped New Cananaan's five-game winning streak with both her arm and bat.
On the mound, she came within one strike of a special accomplishment that not even she has managed in her outstanding career.
DeMaio lost a perfect-game bid with two outs in the bottom of the sixth with a walk to opposing pitcher Cydney Ventura, but finished off a no-hitter that propelled the Blue Wave past New Canaan 5-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Wavenly park.
"Honestly I wasn't really thinking about it," DeMaio said. "It's kind of in the back of your mind; your in a good groove and a good rhythm out there, I knew that. But the whole no hitter/perfect game thing you don't even realize out there."
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DeMaio, who also had three hits and came within a home run of the cycle, was quick to credit her defense for the outstanding performance.
"Julie Domiziano made some really great plays at second base, as did Avery Maley in right field," DeMaio said. "Our defense has been really consistent and that's what makes it easy to pitch out there."
Darien (5-2) looked like it would need every out DeMaio recorded as the score remained 1-0 until the top of the sixth inning. Kelly Fahey drove in a run with a single in that frame to double the Wave's advantage, before adding three more during a two-out rally in the seventh that was highlighted by DeMaio's triple.
"We got that one run in the first inning but then (Ventura) quieted us down until the seventh, when we finally made some contact with runners in scoring position," said Darien coach Nick DeMaio, Jessica's uncle. "It was a lot closer than 5-0."
Ventura also went the distance for New Canaan, throwing very effectively before tiring in the seventh. She yielded eight hits in total and four earned runs. The Rams were left both impressed by DeMaio's efforts and frustrated they couldn't make the necessary adjustments to generate any offense.
"Jess throws a nice game," New Canaan coach Danielle Simoneau said. "She moves the ball around with a lot of pop. But if you go up with one steady swing and don't adjust to what she's giving you then its going to be harder to get on. That was the biggest part."
New Canaan (5-3) is still searching for its first signature win of the season, but has reason for optimism despite being a victim of a no-hitter.
"We can definitely hang with Darien," Simoneau said. "Am I pleased that we held them to 1-0 until the sixth inning? Absolutely. Am I disappointed that we couldn't adjust offensively and get on base? Yes."
The Blue Wave are a 5-4 defeat to Westhill away from being undefeated in conference play and coach DeMaio likes where his team is heading as the season nears the midway point.
"We just try to take it one game at a time," DeMaio said. "I think we're beginning to get a little more consistent and that's what we need to do."