The Fairfield Warde High School softball team felt the roller coaster ride of an FCIAC tournament softball game on Tuesday against Darien.

Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the ride came to a screeching halt in extra innings.

Darien catcher Olivia Gozdz scored three runs, including the game-winner on a wild pitch in the eighth inning, as the second-seeded Blue Wave tripped up No. 7 Warde 5-4 in the FCIAC quarterfinals on Tuesday at Darien High School.

"It's a tough way to lose," Warde coach Gary Quiricone said.

Darien advanced to yesterday's semifinals against Stamford, completed too late for publication time. The FCIAC finals will be played today at Fairfield University at 4 p.m.

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The Mustangs had their chances to advance, however, but left seven runners on base, including a pair in the seventh and two more in the eighth. Warde also had three runners cut down on the bases, including two picked off by Gozdz.

"We got a couple of putouts at first that are uncharacteristic of us," Quiricone said. "We can't let that happen."

Warde scored all of its runs in the sixth, when while trailing 3-0, the Mustangs' top of the lineup exploded off Darien pitcher Jessica DeMaio. With one out, Stacey DiLeo, Summer Anderson and Heather Vanderheyden stroked singles. Vanderheyden's scored DiLeo to put the Mustangs on the board.

Alyssa Borowy then doubled to score Anderson. Kitty Caissy singled up the middle to score courtesy runner Julia Palmieri and Borowy to give Warde a 4-3 lead.

"It's been our team all year to come back when we're down and fight back strong," Quiricone said.

Warde was one pitch from holding that lead into the seventh too. But with two outs, Kelly Fahey dunked a single beyond the outstretched arm of DiLeo to score Gozdz and tie the game.

"If that doesn't get in behind (DiLeo), it's a different game in the end," Quiricone said.

Warde had a chance in the seventh, when Kenzie Burns singled and the Blue Wave intentionally walked DiLeo, but Anderson grounded out to end the threat.

"We thought we had our best chance when we had (DiLeo) up," Quiricone said. "But, they put her on."

The Mustangs had two on with one out in the eighth, but could not score either.

"I think we left too many runners on base today," Quiricone said.

Warde was also one pitch away from the ninth inning too. The Blue Wave rally started when, with one out, Gozdz walked then took third on a sacrifice bunt. Vanderheyden had Fahey one strike away from closing out the rally, but the ball skipped by Borowy and Gozdz scored to end the game.

The Mustangs will now wait until the state playoff bracket is released to see who they'll play in the first round. Warde will host a Class LL playoff game on Tuesday.

"We're going to go back to practice and touch up a few things," Quiricone said. "We're ready to host that home game next Tuesday."