The Darien softball team was clicking in all facets of the game Monday, ousting Fairfield Warde from the FCIAC tournament with a 5-1 opening-round win. Darien pounded out 11 hits and backed it up with solid defense as starter Jessica DeMaio held the FCIAC's top offense to just one unearned run.

Warde, which led the FCIAC with 158 runs this season, could not produce the big hit that defined the Mustangs in 2010.

"We had runners on base and we just couldn't get that one runner in," Warde head coach Gary Quiricone said. "It's uncharacteristic (Monday) that we just couldn't get those runs in."

The fifth-seeded Mustangs stranded eight runners on base, including a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the fifth in which Warde scratched out one run on an error.

"Probably a little anxious," Quiricone said. "We wanted to make things happen. When you try to make things happen too quickly you sometimes get yourself in trouble."

The Blue Wave (17-4) jumped on Warde starter Gina Treglia with two runs in the first. Olivia Gozdz opened the inning by slashing a single to left. She later scored on a bases-loaded single to center by Kelly Fahey. An RBI ground-out by DeMaio plated Courtney Bell as the Blue Wave opened a 2-0 lead.

"That was the key to the game," Darien Head Coach Nick DeMaio said. "Getting out ahead is very important. The games we've been successful in we've got out early."

Darien increased its lead to 5-0 with three runs in the fifth. Gozdz (3-for-4, RBI, two runs) drove in Emily Moscatello, who opened the frame with a double to deep left-center. Fahey again plated Gozdz, this time on a double down the left field line. DeMaio knocked in her second RBI of the game when she chased home Bell with a

line-drive single to center.

DeMaio pitched her way in and out of trouble in both the third and seventh innings. She squelched a two-out rally in the third, fanning Treglia with high heat to strand runners on second and third and keep the score 2-0. DeMaio closed out the game by getting Treglia to pop out to first base with runners on first and second.

Warde will use this time to regroup and prepare for the Class L state tournament, where Quiricone expects the Mustangs to enter with a high seed.

"With some rest we'll come back strong and come into the second season ready," he said.