Staples was ice-cold, Fairfield Ludlowe red-hot. That was more than apparent when the two clashed Tuesday in the first round of the Class LL state softball tournament. Ludlowe was fresh off its improbable run to the FCIAC championship game and Staples had to wait around a week to play a game.
The rust showed in the field, as the Wreckers committed four errors. Ludlowe took advantage of all of them, scoring four unearned runs. After scoring twice in the top of the first, Staples managed only one hit in the final six innings, falling to Ludlowe, 9-2.
"We had a goal to come out fired up and score a couple runs, and we did that, but we got deflated after the first," Staples head coach Mark Giordano said. "We felt good after the first and I thought we were gonna win. [Starting pitcher] Emma [Axthemlm] got us ground balls, but we just didn't step up and field them."
While Ludlowe had the game well in hand by the finish, the beginning suggested a different outcome. The first three Staples batters reached in the top of the first, capped by a two-run triple by Alexandra Masiello.
The momentum quickly changed in the Falcons' favor when Catherine Lomato lined to short, then picked Masiello off at third to complete the double play. From then on it was smooth sailing for Guerrero.
Ludlowe's Elise Perazzini led the Falcons' offensive attack, reaching base and scoring three times. She also drove in all the offense Ludlowe would need with an RBI triple in the second and a two-run double in the fifth.
Masiello had a tough day after getting picked off, committing three errors, all leading to Ludlowe runs. Of the nine Ludlowe runs, only five were earned for Staples pitcher Axthelm.
"We're losing a bunch of successful seniors who came in when I came in," Giordano said. "That's always the saddest part because they become part of your family. But part of our goal as coaches is to send good kids and good citizens out there and we've succeeded in that."
Staples lost six of its final seven games of the season after a promising 10-3 start. The Wreckers end their 2011 season at 11-10.
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