Final score tells only part of the story

Brenna Martini hammered a two-out 10th inning pitch over the outfielder’s head to give Fairfield Ludlowe a 6-5 victory over Trumbull High. (Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Brenna Martini hammered a two-out 10th inning pitch over the outfielder’s head to give Fairfield Ludlowe a 6-5 victory over Trumbull High.
(Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Where the game ended is easy — Brenna Martini slugged a two-on, two-out run-scoring blast to center in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Fairfield Ludlowe a 6-5 FCIAC softball victory over Trumbull High at Sturges Field on April 19.
How coach Shari Paci’s Falcons got to that point in the game, and a 5-1 start to the season, 4-1 in the FCIAC, is worth a second look.
“I’m really excited for the girls because we have a lot of respect here for Trumbull and it was a great game,” Paci said. “This team believes they can win and never gives up.”
Even in the 10th inning of a league showdown game with an Eagle team that brought a 4-1 record into the contest, 3-0 in the FCIAC.
Even after the Falcons threatened in the frame, only to have Trumbull turn a double play.
After Reagan Walker walked to open the home 10th, Gillian Kennedy popped a bunt that was fielded with a dive by Nicole Palmer, who tagged the first-base bag with the ball.
From the ground, she threw to Megan Thaler covering second base, who made the heads-up tag of the sliding Walker.
“Both teams were fighting all game,” Paci said. “ Even after the double play we kept at it.”
Anna Rasmussen singled to restart the rally and Katie DeCarlo then put together a great at bat. She fouled off five straight 1-2 pitches before taking a walk to bring Martini to the plate.
“We put her on twice (with intentional walks with runners on second) because we didn’t want to let her beat us,” Trumbull coach Cary Nadel said of Martini, an Adelphi University commit. “This time we had no place to put her and she put a good swing on the ball.”
Perhaps, Ludlowe won the game in the fifth when Trumbull had a run in to tie the game at 5 and runners on first and second. That’s when DeCarlo at catcher called Colleen Lambert off fielding a slow roller up the third-base line and let it roll foul.
Alice Nelson at shortstop then caught the next ball hit and turned it into a 6-6-4 double play.
Maybe, the game was decided in the eighth when Palmer reached on a hard-hit error to bring Christie Costello to the plate.
Costello had four hits in four previous trips, and was 12-for-13 batting for the week before she lined the ball to Martini at third. She made the catch and doubled Palmer off first.
The Eagles didn’t flinch, here, as Harleigh Kaczegowicz singled off Brigette Anderson. DeCarlo promptly threw a laser to second to catch her stealing.
“Our defense really rallied us today,” Paci said. “Katie had an unbelievable at bat in the 10th inning and Brenna leads by her actions and her abilities. She is a senior and I’m excited to enjoy every inning with her until she leaves for Adelphi (University).”
Ludlowe built a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a bunt single by Kennedy, a sacrifice by Rasmussen and Martini’s wind-helped double to right-center.
The Falcons upped the margin to 3-0 in the second after a walk and two sac bunts were played into fielder’s choices that loaded the bases.
Trumbull right-hander Marissa Valenti almost pitched out of the jam with a strikeout and an infield fly to Thaler, but Rasmussen knocked in two runs with a single.
The Eagles came back in the top of the third to grab a 4-3 lead, and they did it all with two outs.
Valenti kept Ludlowe off the board in the bottom of the third, and Trumbull was back at it in the fourth.
Lauren Zielinski singled, Palmer sacrificed her up a base, and Costello took a 3-2 pitch into left field for a single.
With runners on the corners, Kennedy in center made a nice play on Kaczegowicz’s shallow drive and Clark was erased by Alice Nelson at shortstop.
Ludlowe went back in front 5-4 in the fourth.
Nene Capeles doubled, went to third on Olivia Anderson’s bunt, and scored with a slide at home after Kennedy’s push bunt up the first base line was played to the plate.
DeCarlo singled past a diving Thaler at shortstop to give the Falcons the lead
Trumbull tied the game at 5-5 on hits by Liptack and Thompson and an infield error. Further damage was not to be as Ludlowe’s right-fielder Rasmussen made a fine catch running into foul territory and Nelson started a 6-4-3 double play turned by Brittany Romero.
Costello singled in the sixth, but was left at second. Romero singled to start the Ludlowe seventh, and was bunted to second by Lambert to no avail.
Ludlowe, with Samantha Platz now pitching for the Eagles, left a runner on base in the eighth and ninth. Trumbull stranded one in the ninth.

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