The Staples softball team had the unenviable task of facing a hungry Stamford team on the road Monday.

Stamford (11-4, 9-4) lost two in a row entering the game and unleashed a hitting barrage during the home half of the first --with 12 runs on eight hits in a critical 18-4 win over Staples.

"This was our biggest game of the season, we needed it in a big way," said Stamford Coach Tony Esposito, citing last week's losses to Darien and Norwalk as motivation.

Against Norwalk, the usually heavy-hitting Stamford collected just five hits.

"Then we fell down 2-0 in the first inning and I'm thinking, `oh, my gosh, not again.' But they came through," Esposito said. "You could see the emotion in the girls on the field today, they came to play."

Krista Robustelli (3-for-4, three RBI, three runs) padded the lead with a three-run homer in the second inning, brining the score to 15-2, before Staples made a pitching change.

The Wreckers (10-4, 9-4) scored in the third and fourth innings before Stamford added three runs in the fourth to ensure the mercy rule went into effect. Staples, who entered the game with wins in six of its last eight, including one-run victories over St. Joseph's, Trumbull, and Danbury, drops behind Stamford in the standings by virtue of head-to-head.

"It's tough [falling behind so much so fast], but we kept working, got runners on base, and didn't give up," Staples Coach Mark Giordano said. "It was just one of those days where everything you do isn't great and everything they hit fins a hole."

Lady Wrecker senior starter righty Sam Saccomano lasted one plus innings, and though Giordano didn't attribute her difficulties to it, she was battling a bruise on her throwing hand.

"It's no excuse but she was coming off a doctor's appointment regarding her throwing hand," Giordano said about his pitcher. "Maybe her location wasn't where she wanted it to be and the rotation on the ball wasn't there. Either way, it's a game and Stamford played well."