The Fairfield Ludlowe softball team didn't waste any time responding to Staples' five-run outburst in the first inning on Friday.
Riding the strength of a six-run second inning and seven-run third, the Falcons piled up 19 hits and crushed the Wreckers 20-8 at Greens Farms Elementary. The game ended after six innings because of the 12-run mercy rule.
Ten different players recorded at least one hit for Ludlowe, and seven players drove in runs.
"We've got anybody here capable of hitting the ball well all the time," said Ludlowe coach Tony Samuelian, whose team ended the day with 19 hits. "It's reassuring to know that we can come back, and come back with runs."
The Falcons trailed 5-3 after one inning, but quickly stormed back behind four hits and a pair of errors in the six-run second. Tygesen put the Falcons ahead 7-5 with a two-out, two-run single off right-hander Katie Burke.
In the seven-run third inning, the Falcons (8-1) pieced together five hits, but also benefitted from four Staples errors. Catcher Katie Decarlo made it 14-5 with a two-run single and Colleen Lambert pushed the lead to 15-5 with a hit. A wild pitch made it 16-5 after three.
Burke pitched the first 2 2/3 innings and gave way to right-hander Nikki Bukovsky with the Wreckers down 14-5. Bukovsky pitched the final 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs (two earned).
The Wreckers didn't do themselves any favors in the field, committing a season-high eight errors. That came on the heels of a five-error performance in a 10-5 loss to Ridgefield on Wednesday.
"Pitching-wise, we were trying to get them to pop up or get a ground ball. We had great success in that," Staples coach Sara Holland said. "We just weren't completing the other end of the play."
The Falcons tacked on two more runs in the fourth to make it 18-5. They led 20-7 after a two-run sixth inning.
The Falcons have now won eight straight since a season-opening loss to Brookfield, 4-3.
"It was a big win," said Ludlowe third baseman Brenna Martini, who had two hits and drove in two runs. "We wanted to definitely go 3-0 this week, so this win was very important to us."
Right-hander Aliza Guerrero pitched all six innings for the Falcons, allowing 12 hits. She struck out four.
Afterward, Holland heaped praise on her opponent.
"They're the team to beat, Ludlowe is," Holland said. "Kudos to them. They have sticks on their team -- some great hitters."
Staples (5-3) responded to Ludlowe's three-run first inning by scoring five runs of its own. The Wreckers had five hits in the inning, including a three-run double by left fielder Bridget Johnson.
Katherine Friend (3-for-3 with three RBI) drove in the team's fifth run in the first.
Ludlowe made four errors in the win.
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FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 20, STAPLES 8
LUDLOWE 367 202 -- 20 19 4
STAPLES 500 021 -- 8 12 8
Records: Ludlowe 8-1; Staples 5-3.
Batteries: L -- Aliza Guerrero (W) and Katie Decarlo. S -- Katie Burke (L), Nikki Bukovsky (3) and Maggie Mills.
Highlights: L -- Alice Nelson went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Emily Nelson went 4-for-5 with three RBI. Nikki Tygesen went 2-for-4 with three RBI. S -- Bridget Johnson went 1-for-3 with three RBI. Katherine Friend went 3-for-3 with three RBI.