Making the Class LL playoffs has become more difficult for the Staples softball team.

In order for Staples to make the state playoffs, it felt it needed to win at Fairfield Warde Monday. The Lady Wreckers lost, 6-4, dropping to 4-8, 2-8 in the FCIAC. Warde raised its record to 4-8, 4-6.

One bad inning has been a theme for Staples all year. The Mustangs scored six runs in the bottom of the second to take command of the game.

Previously, the Lady Wreckers allowed 13 runs in the bottom of the first inning in a 16-2 loss to Norwalk, four in the first inning in a 6-2 loss to New Canaan and 12 in the second inning in a 12-0 loss to Darien.

Warde scored three runs each off of righties Morgan DiDonato and Charlotte Axthelm. Right-hander Nikki Bukovsky moved from shortstop to the mound and shut the door on Warde.

"We worked on trying to keep their batters off-balance," Bukovsky said. "They weren't able to hit the ball after facing the first two pitchers, but it was too little, too late. We tried to bear down late in the game but fell short."

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Bukovsky tripled in the top of the seventh and scored on Crissy McCarthy's single.

"The first pitch came to me, and we needed to start the rally, but that wasn't enough," Bukovsky said.

McCarthy and Shelby Schulman each had two hits, and they both belted a triple. Heather Rosoff and Maggie Mills were both 1-3 for Staples.

Defensively, Rosoff and Olivia Wiener made nice plays in left field and center field, respectively.

Also working against the Lady Wreckers was the return of Warde hurler Heather Vanderheyden, who was sidelined because of an injury.

"It was pretty impressive she was able to pitch the whole game," Bukovsky said.

Staples has eight games left. The Lady Wreckers are expected to beat Bassick May 18 and are slightly favored to beat Wilton today and Brien McMahon May 16.

If Staples wins all three games, it will need one more win in order to make the Class LL playoffs. The one game it has a decent chance of winning is May 11 at Greenwich.

"It's very emotional for the team, especially for the seniors," Bukovsky said. "We're trying to bear down and get four more wins. We're still trying our best."; 203-255-4561, ext. 115;