TRUMBULL -- St. Joseph's Mickaela Mallozzi saved the best for last.
On a day honoring the Cadets' three seniors, the senior center fielder displayed some rare power at the plate. Mallozzi slugged two home runs in her first two at-bats Wednesday to propel St. Joseph's softball team past Ludlowe 7-1 on Senior Day.
"She hits the ball hard. She hits a lot of doubles for us always, in the gaps," coach Jeff Babineau said. "Today it just launched."
Mallozzi slammed her first career long ball over the center-field fence in the first inning. Two batters later, Madeline Meier connected on a two-run homer to left to make it 3-0.
"They're a very good offensive team," Ludlowe coach Shari Paci said. "We were saying before, when you play with a fence, it's a different game. At our field those are outs."
The Cadets tagged the Falcons for 13 hits, including three homers, to move to 18-1 on the season. Ludlowe dropped to 14-5.
Sophomore Nicole Williams allowed only four hits (three by bunts) in a complete-game victory. The right-hander cruised after escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first, retiring 11 straight batters.
"She's gotten into a very good rhythm the last two weeks," Babineau said, as the Cadets have allowed more than two runs just once this month. "She's really shutting teams down. She's hitting her spots."
Three straight infield singles set Ludlowe up for a potential big first inning, but Williams worked out of it by inducing a pop up and a double-play liner. She breathed a sigh of relief when it was over.
"It was tough, but my defense really covered me," Williams said. "I don't know what I would do without them."
Williams helped herself at the plate, singling in a run in the third. Mallozzi also socked her second homer in the third as part of a 3-for-4 day.
"We practice all the time, every day for hours," Mallozzi said. "It showed out here."
While the Cadets moved closer to locking up the FCIAC's top seed with one game remaining (Friday at McMahon), Ludlowe is fighting for a home quarterfinal game. The Falcons began Wednesday clinging to the fourth seed.
The Falcons close the regular season on Friday at defending FCIAC champion New Canaan (11-8). They shut out the Rams 1-0 in their first meeting on April 10. Read Full Article
"It's a big game for us," Paci said.
Last season's runner-up in the conference, St. Joseph, has won six straight since its lone loss, 1-0 to Darien on May 7. Although the Cadets are ranked fourth in the state poll, Mallozzi felt like they had plenty to prove on Wednesday.
"The fact that they (Ludlowe) beat Darien and we lost to Darien, I think that everyone thought that they were going to have the upper hand," Mallozzi said. "We just proved them wrong."
LUDLOWE 000 010 0 -- 1 4 3
ST. JOSEPH 302 101 X -- 7 13 0
Records: Ludlowe 14-5; St. Joseph 18-1. Batteries: L -- Brigette Anderson (L) and Katie DeCarlo; SJ -- Nicole Williams (W) and Lauren Blose.
Highlights: SJ -- Mickaela Mallozzi went 3-for-4 with two solo home runs; Madeline Meier hit a two-run home run; Lauren Pitney went 2-for-3 and drove in one run.