STAMFORD -- Those expecting a marquee matchup between two first place teams certainly did not leave Stamford disappointed.
The Black Knights took the lead on a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the sixth only to have Ludlowe rally with a two-out, 3-run homer of its own in the top of the seventh, giving the Falcons a 6-5 win.
Ludlowe (12-2, 11-1 FCIAC) stays in first place along with St. Joseph and Darien while Stamford (11-3, 10-2) falls a game back of the top three.
The game had a playoff atmosphere from the beginning and certainly had late-game dramatics worthy of the postseaon.
With two out and none on, Ludlowe got two on via a walk and a bunt single, bringing up All-FCIAC third baseman Brenna Martini.
Martini fouled off several two-strike pitches before connecting on a low fastball, over the centerfield fence, putting her team in the lead.
"I'm just trying to make contact, was not trying to hit a home run," Martini said. "It was low, it was really low and I had to go down and get it but I was able to drive it. We never give up, we came back against Darien, we came back against Trumbull and we did today."
Martini was 3 for 3 with a walk, two runs scored and four RBI.
The hero of the game was nearly in the other dugout as Nicole Pease drove a two-out pitch over the left field fence for a grand slam, giving her team a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
Stamford entered the inning down 3-0, but three singles and a walk left them down 3-1 when Pease strode to the plate.
"The girls played a nice game but a quality player beat us after battling up there and she crushed one," Stamford coach Tony Esposito said. "I tip my cap to them they came back. We came back and then they came back. Our girls did a yeoman's job coming back."
Stamford started Sara Staley in the circle with Christina Joaunou still nursing a sore hamstring, but with her team trailing by a run in the third, Joaunou entered the game, keeping Stamford within striking distance.
She was matched by Ludlowe starter Bridgette Anderson, who kept Stamford under wraps until the sixth-inning rally.
"I felt Bridgette did really well though we did kind of have that bad inning with the grand slam which was awesome on their part," Ludlowe coach Shari Paci said. "She has been carrying us this whole season and I am really proud of Bridgette and her composure especially. She did not give up after the grand slam." Read Full Article
Ludlowe scored once in the first and twice more in the sixth, building the 3-0 lead.
LUDLOWE 100 002 3--6 8 0
STAMFORD 000 005 0 -- 5 10 1
Records: Ludlowe 12-2, 11-1 FCIAC; Stamford 11-3, 10-2
Batteries: L -- Bridgette Anderson (W) and Katei DeCarlo; S -- Sara Staley, Christina Joaunou (L, 3) and Colleen Adams
Home runs: L - Brenna Martini; S - Nicole Pease
Highlights: L -- Brenna Martini GW HR, 3 for 3 with a walk, two runs scored and four RBI; Gillian Kennedy 2 for 3, 3 runs; S -- Nicole Pease grand slam, Haley Lamota 2 for 3, run, RBI.