Solid pitching, timely hitting lead Ludlowe softball past Greenwich
FAIRFIELD — The recipe for success in Ludlowe’s recent four-game winning streak has been a simple one with just three ingredients: good pitching, solid defense and timely hitting.
All three aspects were prevalent in the Falcons’ 3-1 win over Greenwich Monday afternoon at Sturges Park. Ludlowe put together seven hits, got five solid innings from starter Brittany Romero, two shutout innings from reliever Kylee Holderied and only made one mistake in the field as they improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the FCIAC.
“They’re figuring it out,” Ludlowe interim coach Bob Alvarado said. “We were aggressive on the basepaths to put them (Greenwich) in some tough spots, we used an error to take the lead and then we got a couple of key hits to give us a cushion.”
While the Falcons have relied on timely hitting to reel off four straight wins, Greenwich hasn’t had any hitting, period, in dropping four of its last five. Romero and Holderied held the Cardinals to just two hits, leaving seven potential runners stranded.
“We didn’t hit, we left runners on base again today,” Greenwich coach Mary Beth Fratello said. “We’re just not hitting. We’re playing good defense, Sophia (Prieto) is pitching really well, but we’re just not getting those runs across.”
Ludlowe took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Neiza Capeles — who had three hits, including a triple — opened with a single and moved to second on a groundout. Then Romero hammered one of those clutch hit singles up the middle to knock home Capeles and put the Falcons in front.
Greenwich answered back with a run in the fifth when Romero lost the strike zone for a moment and walked both Emma Beinstein and Katherine Walko to open the inning. An infield single to third from Kelly Brogan loaded the bases with one out and, after Romero got a strikeout for the second out, Julia Greco bounced a slow rolled toward second, which second baseman Liz Doolan couldn’t handle, plating Beinstein, tying the game.
Unfazed, the Falcons got back-to-back singles from Doolan and Megan Szuchman with one out in the fifth, a slow grounder to third moved the runners into scoring position and Ludlowe took advantage of some over-aggressiveness from the Greenwich defense and used a throwing error to move ahead 2-1. Then, in the sixth, Holderied tripled into left-center and scored on a grounder to second off the bat of Lily Traum to make it 3-1.
“We preach that all the time,” Alvarado said. “Timely hits and good defense will get you wins in the FCIAC.”
“We’re just a tight-knit family, I think that’s why we’re having success,” said Capeles, a senior shortstop. “We have a lot of freshmen that have brought a lot of energy and dedication to the team. We thought they might be nervous, but they’re not, they’re picking us up.”
Romero allowed two hits and one run (unearned), walking four and striking out seven. Holderied got the last six outs, allowing one walk.
“Kylee came in and closed the game,” Alvarado said. “She hit well, she pitched well, Brittany gave us a good five innings and it comes down to our timely hits and putting them in tough spots. We still have some things to work on, though.”
As does Greenwich.
“We’re trying to work in six sophomores and three seniors,” Fratello said. “It’s a young team but they should be able to handle these things. We have to keep working on our timing and getting those key hits.”
LUDLOWE 3, GREENWICH 1
GREENWICH 000 010 0—1 2 2
LUDLOWE 001 011 x—3 7 1
Records: Greenwich (3-4, 1-3 FCIAC); Ludlowe (4-2, 2-1 FCIAC)
Batteries: Greenwich - Sophia Prieto (L) and Emma Beinstein; Ludlowe - Brittany Romero (W), Kylee Holderied (6, S) and Ira Boci
Highlights: Greenwich - Prieto and Kelly Brogan both singled. Beinstein scored a run; Ludlowe - Neiza Capeles had three hits, including a triple and scored a run, Kylee Holderied tripled and scored. Romero and Lily Traum had an RBI.