Anderson's catch saves Warde in quarterfinal win over Ludlowe

Warde center fielder Summer Anderson didn't think she had a chance to make the game-saving catch in the seventh inning of the Mustangs' Class LL quarterfinal game against arch rival Ludlowe.

But when she dove, the ball stuck, and it saved the day.

The Mustangs' center fielder's catch and throw in doubled off Jen Hsieh at third for a game-ending double play, which capped a 4-2 win for the No. 7 seed Warde over 15th seeded Ludlowe on Friday at Fairfield Warde High School.

"When I first saw the ball in the air, I thought there was no way I was catching it," Anderson said. "I ran my heart out and dove for it and it worked in my favor and I am so happy."

The Mustangs advance to the Class LL semifinals to take on the winner of Conard and Trumbuull, a game that will be played today at 4 p.m. at Conard. Warde has reached the Class LL semis for just the second time in program history, and the second year in a row.

But it would not be there if not for the unbelievable play by Anderson. With runners on first and third and one out, and one run already in, in the top of the seventh, Ludlowe shortstop Emily Nelson hit a sinking bloop to shallow center field. Anderson ran a long way, dove, held on and fired back into the infield.

"She tried so hard to get it in and she got it," Warde shortstop and captain Stacey DiLeo said. "It was very nerve-wracking."

Hsieh had left third base thinking the ball had fallen safe. Warde pitcher Heather Vanderheyden threw to third baseman Michelle Treglia to double off Hsieh to end the game.

"The fact that it was Ludlowe and it was states made me want to give my all," Anderson said. "It was amazing."

"That was a phenomenal play," Ludlowe coach Tony Samuelian said.

Warde never trailed in the game, scoring all its runs in the bottom of the second. Alyssa Borowy singled and Kitty Caissy popped a slug bunt over the head of Falcons' pitcher Aliza Guerrero to put two on and none out.

"We surprised them a little bit with the small ball," Warde coach Gary Quiricone said. "That was a planned play."

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"It was pretty," Samuelian said of Caissy's bunt. "That was so well done, you have to give them credit."

After an error by Guerrero loaded the bases, Kenzie Burns singled home Borowy to put Warde up 1-0.

Treglia grounded out to second to drive in Caissy, and then DiLeo socked a two-RBI triple to put the Mustangs up 4-0.

"I tried to just make contact," DiLeo said. "It's just the greatest feeling to get a hit and have RBI come in."

Neither side would score again until the Falcons got a run in the sixth. Hsieh and Lizzie Knuff led off the inning with back-to-back singled. After DiLeo robbed Nelson of a single on a running catch, Ludlowe third baseman Breanna Martini doubled home Hsieh to put the Falcons on the board. Ludlowe ended up leaving the bases loaded in the inning.

"They made the plays when they had to," Samuelian said of Warde.

Ludlowe leadoff hitter Elise Perazzini started the Falcons' rally in seventh when, with one out, she doubled, and reached third on a wild pitch. She scored on Hsieh's single to make the game 4-2.

Knuff reached on an error by DiLeo, but that set the stage for Anderson to save the game.

"Summer couldn't have made a more spectacular catch and at the right time," Quiricone said. "It was unbelievable, I'm speechl