Falcons' historic season ended by Warde

The ride has come to an unfortunate end for the Fairfield Ludlowe softball team.

The Falcons found a way to reach uncharted territory, the Class LL quarterfinals, but fell for the second time to arch-rival Fairfield Warde, 4-2 on Friday at Fairfield Warde High School.

Ludlowe finished its season 16-10, and was the FCIAC tournament runner-up. The Falcons won nine of their final 13 games in the year.

But Ludlowe could not get out of its own way during the Mustangs' four-run second inning. All of Warde's four runs were unearned due to a throwing error by pitcher Aliza Guerrero.

"That inning was an implosion," Ludlowe coach Tony Samuelian said.

On the other hand, the Mustangs' defense victimized Ludlowe. Warde shortstop Stacey Dileo robbed Emily Nelson of a hit in the sixth inning when she made a running catch, with runners on first and second and none out. The Falcons left the bases loaded in that inning.

"If she pops that in there, we score a run," Samuelian said. "They made the plays when they had to."

One of those plays was when Warde center fielder Summer Anderson robbed Nelson in the seventh. With runners on the corners and one out, Anderson laid out for a spectacular catch and threw in to double Jen Hsieh off third to end the game.

"All I could do is sit back and watch it happen," Samuelian said. "That was a phenomenal play."

The Falcons historic run sets the table for future years. But, who knows whether Samuelian will be a part of it. The second year interim coach is unsure whether or not he'll have to secede his post to coach Kathryn Klassens. Klassens has been out on medical leave due to back surgery she underwent in 2009.

"I'll sit and wait and see what happens," Samuelian said.

Either way, Samuelian has guided the Falcons through an important stretch of Ludlowe softball. He has gone 31-18 over the last two seasons, and provided the Falcons a stable demeanor over his tenure.

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"If I do come back," Samuelian said, "they'll think the game rather than just catching and fielding. They've come a long way."

The Falcons' expectations will continue to rise, especially considering they're only losing two starters to graduation. However, they're both captains, Elise Perazzini and Lizzie Knuff.

Perazzini is an all-FCIAC player, and Knuff will likely be one this year too, but with a stock of talented underclassmen, like Guerrero, and talent coming up from little league, the Falcons should be able to be competitive in 2012.

"We've got a nice crop of young kids here," Samuelian said.