Pickens' Perspective: Fairfield Ludlowe softball rolling into Warde game

The view for the Fairfield Ludlowe softball team after its first eight games was not a rosy one.

From an outsider's perspective it appeared that the 3-5 start was disappointing. The Falcons lost 12-2 to 3-5 New Canaan on April 21 to reach their low water mark of the season and it appeared that mediocrity would be par for the course for the Falcons in 2010.

But look more carefully at Ludlowe and you'll see that the New Canaan debacle was the lone down spot for Ludlowe. The Falcons other losses are as followed:

--1-0, 11-inning loss to Westhill, who is undefeated and No. 2 in the state.

--1-0 loss to Trumbull, who is No. 9 in the state.

--4-0 to Brookfield, who is 11-1.

--8-4 loss to Darien, who is 11-2 currently.

Ludlowe hasn't lost since. The Falcons enter today's game with Warde with an eight-game win streak. Ludlowe's bats are especially hot of late as the Falcons have outscored opponents 22-3 in the last two games against two decent teams in Staples and Ridgefield. It started with some lineup tweaking, and gained steam by winning.

"We mixed up our order a little bit," Samuelian said. "We have kids up and down the order making contact."

A level of trust has been developed between the team and Samuelian, its interim coach. It is not lost on Samuelian, either. He believes that the team is beginning to jel because they believe in themselves and each other.

"Things are shaping up between the team and me," he said. "They're starting to believe in what we can do."

The schedule has lightened, but there are not too many free lunches in the FCIAC. Ludlowe has moved above the muddled playoff hunt, and sits firmly entrenched in sixth place in the playoff standings.

Ludlowe's next two games will determine whether or not the Falcons will get a home game in the FCIAC playoffs. A date with No. 8 in the state St. Joseph is Monday, but before that is the game of the year with Warde. Win both and Ludlowe should coast to a 14-4 conference record and perhaps the No. 2 seed in the FCIAC playoffs.

"If the kids stay within themselves, they've proven that they're as good as any team in the league," Samuelian said.

But it all starts with that rivalry game with Warde. The Mustangs have been good this year, but will enter off of a tough game with Darien. Samuelian knows full-well, through soccer, what the Ludlowe vs. Warde rivalry is all about, and he knows it will not be tough for the kids to get up for today's affair.

"I know the kids are excited," Samuelian said. "Anything goes when Ludlowe and Warde play."

There are playoffs in the Falcons' future, but the team doesn't want to get ahead of itself. One game at a time, one at-bat at a time, one inning at a time, are the mottos.

But the view looks a lot rosier than it did about four weeks ago.