Wasikowski leads No. 3 St. Joseph past No. 5 Ludlowe

FAIRFIELD — Lauren Wasikowski has carved up the FCIAC like a buzz saw, leading No. 3 St. Joseph softball to an 8-0 record.

Wasikowski’s latest victim was No. 5 Fairfield Ludlowe, which had entered the game 8-0 with a slash line of .530/.573/.827.

Though Ludlowe did tag Wasikowski with her first earned run allowed this season, the No. 5 Falcons were no match for the Hofstra commit as the Cadets won 5-2 in a battle of unbeatens.

Wasikowski improved to 7-0 and boasts a minuscule 0.17 ERA with 89 strikeouts over 41 innings pitched, off to one of the best starts in St. Joseph history.

“She moves the ball very well,” St. Joseph coach Jeff Babineau said. “She has a very good curve, her rise ball is very good and she has a cool little cutter-change. It is not that she is overpowering, but the ball really moves.”

St. Joseph has now outscored opponents 100-3 through eight games, and Wasikowski has been an integral piece since transferring from Lauralton Hall.

“They whole team has been so welcoming and great to be around,” Wasikowski said. “We are very competitive, always pushing each other and encouraging each other to be the best we can be.”

Wasikowski completed the game with 12 strikeouts while allowing two runs (doubling her season total of one entering Wednesday) on five hits and three walks.

It took 342/3 innings before Ludlowe sophomore Elena Ohe’s home run became the first earned run allowed by Wasikowski.

“She hung one, and the kid is a good hitter,” Babineau said. “But she knew it was a long game and we had six more innings to go so don’t worry about it. The team backed her up and when you give her a couple of runs she is hard to beat.”

It was smooth sailing for the St. Joseph ace after the first inning home run, allowing just two hits over the final five frames.

“Some of my favorite pitches weren’t working today, which was difficult to adjust to,” Wasikowski said. “I just had to use my secondaries and make due with what I had. It really helped to have a great defense and offense behind me.”

The offense was provided mainly by senior slugger Maddy Fitzgerald, who homered in the third inning to give St. Joseph the lead, and again in the seventh to put the game out of reach.

The two home runs were Fitzgerald’s seventh and eighth of the season, and her fourth in the last two games.

“As a team we took a very aggressive approach to this game,” Fitzgerald said. “We knew this pitcher was talented so we needed to jump on the first good pitch we saw. I just saw a good pitch, got my barrel on it and it flew.”

Ludlowe was held to less than 11 runs for the first time this season.

“We faced a good pitcher today and the bats just weren’t there,” Falcons coach Lou Bunosso said. “We battled for a good six innings where we kept it close, but strikeouts hurt us on offense and at the end the wheels fell off a little bit. We will learn from it and bounce back.”

Freshman starting pitcher Alex Lewy completed 6 1/3 strong innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out five. She is now 3-1 on the season.

Ludlowe did do more damage against Wasikowski than any other team, which is not saying much, but both teams expect to see each other again in the near future.

“Everyone knew there was a lot of hype to this game but we played it like every other game on the schedule,” Fitzgerald said. “They are a talented team and we are going to see them again and it will be a good battle every time we face them.”

Will.Aldam@hearstmediact.com; @AldamWill

ST. JOSEPH 5, LUDLOWE 2

ST. JOSEPH 101 010 2— 5 9 2

LUDLOWE 100 000 0— 2 5 3

Batteries: SJ—Lauren Wasikowski (W, 7-0) and Niamh Dougherty. FL—Alex Lewy (L, 3-1), Delaney Sullivan (7) and Caitlyn Romero HR: SJ — Maddy Fitzgerald 2, Niamh Dougherty. FL — Elana Ohe.