Small ball not enough for Ludlowe against dominant Williams

Ludlowe played small ball effectively early in the first inning against St. Joseph on Wednesday, loading the bases on bunt singles by Gillian Kennedy and Anna Rasmussen. The Falcons tried to bunt again with one out and the bases still loaded, but Brittany Romero lined into a double play.
It was one time too many for the Falcons, who lost to St. Joseph 7-1.
“That’s part of our game, how we play,” Ludlowe coach Shari Paci said, referring to the bunt.
Ludlowe struggled to do much else against Cadets pitcher Nicole Williams. The sophomore right-hander allowed only two baserunners after the first inning.
“She’s a dominating pitcher,” Paci said. “We had to really try to make something happen, but that didn’t go in our favor in the first inning.”
Williams entered Wednesday’s start 16-1 with a miniscule 0.75 ERA in 84 innings. She now has 11 complete games and 119 strikeouts, compared to just 26 walks.
Although Ludlowe recorded only four hits, Paci believes that the Falcons can learn from their struggles.
“We definitely learned from it; what a powerful pitcher is. I don’t think we really see that much in the FCIAC,” Paci said. “I think it really opened our eyes to what we have to do.”
Ludlowe missed its chance to jump on the ace early. St. Joseph coach Jeff Babineau was willing to give up a run for an out at the time, too. He just didn’t want the first inning to snowball on the Cadets.
“The thing I tell them all the time is ‘Just relax,’” Babineau said. “The first inning, second inning, we’re not going to stress that play. We do what we have to.
“If they get a run or two, I know our offense is going to score. Just don’t let them give up five runs.”
Williams said that escaping the first inning unscathed was a relief.
“I knew my defense would cover me,” Williams said. “They did.”