Ludlowe’s 22-game win streak, state and FCIAC titles highlight softball season

It certainly was a memorable banner season which was the greatest season ever for Fairfield Ludlowe High School’s softball team.

Coach Lou Bunosso’s Falcons won their third straight FCIAC championship, then they went and won the first state championship in school history and were unanimously chosen No. 1 in the Final 2023 GameTimeCT Top 10 Softball Poll.

The Falcons lost their only game of the year in their fifth game at St. Joseph, 9-8, on April 12. Then they ended the season with a 22-game winning streak to finish 27-1.

Junior starting pitcher Alex Lewey and senior closer Anna Gedacht combined to hurl a shutout while helping lead Fairfield Ludlowe to a 2-0 victory over St. Joseph in the championship game of the 2023 FCIAC Softball Tournament on May 25.

Lewey struck out four in 5.1 innings as the winning pitcher in the FCIAC final for the third straight year and she was selected MVP.

That same pitching combination took care of business again as Lewey pitched four innings for the win and Gedacht pitched the last three innings for the save when Ludlowe dethroned three-time defending state champion Southington by a 5-2 margin in the CIAC Class LL Softball Tournament final on June 10 at UConn’s Burrill Family Field.

Ludlowe’s potent and balanced lineup collected 11 hits against Southington’s superb senior ace Stella Blanchard, who was named Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year several days earlier. The Falcons also executed successful squeeze bunts four times.

Chelsea Villar, who was selected the game’s MVP, drove in the first run of the game on a squeeze bunt and she also scored three runs.

Villar had .506 batting average, 11 home runs, and 45 RBIs for the season. The senior outfielder was selected the state’s Player of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, GameTimeCT, and MaxPreps CT.

Villar, Lewey, St. Joseph’s Niamh Dougherty and Jill Guilfoyle, Fairfield Warde’s Gabby Mercado, and Stamford’s Sam Albert were the six players who were selected to the All-FCIAC Softball First Team for the second consecutive year.

The other eight players on the 2023 All-FCIAC Softball First Team were Riley Keane and Maddy Pickett of Ridgefield, Fairfield Ludlowe’s Elena Ohe, Norwalk’s Vicki Ward, New Canaan’s Lauren Fico, Fairfield Warde’s Allie Ortiz, Trumbull’s Becca Sexton, and Westhill’s Sofia Wenz-Bazan.

The 16 players selected to the 2023 All-FCIAC Softball Second Team were Gedacht and Ellie Gallagi of Fairfield Ludlowe, Coco Bartone, Riley McDermott and Kelsea Flanagan of St. Joseph, Maura Carbone and Caroline Hall of Trumbull, Angela Russell and Riley Sullivan of Westhill, Grace Burg of Staples, Danbury’s Regan Lalor, New Canaan’s Lisa Mallozzi, Ridgefield’s Grace Couch, Wilton’s Sadie Klyver, Norwalk’s Maddie Collins, and Fairfield Warde’s Griffin Paladino.

Villar, Mercado, Ohe, Lewey, Pickett, and Albert were the six FCIAC players among the 27 total who made the CHSCA Class LL All-State Softball Team. Dougherty and Guilfoyle were selected to the CHSCA Class M All-State Softball Team.

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