Storrs, CT — Third time was the charm for the Fairfield Ludlowe softball team. After losing to Southington in the 2021 Class LL championship in walk-off fashion, and losing to the Blue Knights again in last year's semifinals, the Falcons finally overcame their biggest obstacle Saturday night at at UConn's Burrill Family Field Softball Complex. Ludlowe, ranked No. 2 in the GameTimeCT Top 10 Softball Poll, knocked off No. 1-ranked Southington, 5-2, to win its first state title in program history with a mastery of small ball, scoring four of its runs on squeeze bunts. "We came in with a specific plan in mind and as you can see, we got a lot of hits today," Ludlowe coach Lou Bunosso said. "I did something out of the ordinary for myself as a coach as we squeezed a lot of runs in. I think we took them by surprise." The loss ended Southington's three-season reign as Class LL champions and a 40-game win streak that dated back to a 6-0 loss to Masuk on May 10, 2022. Southington was looking to win a national-best 21st state title. "They are a phenomenal program," Bunosso said. "They have won the most state titles in the country of any high school. It is really sweet for us to beat them, especially with it being three years in a row playing them.” Alex Lewey earned the win for Ludlowe, pitching four innings and allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Anna Gedacht earned the save, entering the game in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and no outs. Gedacht pitched the final three frames, allowing one hit and hitting one batter while striking out three. “(Gedacht) has been doing that all year honestly,” Bunosso said. “She is a starter in any high school program, and she is a Division I pitcher going to Merrimack. She has nerves of steel. She is incredible. The ball really moves, and I think she has gotten a lot of experience in the last three years. She was really tough tonight.” Ludlowe tallied 11 hits, an impressive feat against Southington ace Stella Blanchard, who was named Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year just days before and had not allowed an earned run in 71 innings pitched. “I knew our bats would come alive, we are just too good a hitting team to not hit consistently,” Bunosso said. “Getting that first run was huge and I think it put a little doubt in their mind maybe." Yale commit and Ludlowe valedictorian Elena Ohe singled on the first pitch of the game for the Falcons, and scored on a squeeze bunt by championship MVP Chelsea Villar. “This is amazing, it is everything that we have worked for the last three years, all to get to this game,” Ohe said. “We knew what to do and we came out with impeccable energy, and it showed.” Villar came around to score two batters later, on another squeeze by third baseman Katie Tournas. “We wanted to get the lead early. We did and we held on,” Bunosso said. “Our pitching has been great all year and we did a great job against a really great team.” The Falcons added two more runs in the third, extending the lead to 4-0 as Ellie Gallagi singled in Della Jackson. The second run came as Villar stole home on a dropped third strike. Southington broke into the run column as junior Mallory Rohon hit a solo home run to start the fifth, the first of three-straight hits. Southington proceeded to load the bases before Gedacht entered the game. Gedacht struck out the first batter she face, but then hit Southington catcher Elyse Picard with a changeup to make it 4-2. She would get the next two batters to ground out to limit the damage. “I am happy, this is the outcome that we deserved,” Gedacht said. “I woke up this morning and just knew that this was the day.” Ludlowe added an insurance run in the top of the seventh as Katie Tournas executed her second successful squeeze bunt of the game, scoring Villar. “I think we just knew we had absolutely nothing to lose today,” Villar said. “We just had something to gain and as soon as we walked in we knew we were leaving it all on the field. Last time playing together, there is nothing else you can do but leave it all out on the field.” It was an emotional celebration for Ludlowe with its seven seniors. Poetically, Gedacht, who was a pitching as a sophomore when Southington walked-off in the 2021 championship, recorded the final out. “We do a lot of motivation stuff,” Bunosso said. “Some people didn’t pick us to win, so we have a little ritual. Every time we get some bad press, we burn it the night before. We burnt the article, and we knew we were going to win today man. I just had a good feeling.” Southington, which leads the nation with 20 state softball championships, could only tip its cap to the new champs. “Can’t take it away from Fairfield Ludlowe, they outplayed us tonight,” Southington coach Davina Hernandez said. “We did have some nerves there early, which was not like us. But regardless of what the outcome was, it doesn’t change the effect that these girls have had on the program or the year that they have had.” “Most of these girls did not become starters until their senior year,” Hernandez said. “I could not be more proud of this senior class. This was probably one of the closest groups of girls that I have ever coached.” Player of the Game Anna Gedacht, Ludlowe – The senior earned her revenge against Southington, two years in the making, entering the game with the bases loaded and no outs to maintain the Falcon's lead. She pitched three innings and only allowed two base runners to earn the save. CLASS LL SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP Ludlowe 5, Southington 2 LUDLOWE 202 000 1 – 5 11 0 SOUTHINGTON 000 020 0 – 2 5 2 L — Alex Lewey (W), Anna Gedact (S, 5) and Allie Tournas; S —Stella Blanchard (L) and Elyse Picard. HRs: S — Mallory Rohon. Records – L: 26-1; S: 26-1