There’s a new big bopper on the Stratford Brakettes softball roster.
While Denise Denis remains as the program’s all-time leading home run hitter, Alex Heinen of San Clemente, CA., has established herself as the big bat in the team’s lineup.
Last Saturday at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field, before one of the largest crowds in years, Heinen was simply outstanding. She went 5-for-7 at the plate with three home runs and 10 RBIs as the Brakettes blanked Team Connecticut in by 10-0 scores in the doubleheader.
It capped a four-game sweep of the team’s home stand and raised the club’s overall record to 10-1.
The Brakettes will be in action again starting Thursday at 7 p.m. when they face the Connecticut Eliminators 23U team at DeLuca Field. On Friday at 7 p.m. the Eliminators Alumni provide the opposition before Stratford’s XTreme Chaos play a pair of games on Saturday at 7.
Sunday the Brakettes and the Stratford Fire Department team play a nine-inning benefit exhibition game at 4. Brakettes pitchers will take turns throwing for the SFD.
Heinen, a 5-foot-7 junior catcher at Boston University, flexed her hitting muscle the previous weekend in Lyons, PA., with three home runs and two triples in the Cornfield Classic. The only difference with those blasts is she had to leg them out. This week, those homers simply cleared the Brakettes’ outfield fence.
“Alex is an unbelievable hitter,” Brakettes manager John Stratton said. “She gets her hacks in during every at bat.”
In 28 official at bats, Heinen now has 13 hits, three doubles, three triples, and a team-high six home runs. She also leads with 25s RBI and she has not struck out once.
Despite those impressive numbers, she is only batting No. 5 in the lineup as Stratton’s first four hitters are all left-handed and possess outstanding speed.
The cleanup hitter is second-year Brakette infielder Jolie Duffner of Jefferson City, MO., who owns a team-high .654 batting average.
The Brakettes began last week with a 9-5 victory over the talented Connecticut High School All-Stars. Nicole Williams (St. Joseph), Ali Dubois, and Shelton’s Kaycee Talcik split the pitching, each working three innings.
Abby Abramson pitched a one-hitter and struck out eight in five innings to lead the Brakettes to a 10-2 win over the Ridgefield Rebels.
Brandice Balschmiter worked the final four innings, allowing three hits and fanning eight.
Lauren Pitney (St. Joseph) led the team with a 3-for-3 effort, while Duffner and Val Suto both had two hits.
Dubois (3-0) tossed a three-hitter and struck out 10 in the first win over Team Connecticut, while Balschmiter (3-1) had 12 strikeouts and allowed only one hit in the nightcap.
Pitney also hit a two-run home run in the opener.
Denis and Abramson each had two hits.