Irish National team to play Jr. Brakettes, youth teams admitted free all season

STRATFORD – The Stratford Brakettes open their 73rd consecutive season June 1 at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field at 7 p.m. against their first-year 18U team the Junior Brakettes. All youth softball players, accompanied by an adult, will be admitted free of charge to all regular season home games played by both teams.

The two teams will also meet Sunday in another doubleheader at 10 a.m.

The Junior Brakettes have an added attraction when they face the Irish National Team at 4 p.m. in a single game at DeLuca.

“We are committed to promoting softball,” said Brakettes General Manager Bob Baird. “The best way for these young players to learn the game is from watching it played at the highest level.”

The Brakettes invite any team, or league, to have a special night with the Brakettes. All players and team coaches are admitted free. Players get to be on the field with the Brakettes for the National Anthem, and the teams/ leagues get to select players to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and serve as team bat girls.

For additional information or to reserve a date, please contact Kathy Gage at 203-605-2065 or kgage@optonline.net.

Team Ireland will feature a combination of players from its U19 and Women’s National team. The Irish U19 team features a member of the Junior Brakettes, infielder Maura Keary of Fairfield. As a freshman at Trinity College this year, Keary hit .337 and drove in 18 runs. She was a two-time All-SCC pick from Lauralton Hall.

The Irish U19 team has qualified for the 16-team World Championships in August in Irvine, CA. They are in Group C with Puerto Rico, China and Brazil. They gained one of the 16 berths by finishing runner-up in last year’s European Championship. The Women’s National Team finished sixth in the European tournament to gain a berth in this year’s European Olympic qualifier in the Netherlands. That champion advances to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.