Brakettes begin nine game weekend

The Stratford Brakettes enter their final home stand tonight with a 7 p.m. doubleheader against the Connecticut Eliminators 23U team at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field.

It is the start of an ambitious nine-game weekend, culminating Sunday night with a nine-inning exhibition game at New Britain Stadium against the New Britain Bees Atlantic League baseball team in the Battle of the Sexes VI. Tickets are sale at DeLuca Field all weekend for that event.

Friday night the Brakettes (35-1) will face the talented Polar Crush of Worcester, MA, in a 7 p.m. twin-bill before they host the six-team Micki Stratton Round Robin Saturday and Sunday. Nine games, beginning at 8 a.m., are on tap Saturday with three Sunday morning.

The event will honor the late Micki Stratton, the first Brakette inducted into the National ASA Hall of Fame and the wife of 56 years of Manager John Stratton.

The Junior Brakettes (17-9-1), the 23U Eliminators, the 18+ Eliminators, Ridgefield Rebels, and Polar Crush all will play four games. There is only one admission Saturday, good for all nine games.

There aren't many teams who can claim they've beaten the Brakettes more than once. The Eliminators did it twice last year, including one by Bethany's Morgan Perry, a second team NCAA Division II All-America pitcher at St. Anselm College. Perry, the Northeast-10 Conference MVP, was 26-6 this spring with 226 strikeouts and a 1.49 ERA for the 41-10 Hawks.

Stratton has Shelton’s Kaysee Talcik (12-0, 1.51 ERA), Ali DuBois (9-0, 0.28) and Abby Abramson (5-0,0.97) available for Thursday. Seymour’s Raeanne Geffert (3-1,0.28) and Julia Handfield (6-0,1.80) bolster the mound corps Friday night when the Brakettes will recognize 15-year standout Denise Denis who is retiring at the season's end.

Ansonia's Lauren Pitney (.532, 20 RBIs), Jolie Duffner (.515, 41 RBIs), and Alex Heinen (.485, 46 RBIs) continue to lead the club in most offensive categories. UConn standout Briana Marcelino has played in only 11 games, but she has been an extremely tough out, going 20-for-34 for a .667 average. She has five doubles and six home runs. She is tied with Pitney and Denis for second place with six home runs. Heinen leads with nine.

Coach Mary Sciglimpaglia's Junior Brakettes will rely on the pitching of North Branford's Sydney Senerchia (4-1,2.36 ERA), Waterbury's Sarah Lawton (2-2) and New Canaan's Gillian Kane (2-3) this weekend.

Southbury's Kaitlin Flood (.435) leads the club in hitting. Seymour's Rebecca Johnson (.435), Thomaston's Alexa Milius (.361), Monroe's Gretchen Bunovsky (.341), Milford's Emma Larke (293) and Hamden's Kiana Robinson (.283) are the other top hitters.

BRAKETTES BRIEFS - The Brakettes and Junior Brakettes will both be in action on Tuesday, July 30, against the Rebels and Eliminators 18+ teams prior to the 11th annual Women's Major Softball National Championship Aug. 1-4 at DeLuca and Short Beach Fields. That twin-bill has been dubbed "Stratford Appreciation Night" with all town residents admitted free of charge by showing their driver's license.