Brakettes set for title defense

The Stratford Brakettes begin defense of their Women’s Major Softball National Championship on Thursday.

The eight-team tournament kicks off at 1 p.m. and runs through Sunday, with games at both Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field and the Short Beach Recreation Complex.

The Brakettes get things rolling with a 1 p.m. game against the Jersey Fusion at DeLuca Field. They also play at 6:30 p.m. against the Lyons, Pa., Spirit, at DeLuca in a pair of pool play games.

Every team will play three pool games for seeding into the double-elimination bracket play that starts Friday afternoon.

Also entered in the event are the Mass Pride, the Breakers, Stratford Seahawks, CT Diamonds and CT Charmers.

There are seven sessions and tournament passes will be on sale at the gate. Box seats are $30, reserved (behind home plate) $25 and first and third bleacher seats $20. Individual session tickets are $8, $6, and $5.

Connecticut Public Television will cover all Brakettes games on the weekend, while all games in the tournament at DeLuca Field will be video webcast on the Brakettes network. Go to and click on the webcast link.

Manager John Stratton’s ballclub will take a 60-0 record into Tuesday night’s regular-season finale against the Charmers.

Stephanie Call (24-0, 0.21 ERA) and Emily Weiman (6-0, 0.21 ERA) will handle the pitching for the Brakettes in the tournament.

Call also leads the team with a .545 batting average and 81 RBIs. She is on pace to break her own single-season record of 91, set two years ago.

Third baseman Elise Fortier leads the club with 21 home runs, one more than Call. Fortier also is hitting .538 and has 77 RBIs.

Nine-year veteran Denise Denis of Stamford, the team’s starting right fielder, continues to put up impressive numbers. She is hitting .399 (59-for-148) with 60 runs scored, six doubles, three triples and 10 home runs.

All youth league players will be admitted free of charge for the entire tournament by wearing their uniform shirt.

Following pool games at 1 and 3 p.m. there will be a Team Social for players, managers, and tournament officials behind the right field fence.

The event is being sponsored by 99 Restaurant of Stratford. Also assisting in the hospitality for the players are Subway of Milford, Jerry’s Shakespeare Pizza, Lordship Pizza and McCoy’s.

The pool play schedule is as follows:

Session I

Thursday, Aug. 8

1 p.m. Brakettes-Fusion DeLuca

2:45 p.m. Seahawks-Pride DeLuca

2:45 Spirit-Diamonds Short Beach

Session II

6:30 p.m. Brakettes-Spirit Short DeLuca

6:45 p.m. Breakers-Charmers Short Beach

8 p.m. Diamonds-Fusion DeLuca

8:30 p.m. Breakers-Seahawks Short Beach

9:30 p.m. Pride-Charmers DeLuca

Friday, Aug. 9

Session III

8:30 a.m. Fusion-Spirit DeLuca

10 a.m. Seahawks-Charmers DeLuca

11:30 a.m. Brakettes-Diamonds DeLuca

1 p.m. Breakers-Pride DeLuca