Good lifts Stratford Brakettes to national title

Megan Good was better than advertised.

The James Madison University sophomore All-America joined the Stratford Brakettes midway through the 2016 season. She came in with some lofty credentials after leading the Dukes to the NCAA Super Regionals.

Good provided a much-needed lift to the Brakettes after they were forced into the 'if necessary' game Sunday in the 8th annual Women's Major Softball National Championship tournament at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field.

Good pitched a five-hitter and she drove in the game's only run as the Brakettes won their seventh straight WMS crown with a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Saints.

"She was outstanding," said Brakettes’ manager John Stratton.

Madie Norman stopped the Brakettes on three hits as the Saints won the first game, 1-0. Brandice Balschmiter (12-1) suffered the loss as she allowed nine hits and was constantly pitching out of trouble. Alex Holland's fielder's choice accounted for the run in the top of the sixth inning.

In the final, Sarah Bencivenga scored the lone run in the bottom of the second inning. She led off with a single and then scored all the way from first base when Good doubled to right center. Good protected the advantage and pitched out of a seventh-inning threat to preserve the Brakettes title.

The Brakettes finished the season with a 52-3 record, while the Saints concluded at 27-13. It was third time this season that the Brakettes had beaten the Saints in tournament championship games.

In the top of the seventh, Norman led with a single and Sammy Bunch came in as the courtesy runner. Sarah Finck's sacrifice bunt advanced Bunch into scoring position. Ashley Nikolau blooped a single to center and Bunch, after hesitating, tried to go to third.

Center fielder Val Suto fired a strike to Jordan Whitley for the tagout. Good retired Olivia Denslow on a grounder to Patti Sciglimpaglia to secure the win.

Suto, who captured the Diane Schumacher Batting Award, was the only player with two hits in the finals.

Good finished the season with a 9-0 record and didn't allow an earned run.

In Sunday's earlier games, the Saints edged the third-place Dutchess Debs 2-1, the Debs ousted the NYC Havoc, 3-2, and the Debs eliminated the Connecticut Seahawks, 7-2.

Good received both the Joan Joyce Outstanding Pitcher and Micki Stratton MVP Award.

Denise Denis won the Pat Dufficy Home Run Award.

The Allyson Rioux Defensive Award was garnered by the Dutchess Debs' shortstop Emily McDonough.

The tournament championship was the 22nd for the Brakettes since the 2010 season.