1958 RAYBESTOS BRAKETTES

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L-R, top row- Bertha Ragan, Barbara “Rusty” Abernethy, Joan Wallace, Joan Joyce, Sara Lou Beebe
middle row- Coach Al Martin, Frances Spellman, Beverly Mulonet, Micki Macchietto, Marie “Jo-Jo” Ottaviano, Louise “Skippi” Schippani, Manager Vin Cullen
bottom row- Brenda Reilly, Edna Fraser, Ann DeLuca, Mary Hartman, Joan Kammeyer Kincaid

L-R, top row- Bertha Ragan, Barbara Abernethy, Joan Kammeyer Kincaid, Joan Joyce, Mary Hartman, Joan Wallace, Brenda Reilly
middle row- Coach Al Martin, Micki Macchietto, Beverly Mulonet, Frances Spellman, Marie Ottaviano, Beverly Connors, Manager Vin Cullen
bottom row- Sara Lou Beebe, Edna Fraser, Ann DeLuca, Louise Schippani

L-R, top row- Connecticut ASA Commissioner Joe Barber, Raybestos Division General Manager Bill Simpson, Coach Al Martin, Barbara “Rusty” Abernethy, Marie “Jo-Jo” Ottaviano, Joan Wallace, Joan Kammeyer Kincaid, Joan Joyce, Mary Hartman, Brenda Reilly, James Carbone and Ray Iwanicki of the tournament committee
bottom row- batboy Bill Bond, Micki Macchietto, Beverly Mulonet, Louise “Skippi” Schippani, Sara Lou Beebe, Janice Ragan, daughter of Bertha Ragan, Edna Fraser, Frances Spellman, Ann DeLuca, Manager Vin Cullen

The Brakettes First National Title

After having finished fifth in the 1956 National Tournament, the Brakettes finally climbed the mountain in the 1958 tournament, the first to be staged at Stratford's Raybestos Memorial Field.

The Brakettes had to do it the hard way, beating the reigning champion Rockets of Fresno, CA, twice and their future Hall of Fame pitcher Ginny Busick.

Raybestos won six games en route to its first National Championship.

Manager Vin Cullen's club entered the championship game with an unbeaten record. All that stood in their path to stardom was the Rockets.

Riding the combined no-hit pitching of Bertha Ragan and Joan Joyce, the Brakettes used Mary Hartman's dramatic inside-the-park home run in the top of the seventh inning to break a scoreless contest and win the game.

Joyce had relieved Ragan with one out in the third inning after Bertha had suffered a severe muscle sprain in her hip. She struck out eight and allowed only one base runner in 4 2/3 innings.

Hartman lined a 2-1 Busick pitch down the right field line and easily beat second baseman Terry Urrutia's relay to the plate to break the scoreless deadlock.

Ragan was named the tournament's MVP and was joined on the All-America first team by Bev Mulonet and Micki Macchietto, while Joyce, Joan Kammeyer and Marie Ottaviano were second team picks.

The Brakettes had advanced to the title match with a 2-1 win over Fresno in the winner's bracket final. After Raybestos had tied the game at 1-1 in the home sixth inning, it reached Busick for the gamer with two down in the 10th. Ragan belted a two-out triple off the fence in right center and then scored on a passed ball with Macchietto at the plate.

The Brakettes began the tournament with a 1-0, 11-inning truimph over IBEW of Lancaster, PA. Ragan was outstanding as she scattered three hits and struck out 17 batters. Ragan outdueled Dolores Siefried. Macchietto's RBI single to center plated Edna Fraser with the winning run in the 11th inning after the Brakettes had squandered a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the ninth.

Ragan's 13-strikeout effort sparked the team to a 2-0 win over the Tomboys of Atlanta, GA, in the next game with both runs crossing the plate in the top of the seventh inning. Mulonet and Kammeyer had two hits apiece off loser Sara Lewis.

In the quarterfinals against East Side Sporting Goods of Detroit, 17-year-old Joyce, a Waterbury, CT, native, made an auspicious National Tournament debut by firing a no-hitter and fanning 11. She allowed only a fifth-inning walk. Joan Wallace's two-run single in the third inning brought home both Raybestos runs.

Ragan was outstanding in a 1-0, 15-inning win over the Orange, CA, Lionettes in the semifinals. She extended her scoreless inning string to 33 with a 14-strikeout effort. Mulonet, who along with Kammeyer had two hits, drove in Fraser with the winning run in the top of the 15th inning. Two Lionettes' errors and Macchietto's sacrifice bunt pushed Fraser into scoring position.

That triumph enabled the Brakettes to reach the finals for the first time in their 12-year history. It also set in motion the start of the most successful sports dynasty in history.