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Despite Challenges from Spirit and Fusion, Brakettes Victorious in Lyons 4th of July Tournament 4-2, 5-1

July 3 - by Ilan Woll - Having finished pool play 3-0, the Brakettes entered bracket play as the #1 seed and faced the Lyons Spirit, who had narrowly defeated the TC Tremors to face Stratford.  Brandice Balschmiter took the mound against Jenn Shellhammer for the Spirit.

The Brakettes seemed like they might run away with the game when, in the 2nd inning, Emily Lochten tripled to leftfield.  Tatum Buckley then lined a single to left for the first run.  With one out, Jordan Whitley singled to right, scoring Buckley.  Patti Sciglimpaglia pulled the ball through the shortstop hole. Her sister Mary then singled her in.  Val Suto then followed up with another single to give the Brakettes an early 4-0 lead.

However, the Spirit would fight back into the game in the 5th when Danielle Kitchen singled to center.  An error advanced her to third, and a single from Liz Perkins scored her.  In the sixth, new Spirit player Jessica Strong had an infield hit.  Kitchen then advanced her to third when an RBI single from Denise Henderson brought Lyons an opportunity with two on before a grounder ended the threat.  In the 7th, Elaine Bedell singled with two out, but did not score as Balschmiter overpowered the last hitter to end the game.

Brandice Balschmiter finished the game with six strikeouts and only one earned run allowed.  Val Suto had two hits, while Elaine Bedell and Danielle Kitchen each added two hits.  The Brakettes advanced to the finals with Tatum Buckley squaring off with Jamie Fessenstein.

Fessenstein did an excellent job holding the Brakettes for the first four innings.  In each frame, runners were stranded in scoring position.  Meanwhile, a triple from Stephanie Pasquale to rightfield in the 2nd and an RBI single from Kaitlyn Lloyd gave the Fusion a one run lead going into the fifth.

Amber Radomski started off the 5th with a single to leftfield.  A sac bunt by Hannah Cooper put the tying run in scoring position.  Infield hits by Val Suto and Britt Lampert loaded the bases with one out.  Denise Denis then ripped a riseball to the right-centerfield fence, hitting it on one hop.  The triple drove in all three runs, giving the Brakettes a 3-1 lead.  Denise became the 18th player in Lyons Ballfield history to one-hop the 265 foot fence.  The next batter, Emily Lochten became the 19th player to do so with her own one-hopper to the fence, for an RBI double.  Sarah Bencivenga drove her in later with a double to finish the scoring and the ultimate 5-1 victory.

Tatum Buckley allowed only four hits while striking out four and walking none.  Val Suto went 4-4, and finished 14-16 in the tournament.  Amber Radomski also contributed two hits in the game.  Kaitlyn Lloyd had two hits for the Fusion.

Coming up July 8-10 is Alumnae Weekend (Event Schedule), with the Brakettes hosting a reunion celebrating 70 years of softball excellence. Players from throughout Brakettes history will be returning to DeLuca Field.  On Friday at 7pm, there will be an all-time Home Run Derby with some of the current sluggers competing against some all time power hitters.  There will also be one Brakettes game against Team Connecticut.  Saturday will have Opening Ceremonies and the Alumnae Game, followed by a double header against the NYC Havoc.  Sunday will also have plenty of all-time greats at the field and a noon game with the Havoc.  All the activities will be broadcast on Brakettes.com

Sunday Afternoon, July 3rd
4th of July Tournament, Lyons, PA
Championship Game - 12:30 PM
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
JERSEY FUSION 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0
BRAKETTES 0 0 0 0 5 0 x 5 13 0
Batteries: Fusion- Jamie Fessenstein (L) and Michele; Brakettes- Tatum Buckley (W, 8-1) and Hannah Cooper

Sunday Morning, July 3rd
4th of July Tournament, Lyons, PA
Semi-Final - 10:45 AM
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
LYONS SPIRIT 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 7 1
BRAKETTES 0 4 0 0 0 0 x 4 9 1
Batteries: Spirit- Jen Shellhammer (L) and Sarah Maulorico; Brakettes- Brandice Balschmiter (W, 9-0) and Mary Sciglimpaglia