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Brakettes Fight from Behind in 4-3 Win and 6-3 Loss in Lyons, Eliminated in Semifinals

June 11 - by Ilan Woll - After a 2-0-1 finish in Saturday's pool play, the third seeded Brakettes met the Jersey Flames in a Cornfield Classic single elimination bracket game Sunday morning on field 2 at Lyons, PA. The 9:00 a.m. start saw Brandice Balschmiter take the circle against the Flames' Katie Haley of Drexel University.

After both teams were retired in order in the first, the Flames struck in the second inning as Sam Reilly smashed a rise ball over the left field fence for a solo home run and the early lead. In the fourth, there was a similar threat erased as Brittany Younan caught a humpback liner and doubled the runner off first. However, back to back two out singles by Brielle Reign and Reilly presented a threat. A fly ball to right field ended the inning.

Stratford threatened in the third inning as Val Suto tripled with two outs, but did not score. However, in the fourth, Denise Denis walked and stole second. A ground ball by Jolie Duffner moved her to third. Casey Harding then singled, scoring Denis to tie the game. There was a further threat as Courtney Cashman singled, and Amber Radomski walked, but Katie Haley worked out of the inning with a strike out.

The Flames opened up the game in the fifth as, with one out, Cheryl Lopez and Kristen Ruggiero both hit line drive singles to the outfield, then executed a double steal. Kaitlyn Johnson drove in Lopez with a long sac fly to centerfield. Kelle Lallier then singled, bringing in Ruggiero. The Flames loaded the bases before being retired.

After stranding a runner on third in the sixth (the Brakettes left three batters on third in the game), the offense finally came together in the bottom of the seventh. Gabby Laconna doubled, and with one out, Suto reached on a fielding error, scoring Laconna. Younan and Denis drove singles to left and right field respectively to load the bases. Jolie Duffner became the hero of the game, singling into left-center (photo), scoring both runners for the dramatic 4-3 win, allowing the Brakettes to advance to the semifinals.

Brandice Balschmiter improved to 4-0 on the season, striking out four. Casey Harding had three hits, including a triple. Sam Reilly had a multiple-hit game for the Flames.

In the semifinal game, the Brakettes took on a familiar Lyons' Spirit team. Kaysee Talcik took on Danielle Thacker.

In the top of the first inning Val Suto tripled, but did not score. The Spirit however, found an early groove. Karen Bauer singled to center field, with Elaine Bedell following suit, scoring Bauer who had reached second on a wild pitch. Jessica Strong drove in Bedell with an RBI single later in the inning making it 2-0. Kaysee Talcik provided a timely end to the inning, catching a liner up the middle and turning the double play.

The Brakettes cut the lead in the third as Val Suto reached on an error, and stole second. Brittany Younan bunted her to third, and then Denise Denis drove her in with a hit to shrink the lead to one.

However, the bottom of the third saw the Spirit increase the lead as Bauer again singled, scoring on a Bedell double in the left-center field gap. With one out, Strong walked, and Danielle Kitchen singled to load the bases. Danielle Thacker and Sarah Maulorico then both reached on fielding miscues to score two more runs and build a dominant 6-1 lead.

The Brakettes chipped back in the fifth with Suto doubling into the left-field corner. Younan then drove a single through the left side of the infield for her second RBI of the game, making it 6-2.

After threatening in the sixth, there was a final Brakettes' threat in the seventh as, following a Denis double into right, Jolie Duffner also doubled to score Denis. However, two fly balls to the outfield ended the game with a 6-3 loss, and the Lyons Spirit's first win in franchise history against the Brakettes.

Kaysee Talcik fell to 2-1 for the season. Val Suto, Denise Denis, and Casey Harding each had two hits, while the Spirit's Karen Bauer and Elaine Bedell each had three hits.

The Brakettes return to action this Thursday, hosting the CT High School All Stars at 6:30 p.m. for a single 9-inning game. Friday night the Brakettes host the CT Eliminators Elite. Saturday's games at CT Mirage have been cancelled. All games will be webcast on brakettes.com.

Cornfield Classic, Lyons, PA
Single Elimination Bracket Play
10:45AM - Sunday, June 11
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
BRAKETTES  0 0 1 0 1 0 1 3 8 2
SPIRIT 2 0 4 0 0 0 x 6 9 2
Batteries: Brakettes- Kaysee Talcik (L, 2-1) and Megan Hodgdon; Spirit- Danielle Thacker (W) and Sarah Maulorico

Cornfield Classic, Lyons, PA
Single Elimination Bracket Play
9:00AM - Sunday, June 11
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
JERSEY FLAMES   0 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 8 2
BRAKETTES 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 4 9 0
Batteries: Flames- Katy Haley (L) and Sam Reilly; Brakettes- Brandice Balschmiter (W, 4-0) and Mary Sciglimpaglia
Homerun: Flames- Sam Reilly