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Saturday Night
Suto, Younan Dominant in Brakettes Twin Shutouts of Spirit and Havoc, 5-0 and 8-0

Aug 5 - by Ilan Woll - As the Stratford faithful made the trek to their twice annual road games in Lyons, PA, a new twist was introduced as the Brakettes, Lyons Spirit, and New York City Havoc played a round-robin series. In game one, the Havoc fell to the Spirit 3-2. After this, Brandice Balschmiter took the circle against a trio of Lyons pitchers.

With one out in the top of the first, Brittany Younan singled to centerfield. Denise Denis then doubled down the line in right. A sacrifice fly by Jolie Duffner scored Younan. Lauren Pitney then lined a single over third base to bring in the second Brakettes run. In the bottom half, Elaine Bedell's base hit gave the Spirit an opportunity, but a ground ball up the middle by Liz Gall was snagged by Younan, who tagged second and threw to first for the double play.

After both teams had opportunities in the second, putting two runners on, but not scoring, Denis led off the third with a single to right, advancing on a ground ball by Duffner. Following Lauren Pitney being hit by a pitch, Casey Harding drove a pitch to left. However, a laser throw from Jessica Strong to Sarah Maulerico retired Denis to prevent a run.

Alexis Bazos started the fourth with a one out single, reaching second on a throwing error. Younan then lined a single, scoring Bazos to extend the lead to three.

After Brandice Balschmiter retired nine straight Spirit batters, Hannah Cooper led the sixth with a walk and reached second on a Bazos ground single. After a ground ball moved them along, Younan smashed a ground ball up the middle, scoring both pinch runner Megan Hodgdon and Alexis Bazos to expand the lead to its final 5-0 score.

Balschmiter (12-1) allowed just three hits, striking out five and walking three. Brit Younan had three hits, drove in three, and turned two double plays in the game. Denise Denis, Lauren Pitney, and Alexis Bazos all had multiple hits.

In the second game, Erica Molinaro from East Stroudsburg University faced off against Nicole Williams, with the Brakettes again the road team.

Val Suto started off the game with an infield hit, followed by a liner from Brit Younan. Suto then scored on a grounder from Denise Denis. Jolie Duffner walked, and a ground ball by Casey Harding went off the glove of the Havoc shortstop, scoring two. Alexis Bazos added another run with a single to score Gabby Laccona for the early four spot.

Stony Brook's Kim Ragazzo then came in for the Havoc, and worked out of trouble in the second and third innings, where Lauren Pitney and Laccona started with back to back singles, but two strikeouts kept Stratford off the board.

However, in the fourth, with one out Suto singled, but was eliminated on a force play. Denis and Duffner then walked to load the bases. Lauren Pitney smashed a single past short to score two. Gabby Laccona then drilled a ball past the right fielder, which scored an additional two runs. Those eight runs were all the Braketes needed to earn the win.

Nicole Williams (10-1) conversely allowed multiple base runners in the first, third, and fifth innings. However, in each of these, she worked her way through, allowing only one hit, striking out eight. Val Suto had three hits in the win, with Lauren Pitney, Gabby Laccona, and Alexis Bazos each adding two. The 8-0 run rule victory was the Brakettes eighth straight shutout.

The Brakettes extended their record to 33-3-1 on the season. Sunday they play another round-robin against the Havoc and Spirit starting at 10:00 a.m. ET in preparation for a Tuesday double header with the St. Louis Saints and Bloomington Lady Hearts, prior to the Women's Major Softball National Championships. All games will be available via webcast on Brakettes.com

Saturday night, August 5th at Lyons (PA) Round-Robin
First Game, 7:00 PM   Second Game
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
BRAKETTES  2 0 0 1 0 2 0 5 13 0
LYONS SPIRIT   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
Batteries: Brakettes- Brandice Balschmiter (W, 12-1) and Hannah Cooper; Spirit- Jenn Shellhammer (L), Liz Gall (3), Bekah Slattery (7) and Sarah Maulorico
 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
BRAKETTES  4 0 0 4 0 8 11 1
NYC HAVOC 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
Batteries: Brakettes- Nicole Williams (W, 10-1) and Megan Hodgdon; Havoc- Erica Molinaro (L), Kim Ragazzo (2), Nicole Guzzone (4) and Steph Barbaro