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Brakettes Win Two in WMS Pool Play

Aug 11 - The Stratford Brakettes opened play in the Women's Major Softball National Championship on Thursday night, topping Strikes and Strikes (Pennsylvania), 7-3, and the Jersey Fusion, 6-0, to secure the top spot in Pool C.

Brandice Balschmiter struck out five batters along the way, while carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning. She improved to 14-1 on the season with the victory.

Stripes and Strikes starter Katie Beriont and Balschmiter traded scoreless innings for the first three frames, before the Brakettes broke the stalemate in the home fourth.

Val Suto led off the stanza with a walk and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Britt Lampert. She advanced to third on a groundout by Denise Denis. With one out, Jolie Duffner drove a single to left to bring home Suto, giving Stratford a 1-0 edge.

The Brakettes broke it open in the fifth, posting five runs, while sending ten batters to the plate.

Casey Harding started the big inning by crushing a homer over the fence in left-center, stretching the lead to 2-0. Beriont retired the next two batters, before the Brakettes started a two-out rally.

Megan Hodgdon drew a walk and reached second on a passed ball, and an infield single by Suto put runners at the corners. Suto stole second and drew a throw, which kicked away from the shortstop, letting Hodgdon score the Brakettes' third run. Lampert drilled a base hit to right to score Suto, bringing the margin to 4-0.

With Lampert at first, Denis launched a two-run shot to center, extending the lead to 6-0. The blast was her team-leading sixth homer of the year.

Harding helped build another run in the sixth, when she led off with a double down the line in left. Amber Radomski pinch-hit for Tatum Buckley and delivered a single down the line in left, sending Harding home for a 7-0 advantage.

Balschmiter took a no-hitter into the seventh, but Stripes and Strikes would not go down easily.

Marissa Trivelpiece led off the top of the seventh with a walk and went to second on a wild pitch. Her sister, Megan Trivelpiece, followed and earned another base on balls to put two on. Gabby Ziller came through with a single to left to score Marissa Trivelpiece, putting Stripes and Strikes on the board.

After a wild pitch moved both runners up a bag, two more wild offerings led to two more runs, bringing Stripes and Strikes to within 7-3. Tiana Treon and Olivia Golay also singled with two outs, but Balcshmiter struck out three in a row to retire the side and secure the win.

Tatum Buckley (3-0) started for the Brakettes in the nightcap against the Jersey Fusion and dominated en route to the victory. She struck out 12 batters and scattered three hits in the game.

Neither team could muster a score in the first two innings, but the Brakettes cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the third.

Noel Lent led off singled, and sprinted to second after the play was seemingly over, as second base was left unguarded. Lampert came up with two outs and singled up the middle, plating Lent for a 1-0 lead.

The Brakettes broke it open in the fourth with four runs, with Duffner leading off with a double to left-center. Lauren Pitney followed with a walk to put two on for Stratford.

With one out, Gabby Laccona doubled to the fence in right-center, bringing home two runs for a 3-0 score. Radomski grounded out and moved Laccona to third, before a single to center by Lent sent Laccona home for the Brakettes' fourth run. Hodgdon singled to send Lent to third, and moved up to second on the throw.

Suto then grounded back to the circle and reached on a two-out error, which plated Lent for a 5-0 lead.

Denis reached on an infield single to start the fifth and scored when Pitney crushed a double to the corner in left, closing out the scoring at 6-0.

With the two pool play wins, the Brakettes earned the top spot in Pool C. They will play at 7:00 Friday night against the winner of a Friday morning play-in game between the third-place teams in pools A and B.

All 2017 WMS games at DeLuca Hall of Fame Field are being live video webcast at brakettes.com.

WMS Tournament, Pool Play
8:45 PM Thursday, Aug 10th
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
FUSION 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3
BRAKETTES 0 0 1 4 1 0 x 6 10 0
Batteries: Fusion- Kelsey Dominik (L) and Sara DeMeglio; Brakettes- Tatum Buckley (W, 3-0) and Megan Hodgdon

WMS Tournament, Pool Play
6:30 PM Thursday, Aug 10th
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
STRIKES & STRIPES  0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 3 1
BRAKETTES 0 0 0 1 5 1 x 7 9 0
Batteries: Strikes & Stripes- Katie Beriont (L) and Gabby Ziller; Brakettes- Brandice Balschmiter (W, 14-1) and Megan Hodgdon
Homerun: Brakettes- Casey Harding (3), Denise Denis (6)