Welcome to the 4th Annual
WMS Championship Tournament
While the Town of Stratford, CT, has been referred to as the Softball Capital of the World because of the numerous softball teams who have made their mark on the national scene, none of them are as noteworthy as the Stratford Brakettes.
This is the 66th season of competition for the Brakettes and the 25th at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field. During their history the Brakettes have dominated the national scene. They have won 30 national championships, three ISF World Championships, and countless other tournaments and events while playing in over 25 countries.
The idea for the WMS tournament evolved in the fall of 2008 when the Brakettes management decided it was time for a change. They opted out of the long-standing Amateur Softball Association tournament to start what they hoped would become a season-ending tournament reminiscent of those staged during the heyday of women's fastpitch softball. It was their desire to run a national tournament the way it always has been run in this town, one that the players, teams, and fans would remember as being softball friendly.
That goal was realized with the inaugural Women's Major Softball National Championship tournament in 2009 that was played at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field and the Short Beach Recreation Complex with 10 teams participating. In 2010 the event had to be moved to the Frank Biondi Softball Complex in West Haven, CT, but it successfully returned in 2011 with an 11-team field in Stratford.
The strongest field thus far has been assembled for this year's WMS tournament, which will be played August 9-12 at DeLuca Field and Short Beach.
There is no better place to stage this tournament, said General Manager Bob Baird, who has been affiliated with the ballclub for 45 years, twenty of those as the beat sports writer for the former Bridgeport Post-Telegram. The tournament was the brainchild of team manager John Stratton and Baird. It was our goal to do more for the teams, something that had been missing at ASA tournaments in recent years, said Stratton.
Headlining this year's field is the defending two-time champion Brakettes, who defeated the St. Louis Saints 9-0 in last year's championship game to cap a 63-0 season, the second perfect record in their history. The Brakettes also beat the Saints 4-1 in the 2010 finals, while the New York City Havoc won the inaugural event in 2009.
The Saints and Havoc are back for the fourth year along with the Stratford Seahawks, Lyons, PA, Spirit, and New York Raiders. Other participants include the CT Eliminators 23U, CT Eliminators Women, CT Mirage, CT Charmers, and Jersey Fusion.
Pool play will be the order of the day Thursday, August 9 with Opening Cermonies at DeLuca at 5:45 p.m. Following the parade of teams onto the field, the VFW Post 9460 will present the colors and the Coastal Cordsmen will sing the National Anthem. Mayor John A. Harkins will welcome the crowd and, along with Glenn Zulkie, owner of McCoy's Pub and sponsor of the Team Social at 5 p.m., will throw out the traditional first pitches. Winner's bracket games are set for Friday at DeLuca Field with no team eliminated before Saturday. The finals are set for DeLuca Sunday at 1:15 p.m.
Tournament headquarters is the Comfort Suites, located one mile from DeLuca Field, while McCoy's Pub is located at 2399 Main Street, a right hand turn out of the DeLuca Field parking lot and two miles up the road on the left.