Stratford Brakettes crush Eliminators, advance to title game
STRATFORD — The Stratford Brakettes advanced to the Women’s Major Softball National Championship tournament final by defeating the CT Eliminators Women 11-0 Saturday at DeLuca Field.
The game was called after four innings due to the mercy rule, positioning the Brakettes well for a chance at taking home the trophy for a third consecutive year.
Ali DuBois earned the win, pitching all four innings, recording six strikeouts and surrendering a lone infield single in the final inning to Maria Moccio.
“Ali is good. When she is sharp, she is tough,” Brakettes Manager John Stratton said. “She is going to be good at (Boston University) next year. She’s worked hard on her rise ball, we spent a lot of time working on her curveball and her drop has always been good. She’s working hard at it.”
The Brakettes bats were hot from the start as the team collected 12 hits. Rebecca Johnson (Seymour/Colgate), Briana Marcelino (Easton/UConn), Lauren Pitney (Ansonia/Manhattan) and Courtney Cashman (UMass Lowell) each had a multi-hit game.
The biggest blow came off the bat of Cashman, who clubbed a three-run home run in the fourth to put the game well out of reach.
“I am just seeing it really well, I think,” Cashman said. “I think our hitting is really strong. Everyone is working together, getting our bunts down. Everyone is producing and people are in scoring position.”
The Brakettes wasted no time getting on the board as Johnson led the game off with a single and was driven in two batters later, on a double by Marcelino.
The lead was extended to 2-0 in the second when Rebecca Findley (Seymour/Maine) singled with two outs and came around to score.
“We hit the ball good today,” Stratton said. “Sometimes you hit it and sometimes you don’t. It started off nice with a run in the first inning and then another in the second. That is a nice way to start.”
A four-run fourth gave the Brakettes some cushion with four of the first five batters in the inning reaching base and eventually scoring, in large part due to a three-run double by Abby Abramson (Cheshire/Penn).
The Brakettes put up a cooked number in the fourth inning as well, plating five runs behind Cashman’s blast.
It was the second homer of the day for Cashman, who hit one earlier Saturday in the Brakettes 9-0 win over the Junior Brakettes.
The Brakettes have swept through the tournament thus far, outscoring opposition 43-1 in five games.
Before taking the loss, the CT Eliminators Women had cruised through the tournament as well, earning the top seed in Pool B and winning its first four games.
The Eliminators will play an elimination semifinal game Sunday at 11 a.m., and the winner of that game will need to win two against the Brakettes. The championship game begins at 1 p.m.
The Brakettes have a clear path to a third championship in a row and will get two chances to do so.
“Somebody has to beat us twice tomorrow after they play through the losers bracket,” Stratton said. “You always feel good that way, but some other year we lost two in a row going back, I don’t want that to happen.”
BRAKETTES 11, ELIMINATORS 0