Talcik pitches Brakettes to win in WMSNC winner’s bracket game
STRATFORD — The Stratford Brakettes continued its annual Women’s Major Softball National Championship defense as the double-elimination bracket began Friday.
Fourth-seeded Team Connecticut proved to be no match for the Brakettes, who rode a late rally to an 8-1 win.
The Brakettes earned the top seed in Pool A after going 2-0 in pool play with victories over the Cheshire Wildcats 23U and the Connecticut Rogue.
The Brakettes’ Kaysee Talcik (Shelton/UMass Lowell) was dominant on the mound, earning the complete-game victory with her only blemish coming in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Lucy Puskas.
“I was just attacking every batter,” said Talcik, a four-year veteran of the Brakettes. “Holding my team in there until they figured it out offensively. It felt nice to go back to my roots and be aggressive, that was kind of the game plan there.”
Talick only gave up three hits on the night, including just one after the homer. She also struck out 13.
The first run crossed the plate in the bottom of the second when Courtney Cashman (UMass Lowell) doubled and proceeded to score on a wild pitch, giving the Brakettes a 1-0 lead.
The Brakettes pushed the lead to 2-0 in the fourth on an RBI single by Emma Larke (Shelton/Maine) driving in Rebecca Johnson (Seymour/Colgate).
Team Connecticut brought the score within one run on Puskas’ home run, but Talcik recovered to keep Team Connecticut off the scoreboard the remainder of the game.
“(Talcik) did a nice job,” Brakettes manager John Stratton said. “She is getting better every year, and I know she teaches pitching and everything so sometimes that helps. She looked good tonight.”
Team Connecticut starting pitcher Sophia Alfero was strong until the sixth inning when the Brakettes broke it open, putting up a six-spot to put the game out of reach 8-1.
“We kept popping up,” Stratton said. “I hate popups, that’s my handle, no popups is the handle on my email. We struggled with those, but once she got a little tired our girls got those low pitches and drove it.”
The win puts the Brakettes into the winners bracket where they will face off against the winner of the CT Eliminators 18+ and the Junior Brakettes on Saturday at 1:15 p.m.
“Winners bracket is a good place to be,” Stratton said. “(Alfero) pitched a hell of a game, she’s only a junior at Westport. It was a good game.”
Team Connecticut remains winless in the tournament and will look to turn it around in the losers bracket against whoever loses that same game.
“(Winning the tournament) would mean a lot for the team,” Talcik said. “Especially since this team is newer here, we lost a lot of players last year so I think it would help bring confidence into next season as well.”
The Brakettes have outscored opponents 23-1 through three games as the three-peat hopefuls appear to be in the driver’s seat early on.
The CT Eliminators and the Connecticut Rogue also advanced to the winners bracket as the Eliminators took down the Cheshire Wildcats 23U 6-3 and the Rogue held on against the Central NJ Lightning 5-4.