|2011 NEWS ARCHIVES|
Brakettes Brave Tough Test to Sweep Rock
July 16, 2011 - The Stratford Brakettes got clutch hits in big spots Friday night against the Newtown (PA) Rock, scoring the go-ahead run in the sixth inning of the early game, en route to a 3-1 victory. Stratford won the nightcap 8-0 in six innings, completing a seven-game 2011 sweep of the last team to defeat the Brakettes.
Melissa Mancuso drove in Becca Carden with a single up the middle in the home sixth, giving the Brakettes a 2-1 lead. Stratford scored an insurance run later in the inning, and Rachele Fico retired the side in order in the seventh to preserve the 3-1 win, the 95th in a row for the Brakettes.
Newtown starter Sam Greiner held the Brakettes scoreless until the fifth, when sparkplug Carly Normandin got things going for Stratford. Normandin led off and doubled, and then scampered to third on a sac bunt by Ashley Waters. Denise Denis lined a sac fly to right field to score Normandin, putting Stratford up 1-0.
Fico struck out six batters and walked none in seven innings, while giving up just a pair of hits to Jess Epler. Fico stretched her 2011 mark to 17-0.
The big shot for the Rock came in the top of the sixth inning, with the Brakettes holding a 1-0 edge.
With two outs, the left-hand hitting Epler cleared the fence in right field to tie the game at 1-1. The solo shot was the first home run of the year given up by Brakette pitchers, and erased a 1-0 lead that the Brakettes had secured in the bottom of the fifth.
The tie game was short-lived, as Carden led off the sixth with a single. She stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice by Amber Radomski, before Mancusos RBI single.
The insurance run came about after Mancuso reached second on a wild pitch. Alisa Heronema and Normandin were issued walks, bringing Waters back up with the bases loaded.
Waters delivered once again with a sac fly to plate Mancuso, giving the Brakettes some breathing room with a 3-1 lead.
Two of Ficos six strikeouts came in the seventh, as she quickly closed out the game.
Normandin and Carden each had three hits in the contest, with Normandin contributing two doubles. Carden stole two bases in the game.
Brandice Balschmiter improved to 13-0 in 2011 with her late game victory. She retired 12 batters via the strikeout and allowed just three base hits and a pair of walks.
The rest of the Brakettes bats came alive in the second game to clinch the run-rule shortened, 8-0 victory.
Radomski continued her recent hot streak with a second-inning double to the fence in left-center. Stacey Lajoie lined a single to score Radomski for a 1-0 lead, with Radomski narrowly sliding under the tag at the plate.
Waters started another rally in the third with a walk and then reached third base on a double by Denis. Stephanie Call grounded to the right side to score the speedy Waters, pushing Denis over to third. Mandie Fishback also grounded out to second, but picked up an RBI as Denis raced home for a 3-0 lead.
Normandin led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot to left-center, her ninth of the season. With one out, Denis reached on a base hit. Call was hit by a pitch, putting runners at first and second.
Fishback hit a hard grounder to the right side, which kicked away from the second baseman and allowed Denis to score for a 5-0 edge.
Balschmiter worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth, after giving up consecutive singles to Ashley Alden and Julie Wambold. After Ashley Black reached on a fielders choice, Balschmiter dug in and struck out the next two batters to retire the side.
Normandin continued her torrid ways at the plate with another opposite field home run, her 10th of 2011. The shot put Stratford up 6-0, entering the sixth.
Balschmiter gave up a sixth-inning single to Kylie McGoldrick, who then stole second base. Balschmiter struck out the next two batters before issuing a walk to Alden. Brakette catcher Heronema alertly threw to third immediately after the walk, as McGoldrick tried swiping the bag. Heronemas throw was in plenty of time to get the runner and close out the inning.
The Brakettes picked up another two runs in the sixth inning to leave the Rock on the field and finish the sweep.
Call crushed a one-out homer to right field to extend her single-season Brakette record to 19 dingers in 2011.
Fishback followed with a single and headed to second when Carden reached on an error. Radomski delivered again with an RBI single to score Fishback from second, closing out the 8-0 win.
The Brakettes improved to 39-0 on the season with the pair of victories, and will return to action Saturday night with a 7:00 doubleheader against the Shoreline (CT) Sting at DeLuca Field in Stratford.