Brakettes heading into the home stretch of the summer season

STRATFORD—The Stratford Brakettes will face a trio of opponents this weekend at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field, starting Thursday at 7 p.m. with a doubleheader against the Cheshire Wildcats 18 Gold team.

Manager John Stratton’s club stands 27-1 overall and has not lost since the season opener June 1.

The Brakettes will host the Stripes and Strikes (47-6) Friday and Saturday in a pair of 7 p.m. twin-bills before playing the Concord, MA, Raiders18 Gold Sunday at 3 p.m.

In pre-game ceremonies Brakettes outfielder Gretchen Bunovsky, a recent Masuk High School graduate, will receive the Danni Kemp Memorial Scholarship Award. Presenting the award will be Danni’s parents, Cliff and Melissa Kemp, along with Cheshire High School Head Coach Kristine Drust, who also is the associate head coach of the Brakettes. The award is named in honor of the late Danni Kemp, a former Foran High and Stonybrook University softball standout, who also was a two-year member of the Stratford Brakettes.

Bunovsky was a two-year starter at Masuk, the state’s No 1 team in 2018 and 2019. She hit .444 this season and she never made an error for the Panthers, who won 53 of their last 54 games. A starting outfielder for the Junior Brakettes, she fills in for the Stratford Brakettes, as well, and will be attending Yale University in the fall.

The Stratford Brakettes are preparing to defend their national championship August 1-4 at DeLuca and Short Beach fields. They play the next two weekends before getting the final weekend of the month off.

Taking the mound Thursday will be Shelton’s Kaysee Talcik (9-0, 0.74 ERA) and Torrington’s Ali DuBois (6-0, 0.19).

In their latest outings, they turned in shutout wins over the New England Diamond Gems.

Former Joel Barlow all-stater Briana Marcelino, who is the starting shortstop at UConn, played in only three games last weekend, but was 4-for-9 with three home runs and 13 RBI. Ansonia’s Lauren Pitney (.557), Jolie Duffner (.525), Val Suto (.475), and Alex Heinen (.437) are the team’s top hitters.

First-year pitcher Julia Handfield (5-0, 0.98) of Boston University will be pitching Sunday against her former Gold teammates on the Raiders, recognized as one of the East’s top programs.

The Junior Brakettes (14-8) play at Windsor High School field Friday at 7 p.m. against the Connecticut Eliminators 18+ team in a nine-inning game. Saturday they play in Ridgefield at noon against the Ridgefield Rebels 23U, recent winners of the July 4th tournament in Lyons, PA, and on Sunday they meet Stripes and Strikes in a 10 a.m. twin-bill

Tickets for the 11th annual Women’s Major Softball National Championship will be on sale throughout the weeks. Also, tickets for the Brakettes nine-inning exhibition in New Britain Stadium against the Atlantic League’s New Britain Bees may be purchased all weekend.

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