STRATFORD—The 2020 USA Softball Women’s National Team will play in Stratford on Friday, June 19, as part of the “Stand Beside Her” tour to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The Red, White, and Blue play the world-renown Stratford Brakettes in a doubleheader at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field with the first game starting at 5:30 p.m. The second game begins 35 minutes after the conclusion of the first.
The gala softball event is sponsored by Stratford Softball Tournament, Inc., a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to secure and organize softball events for the Town of Stratford. In cooperation with the Town of Stratford, starting with the 1993 ASA Women’s Major Softball Tournament, SSTI has brought 13 national tournaments in seven different classifications as well as three US Olympic Team tours to Stratford.
Tickets go on sale on Jan. 13. Go to townofstratford.com/softball to order tickets online.
This will be the first National Team appearance at DeLuca Field since 2008, the last time the sport was part of the Olympic program. Softball then takes another hiatus from the Olympics until the 2028 Games in Los Angeles. Softball did not make the agenda in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2016). The Paris Games (2024) also opted to exclude the baseball/softball combination from its schedule.
USA Softball, headquartered in Oklahoma City, made the announcement recently. The softball competition takes place July 22-28.
Joining the host and 2008 Olympic champion Japan and Team USA, which captured the 2016 World Championship to qualify, are Italy (Europe/Asia Qualifying Champion), Mexico (Americas Qualifying Champion), Canada (Americas Qualifying Runner-up), and Australia (Asian/Oceanic Qualifying Champion).
“We are thrilled to be part of the ‘Stand Beside Her’ tour,” said USA Softball of Connecticut Commissioner Hank Koritkowski. “We are thankful to our hosts, the Town of Stratford and the Stratford Brakettes, who have hosted our Olympic teams in the past and are well prepared to host them in 2020.”
Robert Murdock, president of the Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau, said, “The visit of the 2020 USA WNT is a great win for Stratford and for Connecticut. Our bureau is excited to be part of the local organizing committee. We have worked with the Town of Stratford for many years and they have successfully hosted numerous USA softball tournaments. We know that under the leadership of Mayor Laura Hoydick, the Town of Stratford will assist in making this another world-class sports event.”
The Brakettes, now in their 73rd year, played a major role in the nearly two-decade push to get softball incorporated into the Olympic program.
With a career record of 3,941-406 and 37 national championships to its credit (28 ASA and the last nine Women’s Major Softball National Championships), the Brakettes have had 11 former players and four coaches take part, including the late Ralph Raymond of Worcester, MA, who piloted the team to three Gold Medals and a Silver starting in 1996.
Left-handed pitchers Cat Osterman of Houston, TX, who played with the Brakettes in 2001, 2002 and 2005, and Monica Abbott of Salinas, CA, are the only two returning members of the 2008 Olympic Team.
Managing the WNT is Ken Erikson, head coach of the University of South Florida. He was an assistant coach in 2008. Fifteen players and three alternates comprise the team.
The tour begins February 4 at South Florida in Tampa and concludes June 25 in Salem, VA. It consists of 37 playing dates in 19 states, including games against many of the top NCAA Division I programs in the country.
Following the doubleheader the Olympians will be available to sign autographs in the DeLuca Field outfield.
There are 375 seats behind home plate. One hundred fifty box seats cost $45 each and the 225 seats with backrests are $40 each. Reserved seats along the first and third baselines are $35, while outfield general admission tickets are $25.
Group tickets of 20 or more are 20 percent off the listed price for outfield seats only. You may also contact SSTI president Pat Patusky at (203) 377-3455 for additional ticket information.
The Stratford Brakettes will also have updates and the ticket order form on its website, www.brakettes.com.
For additional information contact Stratford Brakettes General Manager Bob Baird (203) 218-1066.