Stratford Connecticut's Women's Major Fastpitch















Sunday Afternoon
Brakettes Record Dual Defeats of Debs

June 27 - The Stratford Brakettes closed out a weekend sweep of the Dutchess (NY) Debs on Sunday afternoon, taking 3-1 and 4-0 victories over their Empire State rivals.

Patti Sciglimpaglia went the distance in the early game, earning her sixth win of the season in a game that started at 12 noon. She struck out two and scattered six hits to pick up the decision.

Abby Canning had a strong start for the Debs, giving up just five hits in the loss.

The Brakettes jumped ahead in the second inning, as Tatum Buckley continued her 2016 power surge. Buckley led off with a solo shot to right-center, her fourth homer of the year, to give Stratford the 1-0 edge. Mandie Fishback kept the momentum going when she reached on a fielder's choice, and moved to second when Hannah Cooper reached on an error. Mary Sciglimpaglia walked to load the bases, and a walk by Val Suto pushed Fishback home with the team's second run.

Jackie Macak opened the top of the third with a home run, closing the gap to 2-1. With one out, Amber Mianti beat out an infield single, but the Brakettes slammed the door on the inning with a 4-6-3 double play. It was the first of three double plays turned by Stratford in the game.

Buckley gave Sciglimpaglia some breathing room in the home sixth, when she led off with another home run, her team-leading fifth of the season. The blast stretched the lead to 3-1 and closed out the scoring in the contest.

Brandice Balschmiter threw a complete-game shutout in the late game, striking out seven to improve to 7-0 in 2016. She only gave up three singles and a lone walk in the performance. Balschmiter was involved in a pitcher's duel with Dutchess starter Carly Bilchak, as neither hurler gave up a run over the first three frames.

Denise Denis broke up Bilchak's no-hit bid with two outs in the fourth, when she singled to right, just inside the first base bag. Emily Lochten followed and clobbered her second home run of the season, giving Stratford a 2-0 edge.

Cooper walked in the sixth and moved up one base apiece on sacrifices by Danni Kemp and Val Suto. With two outs, an infield single by Britt Lampert allowed Cooper to head home for a 3-0 advantage. Denis delivered a double to right to score Lampert, bringing the scoring to a close with a 4-0 lead.

Balschmiter retired 12 of the last 13 batters in the matchup, including the last five batters she faced.

The Brakettes will return to action Thursday night, June 30th, at 7:00 at DeLuca Hall of Fame Field with a doubleheader against the New York Swag. All 2016 Brakettes games are live video webcast at

Sunday Afternoon, June 26th
vs. Dutchess (NY) Debs
First Game, 12 Noon   Second Game
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
DUTCHESS DEBS 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 2
BRAKETTES 0 2 0 0 0 1 x 3 5 0
Batteries: Debs- Abby Canning (L) and Jackie Macak; Brakettes- Patti Sciglimpaglia (W, 6-0) and Mary Sciglimpaglia
Homerun: Debs- Jackie Macak; Brakettes- Tatum Buckley 2 (5)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
DUTCHESS DEBS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
BRAKETTES 0 0 0 2 0 2 x 4 4 1
Batteries: Debs- Carly Bilchak (L) and Jackie Macak; Brakettes- Brandice Balschmiter (W, 7-0) and Hannah Cooper
Homerun: Brakettes- Emily Lochten (2)

Saturday Night
Stratford Sweeps Doubleheader from Debs

June 26 - The Brakettes took a pair of victories Saturday night from the Dutchess (NY) Debs at DeLuca Field in Stratford, 5-2 and 11-3.

Patti Sciglimpaglia (5-0) earned the victory, throwing four perfect innings before surrendering two runs in the fifth. Brandice Balschmiter came on in relief in the sixth, after a leadoff single by Jordan Ballantyne. She struck out four and walked one in two scoreless innings, picking up the save.

Stratford got on the board in the home second, when Sarah Bencivenga led off with a double to right-center. Tatum Buckley came up next and launched a towering blast to left, her third home run of the season, for a 2-0 edge.

Emily Lochten smashed her first homer of the year in her season debut, leading off the fourth with the solo shot for a 3-0 margin.

Carly Bilchak and Leanna Feerick contributed back-to-back singles with one out in the fifth for Dutchess, and both scored on a double by Jackie Macak to pull the Debs within 3-2.

After the Debs closed the gap, the Brakettes tacked on an insurance run in each of the next two frames for some more breathing room.

Mary Sciglimpaglia singled up the middle with one out in the fifth and moved up on a bunt single by Val Suto. Britt Lampert walked and Denise Denis lifted a sac fly to score Sciglimplaglia for a 4-2 advantage.

Buckley helped to manufacture another score in the sixth, after she led off with a single to left. Jordan Whitley followed with a base hit to the left side to put two on. Buckley tagged up on a pop up to shallow right, caught by the second baseman. Her heads-up baserunning moved her to third, and a sac fly to left by Hannah Cooper sent Buckley home for a 5-2 lead.

Balschmiter slammed the door on the Debs' hopes in the top of the seventh, striking out the last two batters she faced to secure the win.

The Brakettes jumped ahead in game two as well, with Suto leading off with a single. She had three hits in the nightcap and five on the night. Suto stole second and went to third on a groundout, before Lochten was hit by a pitch. Lochten stole second to put two in scoring position, and Buckley delivered again with a two-run single up the middle. The 2-0 lead held until the third, when Dutchess scored twice to tie it up.

Buckley went the distance for the win, improving to 5-1 on the season.

Cat Clifford started the scoring for the Debs with a solo shot to right, closing the gap at 2-1. Alyssa O'Neill singled with one out and moved up on a groundout, then scored the equalizer on a single to right by Andrea Schoonmaker.

Stratford quickly responded with four in the bottom of the third, as the action again started with Suto.

Suto led off with a bunt single and went to second on a sacrifice by Lampert. Denis reached on a base hit, which scored Suto to reclaim the lead. Denis swiped second and went home when a single to center by Lochten was mishandled, stretching the margin to 4-2.

Lochten stole both second and third, while Buckley walked. Lochten cruised home when Buckley took off for second and drew a throw as she got caught in a rundown. The tally pushed the score to 5-2, as Buckley snuck safely into second base. She advanced to third on a ground ball and scored on an error, giving the Brakettes a 6-2 lead.

The Brakettes scored five more in the home fourth, as Mary Sciglimpaglia walked and her twin sister Patti singled. Suto beat out an infield single to load the bases, and an infield single by Lampert pushed home another run. Denis followed with a three-run triple into the corner in right, emptying the bases for a 10-2 score. Denis came home on a groundout by Mandie Fishback, ending the inning with an 11-2 cushion.

The Debs refused to go down easily, as Clifford led off with a double to right. She got to third on a bunt single by O'Neill and scored on an error with two outs to narrow the margin to 11-3. Buckley retired the last batter to close out the contest, as the Brakettes moved to 18-1 for the 2016 campaign.

The Brakettes and Dutchess Debs return to action on Sunday at 12 noon at DeLuca Hall of Fame Field in Stratford, CT. Both games will be live video webcast at

Saturday night, June 25th
vs. Dutchess (NY) Debs
First Game, 7PM   Second Game
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
DUTCHESS DEBS 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 4 1
BRAKETTES 0 2 0 1 1 1 x 5 10 0
Batteries: Debs- Carly Bilchak (L) and Jackie Macak; Brakettes- Patti Sciglimpaglia (W, 5-0), Brandice Balschmiter (6, S) and Hannah Cooper
Homerun: Brakettes- Tatum Buckley (3), Emily Lochten (1)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
DUTCHESS DEBS 0 0 2 0 1 3 6 3
BRAKETTES 2 0 4 5 x 11 12 1
Batteries: Debs- Abby Canning (L) and Jackie Macak; Brakettes- Tatum Buckley (W, 5-1) and Mary Sciglimpaglia
Homerun: Debs- Cat Clifford

Friday Night
Brakettes Tested by Team CT in 5-2 and 4-2 Wins

June 25 - by Ilan Woll - After dominant run-rule wins against the CT Seahawks on Thursday, the Brakettes faced a very determined Team CT, which had played competitively in the WMS last year, narrowly losing to the St. Louis Saints to be eliminated with a 2-2 record. A combination of defensive miscues and excellent pitching saw Team CT give Stratford a very strong challenge.

Game 1 had Brandice Balschmiter facing former Laurelton Hall standout and Ithaca College pitcher Haley Congdon. After Brandice struck out the side in the first inning, Val Suto walked to lead off the bottom of the first, stealing second. Sarah Bencivenga then hit a hard single into rightfield, scoring Suto for the early lead.

Team CT tied things up in the second as Gabby Lacona reached on an infield hit, stole second and then scored on a fielding error. However, in the 3rd, the home team added two runs as Suto blooped a single to left, followed by a Britt Lampert bunt single. Denise Denis then also laid down a bunt, and was hit on the attempted throw to first, which scored Suto. A Bencivenga sacrifice fly to right scored the 3rd run of the game for Stratford.

After stranding five runners between the 4th and 5th innings, the sixth saw both teams bring in runs. For Team CT, Britt Romero reached on an error. Gabby Lacona laid down a sacrifice to advance the runner to 2nd, and an attempt to further advance saw a poor throw score Romero to bring Team CT within one. The Brakettes however, added two insurance runs where Danni Kemp singled, and was sacrificed to 2nd by Patti Sciglimpaglia. Suto had a bunt single to put runners at the corners. A ground ball by Lampert and an infield hit from Denise Denis provided the final two runs to cement the 5-2 win.

Defense was a problem for both teams with a combined 6 errors. Balschmiter allowed 2 unearned runs, on only two hits and two walks, while striking out 14. Val Suto had two hits and three runs. Denise Denis also had a two hit game. She and Sarah Bencivenga produced two RBIs each. Adriana Gambino was a defensive standout, with several terrific plays in leftfield for Team CT.

Game 2 saw the Brakettes throw Tatum Buckley against Stamford High School's Sarah Staley.

The Brakettes scored in the second inning as Tatum Buckley helped her own cause with a hard ground ball directly over third base and into left field for a stand up double. A strong single by Hannah Cooper up the middle scored her for the early lead.

Team CT tied the game in the third as 2015 all tournament team member Kaira Ramon singled to center. Ashley Gambino then had an infield hit to put runners at the corners. Britt Romero then slammed a double to the fence, scoring Ramon to tie the game. In the bottom of the frame, the Brakettes retook the lead as Patti Sciglimpaglia singled to right, and advanced on a slap single from Val Suto. Lampert blooped a single to center, loading the bases. A wild pitch then scored Sciglimpaglia for the lead. It seemed Denise Denis might expand the lead with a hard line drive to center, but Katie Schmidt charged hard to make the play and double Lampert off of second to stop the rally.

Both teams also challenged in the 5th. Ramon doubled to left, reached third on an error, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Romero to centerfield. The Brakettes top of the order excelled again, as Suto singled on an infield bunt, and stole second before a shot to the fence by Lampert regained the home team's lead.

With the Brakettes up by one in the 6th, Tatum Buckley gained her own insurance run, tripling down the line in rightfield (photo), and scoring on a soft grounder from Hannah Cooper. She then survived a defensive miscue and a drive to the fence, caught by Lampert, to survive the seventh for a 4-2 win.

Buckley struck out 9 in the win. For Team CT, Kaira Ramon and Ashley Gambino each had two hits and Katie Schmidt made some excellent plays in centerfield. For the Brakettes, Tatum had a double and triple offensvely. Val Suto and Britt Lampert also had two-hit games.

The Brakettes have two more double headers this weekend, playing the Dutchess Debs at 7pm on Saturday and noon on Sunday at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field. All games will be broadcast on

Friday night, June 24th
vs. Team Connecticut
First Game, 7PM   Second Game
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
TEAM CT 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 2 2
BRAKETTES 1 0 2 0 0 2 x 5 9 4
Batteries: Team CT- Haley Congdon (L) and Jordan Benzaken ; Brakettes- Brandice Balschmiter (W, 6-0) and Hannah Cooper
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
TEAM CT 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 7 0
BRAKETTES 0 1 1 0 1 1 x 4 8 2
Batteries: Team CT- Sara Staley (L) and Jordan Benzaken; Brakettes- Tatum Buckley (W, 4-1) and Mary Sciglimpaglia

Thursday Night
Brakettes Blast CT Seahawks with Big First Innings

June 24 - The Stratford Brakettes swept two from the CT Seahawks on Thursday night at DeLuca Hall of Fame Field, racing out to big leads in the 8-0 and 12-0 victories. The hometown favorites scored a combined 14 runs in the first inning of both games, ending both contests early due to the mercy rule.

Patti Sciglimpaglia threw a one-hitter in the first game, striking out two and walking one to improve to 4-0 on the season.

Britt Lampert reached on a one-out walk in the home first and scored on a double by Denise Denis, who then moved to third on a groundout. Tatum Buckley walked and took second uncontested, and Jordan Whitley singled to bring home Denis and Buckley for a 3-0 edge. Whitley went to second on the throw and later advanced to third on a wild pitch. Amber Radomski capped the inning with a single to left to plate Whitley for a 4-0 lead.

After Seahawk starter Olivia Vadas kept the Brakettes off the board in the second, Stratford tacked on two more in the third.

Denis led off and singled up the middle and was pushed to second when Sarah Bencivenga reached on a walk. Buckley grounded into a fielder's choice, which saw Denis forced out at third. Whitley followed with a triple, scoring Bencivenga and Buckley for a 6-0 advantage.

Kara Zazzaro broke up Sciglimpaglia's no-hit bid in the fourth inning, reaching after Erica Pullen drew a base on balls. Sciglimpaglia retired the next three straight to end the Seahawk's best chance at a rally, securing the 6-0 margin.

The Brakettes manufactured two more in the bottom of the fourth, after Patti Sciglimpaglia led off with a single up the middle. Val Suto beat out a bunt single, before Lampert grounded into a fielder's choice. Denis walked to load the bases, and Suto scored when the throw home on a Bencivenga grounder sailed high. Buckley also reached on a fielder's choice that induced a forceout of Lampert at home, but the subsequent throw to first was off and sent Denis home for an 8-0 lead.

Patti Sciglimpaglia retired the side in order in the fifth to secure the run rule victory, ending the game in four and a half innings.

Stratford plated 10 runs on eight hits in the first inning of the late game, sending 14 batters to the plate in the stanza. Lampert had a single and a double in the inning, scoring one run and driving in another. Hannah Cooper also provided a run-scoring double in the frame and later scored. Denis singled, scored (photo), and drove in two runs, as the Brakettes enjoyed their biggest inning of the 2016 campaign.

Buckley struck out five in the three-inning decision, improving to 3-1 with the win. She allowed just two walks along the way.

Lampert drove in another in the third inning on a groundout, and a bases-loaded walk by Bencivenga scored Patti Sciglimpaglia for the game-ending score.

The Brakettes return to action Friday night at DeLuca hall of Fame Field against Team Connecticut. The 7:00 doubleheader will be live video webcast at

Thursday night, June 23rd
vs. CT Seahawks
First Game, 7PM - FINAL   Second Game - FINAL
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
CT SEAHAWKS 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
BRAKETTES 4 0 2 2 x 8 7 1
Batteries: Seahawks- Olivia Vadas (L), Kara Zazzaro (3) and Erica Pullen; Brakettes- Patti Sciglimpaglia (W, 4-0) and Mary Sciglimpaglia
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
CT SEAHAWKS 0 0 0 0 0 3
BRAKETTES 10 0 2 12 11 0
Batteries: Seahawks- Samantha Schiebe (L), Kara Zazzaro (3) and Erica Pullen; Brakettes- Tatum Buckley (W, 3-1) and Hannah Cooper


STRATFORD, June 22 - The Stratford Brakettes will be out to begin a new win streak Thursday when they host the Connecticut Seahawks 18U club in a 7 p.m. doubleheader at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field. Coming off a 1-0 loss to the Rock Gold last Saturday, Manager John Stratton will send Tatum Buckley and Patti Sciglimpaglia to the circle against the Seahawks.

Thursday marks the start of a busy weekend for the 12-1 Brakettes who host Team Connecticut Friday at 7 p.m. and the Dutchess, NY, Debs Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at noon in twin-bills at DeLuca Field.

Buckley (2-1) suffered her first pitching defeat in three years, despite tossing a three-hitter with seven strikeouts. An unearned run by Rock Gold in the top of the first inning accounted for the game's lone run. Buckley has a 0.56 ERA with 32 strikeouts and only two walks in 25 innings. Patti Sciglimpaglia is 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA to date. She is also third on the team with a .467 batting average (7-for-15) and two home runs.

Buckley (.444) shares the home run lead and paces the Brakettes with 16 RBI and 17 runs scored. Summer Damiano (.545) and Mandie Fishback (.500) lead the club, which sports a team batting average of .380.

Stratton will get a boost this weekend when Emily Lochten of Florida Atlantic makes her season debut. Emily hit .354 with 39 RBI and seven home runs last season.

All-time home run leader Denise Denis is second in RBI with 15 and newcomer Hannah Cooper (.452) is next with 14. Speedy center fielder Val Suto leads the club with 19 hits.

Manager Paul Crisci's talented Seahawk team features many former and current area scholastic standouts, including Masuk's Meagan McFarland, Alexa Bacoulis, Erica Pullen, and Samantha Schiebe. Newtown's Shannon Cheh, Julia Neufeld of New Canaan, Olivia Vadas of Fairfield Warde, Shelton's Kayla Resto, Barlow's Taylor Macchia, Central's Maliah Pabellon, and Amanda Mendillo of Foran complete the local contingent. Southington pitcher Kara Zazaro and Cheshire standout Mia Juodaitis and Genevieve Speer of Hopkins are also on the roster.

The Brakettes will be selling tickets all weekend for the Battle of the Sexes III against the Bridgeport Bluefish on July 24 at 7:05 p.m. at the Ball Park at Harbor Yard. Luxury box seats are $20 and include a free Brakettes season program and refreshments. Reserved tickets are $8.00. Fans may also reserve tickets by calling the Brakettes office at (203) 378-7262.

When you talk about softball dynasties,
there's only one name that comes to mind...
the BRAKETTES!     more ...

1981 Brakettes on 60 Minutes
from Stratford Brakettes on Vimeo.

7PM Thursday, June 30th
vs. New York Swag (2)
JULY 8-10, 2016
Video Archive on
Brakettes Featured