Addition of Buckley bolsters Brakettes’ rotation

Masuk High graduate Tatum Buckley delivers a pitch for the Brakettes. — Kathy Gage photo

Tatum Buckley, of Monroe, hadn’t pitched in a game in over two months.

You never would have known that after her performance Sunday at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field as she tossed a one-hitter and struck out seven in a 9-0 Stratford Brakettes win over the Lyons, Pa., Spirit.

Brandice Balschmiter (11-1) authored a two-hit, seven strikeout effort in the Brakettes 2-0 first game victory.

The Brakettes improved their record to 31-3 and extended their winning streak to 19 games in a row. They have also recorded six consecutive shutout wins.

“Tatum looked great today,” said manager John Stratton. “She got ahead of the hitters and didn’t have any lengthy counts. It’s a good sign heading into the tournament.”

The Brakettes will be out to defend their title in the ninth annual Women’s Major Softball National Championship tournament Aug. 10-13 at DeLuca Field and the Short Beach Rec Complex.

Buckley last pitched May 10 for Florida Atlantic in their league tournament.

She made her season debut with the Brakettes last week.

Infield singles by Val Suto and Brittany Younan preceded Denise Denis’ two-run single to right for a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Courtney Cashman’s RBI double in the second made it 3-0, before a six-run third inning settled the issue.

Stamford’s Gabby Laccona and Cashman both had two hits and also drove in two runs, while Denis went 3-for-3.

The opener was scoreless entering the home sixth inning.

Laccona reached second base on an error and she scored on Amber Radomski’s RBI single.

Younan drove in Radomski with another single.

The Spirit’s Jenn Shellhammer held the Brakettes hitless through four innings and only allowed three hits as the Spirit fell to 33-12 on the year.

The Stratford Brakettes will tune up for their Women’s Major Softball National Championship title defense (Aug. 10-13) with three doubleheaders.

Providing the opposition Saturday and Sunday in Lyons (Pa.) will be the Lyons Spirit (33-13) and the New York City Havoc. The teams will play a round-robin schedule Saturday starting at 5 p.m. and Sunday beginning at 10 a.m.

Tuesday night the Brakettes will play a pre-tournament doubleheader against the St. Louis Saints (20-7) and the Bloomington Lady Hearts (27-10) at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field, starting at 6:30 p.m.

It is also Stratford Night with all Stratford residents admitted free of charge.

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