Brandice Balschmiter led the Stratford Brakettes to the Lyons (PA) Ballfield Fourth of July Tournament title on Sunday with an 8-3 win over the Lyons Spirit. She won her 100th game as a Brakette in the clincher on the same field as her first victory over six years ago.
The Brakettes defeated the New Jersey Renegades 11-0 in the quarterfinals, as Balschmiter picked up her first win of the day. She struck out 13 and limited the Renegades to two hits.
Becca Carden gave the Brakettes a 1-0 edge in the second on a sac fly that scored Stephanie Call.
Denise Denis, Kate Bowen and Jess Mouse each had two-run singles, while Amber Radomski added a run-scoring triple.
Mouse and Denis each had a pair of hits in the game.
The Jersey Fusion provided the Brakettes their greatest test of the weekend in the semifinals, but Rachele Fico held strong for a 5-0 decision.
Waters singled in the third with two away and scored the game's first run on a sac fly in foul territory by Denis.
The Brakettes were mostly held in check by Fusion pitchers, breaking open a close game in the sixth.
Fusion starter Briana Pichalski gave up just four singles and one run in 4 and 2/3 innings. Tiffany Irrera was brought in with two on and two out in the fifth, striking out Call to keep the Brakettes from extending the lead.
Bowen gave Fico some insurance in the sixth with a two-run triple, scoring Fishback and Mouse.
Denis singled in the seventh and scored on a triple by Call to push the lead to 4-0. Call came home with the fifth run on a sac fly by Carden.
Fico fanned eight batters in the victory, while scattering four hits.
Both Waters and Fishback contributed two hits in the contest.
The 5-0 victory over the Fusion advanced the Brakettes to the Championship Game, where they matched up with a familiar foe.
The Spirit also moved into the final in undefeated fashion, having won three pool play contests on Saturday and a pair of single-elimination games on Sunday.
Balschmiter got the call for the final and again proved her durability. She was touched up for three runs late in the 8-3 win, but still made Brakette history in the process. She struck out six and gave up five hits.
Her first win was a 6-1 decision on July 9th, 2006 against the Topton VIP’s.
Alisa Heronema had four hits in the game, including a first-inning leadoff homer. The inside-the-park shot was her second in as many days.
Call later singled and scored on a triple by Fishback to put Stratford up after one inning, 2-0.
Heronema drove in Mouse with a single in the second for a 3-0 lead, then scored on a base hit by Denis.
Call crushed a triple to start the fifth, one-hopping the ball to the fence in left field. Fishback brought her home with a single for a 5-0 margin.
Heronema drove in two more with another single, scoring Fishback and Mouse to stretch the lead to 7-0.
After Lyons scored two in the top of the sixth, Carden gave the Brakettes another run in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single to score Denis.
The Spirit scored once more in the seventh to close out the scoring at 8-3.
The Brakettes return to action tonight (Thursday, July 5) against the CT Eliminators with a 7 p.m. doubleheader at DeLuca Field. Both games will be live video webcast at brakettes.com.