Sisters match pitches when Brakettes take on Junior Brakettes tonight
STRATFORD - It's hard to imagine another first taking place for the Stratford Brakettes softball team, but that will be the case Friday night for the Stratford Brakettes when they face the Junior Brakettes at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field for the final time in the regular season. The doubleheader begins at 7 p.m.
Pitching in the first game for the Stratford Brakettes will be Raeanne Geffert (2-1, 0.39 ERA), while taking the mound for the Junior Brakettes will be her younger sister Jenna (5-2). It is the first time in the Brakettes 73-year history that sisters will face each other on opposing teams.
Raeanne was one of the stars of the 10th annual Women's Major Softball National tournament last year, winning the Most Valuable Pitcher award. She will be a senior at Bucknell University next fall, which figures to be a top contender for the Patriot League title. Her only loss came in the season opener by 3-1 against the Junior Brakettes, who scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the seventh inning to snap a 1-1 tie.
Jenna got a late start with the Junior Brakettes because her Seymour High School softball team reached the CIAC Class M finals. One of her losses was against the Stratford Brakettes. Nursing an injury in June, Jenna is now back at top form. She compiled a 38-3 record during her four-year Seymour career. She will take her talents to Colgate, another Patriot League team, next fall, so this match-up may not be the only time they will face each other on the diamond.
Entering the game with a 22-1 overall record, manager John Stratton's club has been on a hitting and scoring streak of late. In their last nine games the team has scored 89 runs. Leading the team in hitting is 2018 batting champ Lauren Pitney of Ansonia at .554. Among her 23 hits are one double, three triples and four home runs.
Third baseman Jolie Duffner, a senior-to-be at Florida Atlantic University, has narrowed the gap as she now sports a .538 average with a team-high 29 RBIs and eight doubles. Alex Heinen (.439, four home runs and 25 RBIs) and all-time home run leader Denise Denis (.377, 23 RBIs, five home runs) are the other leaders.
While Denis has already announced her retirement, this could be the final year for Duffner, who hopes to attend medical school in the fall, and Heinen, a Boston University grad who plans to return to San Clemente, CA.
Coach Mary Sciglimpaglia has guided the Junior Brakettes to a 14-6 record at the midway point of their season. Five of those setbacks have been to the Stratford Brakettes. Friday night's action is the only one this week for the Juniors as games with the Ridgefield Rebels and Team Connecticut had to be rescheduled because of field conflicts.
Speedy center fielder Rebecca Johnson (.481) of Seymour, Kaitlyn Flood (.383) of Southbury, and Alexa Milius (.371) of Thomaston lead the Juniors at the plate.
The Stratford Brakettes will host the New England Diamond Gems of New Hampshire Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. at DeLuca Field.