Softball: Brakettes' Denise Denis calling it quits

STRATFORD - Despite finding new life in her bat, veteran right fielder Denise Denis announced last weekend this would be her final season playing for the Stratford Brakettes. Denis walloped two home runs and drove in a bunch as the Brakettes improved to 14-1 overall.

Denis will bring her .421 batting average and team-high 18 RBIs into action Thursday night when the Brakettes begin a seven-game weekend against the Connecticut Eliminators 23U squad at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field. The Eliminators defeated the Brakettes twice last year.

Manager John Stratton's club hosts the Ridgefield Rebels 23U Friday and Stratford's XTreme Chaos Saturday in a pair of 7 p.m. twin-bills before they host the Stratford Fire Department in their annual charity game Sunday at 6 p.m. The Junior Brakettes pitching staff and catchers will provide the battery for the Stratford Fire Department.

The CT Firefighters Charitable Foundation announced that Sunday's fundraising game will benefit local firefighter Bill Hansen, who has had a long-term illness, and his family. The foundation will be conducting raffles and selling t-shirts at the game as well.

"Denise told me last year that this would be her last," said manager John Stratton. "However, when we started the season she was wavering, but she finally made it official. She has been such a remarkable player for us, I hope she goes out in style."

The team's all-time home run leader with 131, Denis is second in career triples (151), trailing Joan Joyce by two, runs scored (708) and RBIs (689). She is third in games played (829) and hits (826). Denis is a 10-time All-America, won the 2014 batting title, and has hit over .400 nine times.

Lauren Pitney of Ansonia and St. Joseph High is the leading hitter with a .559 average. Jolie Duffner (.500) is second in RBIs. Brittany Younan (.500), Val Suto (.500), Stamford's Adriana Gambino (.467) and Alex Heinen (.435), the Patriot League's MVP from champion Boston University, are the other leaders.

Shelton's Kaysee Talcik (5-0, 1.09 ERA), Julia Handfield (3-0), and Abby Abramson (3-0) lead the pitching staff.