Stratford, CONN - The Connecticut Brakettes fell short of the finish line, losing to the Akron Racers 7-1 Friday night at DeLuca HOF Field in Stratford. Kaci Clark went the distance for the Brakettes, giving up seven earned runs on ten hits, while striking out ten. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Clark stumbled in the second. After loading the bases, Clark walked in a run, then threw a wild pitch to lead to another. Down 2-0, she faced last nights starting pitcher, Brandee McArthur. The difference for McArthur was 24 little hours, as she picked up the loss in Thursday nights decision, but provided the offensive fireworks Friday. She launched a 230 foot homerun to left field to break it wide open 5-0.
Clark stayed in after a conference at the mound with manager John Stratton. Giving his pitcher the chance to settle in was important, despite the lopsided score. Kaci is coming off an injury which hampered her most of last season. But, shes worked hard in Florida and in the Japanese league she just returned from, and should be able to turn this around. She relaxed after a bit, and it made all the difference. Of course, it was toop little, too late. Clark was throwing just 24 hours after joining the team, following her long trip home from Japan.
The Brakettes scattered seven hits around the field, but couldnt come up with the big one when it mattered. Denise Denis scored the lone Brakette run in the 3rd inning on a wild pitch, but that was all the scoring Connecticuts pros could muster. Providing some of the bright spots for the Brakettes were rookie Stephanie Hill who went 4-4, and Julie Brooks, who contributed two hits.
The Brakettes and Racers will go at it again Saturday night at 7:05, and again on Sunday at 5:05. Both contests will be played at DeLuca HOF Field in Stratford. With their first loss of the season, the Brakettes fell to 6-1 in NPF play. Akron improved to 6-3.