Marks has a dream at age six, pitches Brakettes to win at 18

You don’t have to go to Disney World to find your dream.

One of those dreams came true this past weekend for Kari Marks of Granby.

The recent Granby High School graduate and softball All-Stater has dreamed about playing some day for the Stratford Brakettes. Her dream was realized this past weekend when she appeared in two games and was the winning pitcher in both for the Brakettes.

A talented right-handed pitcher, Marks was a spectator at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame field back in 2006 when the Brakettes organization sponsored an amateur team, the Stratford Brakettes, and the Connecticut Brakettes of the National Pro Fastpitch League.

Marks and her family were at the August 26th NPF championship semi-finals at DeLuca Field when the CT Brakettes defeated the Akron Racers, 1-0, in eight innings to gain the finals.

Kari Marks and Denise Denis, 12 years after their first meeting, are now teammates. — Kathy Gage photo

It was at that game that Star sports editor Bill Bloxsom photographed her getting an autograph from current Brakettes outfielder and all-time home run leader Denise Denis.

The caption above the picture, that appeared in the August 31 edition read: “A future Brakette gets memento.”

When asked by Brakettes general manager Bob Baird if she enjoyed pitching for the team, Kari said, “It was great, something I’ve always dreamed about.”

At that point Baird was unaware that Marks had been at DeLuca Field in 2006 or that she had her picture in the Star.

“Kari pitched really well in both games,” said Manager John Stratton. “I had asked her to come down and fill in because we were a little short in pitching for the weekend.  I saw her pitch in the CIAC tournament her and was impressed.”

Marks, who pitches full-time for the Mirage Gold 18U team and will be attending Central Connecticut State University, was the winning pitcher in Saturday night’s 12-3 second game win, pitching three innings of the mercy-run game. She struck out four and allowed three hits.

On Sunday, in the series finale, a 7-0 Brakettes victory over the Maryland Chill, Marks worked four innings, fanned three and permitted only one hit for a 2-0 record with the Brakettes, who finished the weekend with a 26-2 record and 16-game winning streak.

When asked what her chances of making the Brakettes in 2019 were, Stratton just smiled and said, “This is the place where dreams are made.”

After winning all seven games in the recent home stand the Brakettes get ready for another big weekend, highlighted by Sunday night’s 7 p.m. nine-inning exhibition at New Britain Stadium against the Atlantic League pro baseball team New Britain Bees.

This will be the Battle of the Sexes V, the first four against the now disbanded Bridgeport Bluefish. Pitching for the Bees will be veteran men’s softball pitcher Nick French, who is also the head softball coach at Bryant College in Smithfield, RI. Tickets for the game are $10, while the Brakettes also have a few remaining tickets for the luxury box at $20. The Brakettes are providing a bus to the game. Tickets will be on sale at DeLuca throughout the weekend.

Starting Thursday night the Brakettes host the Cheshire 18U Wildcats at 7 p.m. The Connecticut Eliminators, the first Connecticut team to beat the Brakettes since 2009 back on June 21, are in town Friday at 7 p.m. for a pair, and the Polar Crush of Worcester, MA, visits Saturday for two games at 6:30 p.m

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