Pitching is the key to softball success and no one knows that better than Connecticut Brakettes Manager John Stratton. That's why the veteran Brakettes field boss was ecstatic to announce the signing of 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher Sarah Pauly for the team's maiden season in National Pro Fastpitch. The Brakettes are one of seven NPF teams this year who will open the season June 1.
Pauly is the first player to sign with the Brakettes, who have dominated the Amateur Softball Association for the past 59 years. Pauly made an auspicious debut in the Brakettes' 2005 season following her stellar career at Texas A & M - Corpus Christi. The workhorse of Strattons star-studded pitching staff last summer, Pauly compiled a 24-8 record with 315 strikeouts in 216 innings. Her earned run average was 0.84.
Sarah is going to be a big star in this game, said Stratton, who has worked with many of softballs finest pitchers during his 29-year association with the Brakettes. I truly believe that she has all the tools and the desire to be one of the all-time greats. We're extremely happy that she is pitching for us instead of against us.
The Brakettes played 22 games against NPF teams last summer and Pauly was involved in many close contests. She finished the her NPF action last season with identical 2-1 wins over the New England Riptide July 17 in Lowell, MA, and New York Juggernaut August 1 at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field in Stratford, CT, the Brakettes' home ballpark. She was on the losing end of four one-run contests.
Not only is Sarah a talented athlete, but she is a very classy person. After she committed to play for the Brakettes last summer, she received offers from two NPF teams. She could have played in the league last summer, but she decided to honor her commitment, added Stratton. Before the Brakettes decided to turn pro in 2006, they had lost 13 players to NPF rosters in 2004 and 2005.
Prior to joining the Brakettes last June, the Phoenix, AZ, native who now resides with her parents in Duncan, SC, put up unbelievable numbers for the A & M Islanders, who dominated the Big South Conference during her career. She compiled a 112-46 record featuring a lively riseball and sharp curve. Under Strattons tutelage, Pauly has augmented her pitching repertoire with a lethal drop.
Pauly capped her collegiate career with a 37-7 record, a 0.56 ERA and 497 strikeouts in 288 innings in 2005. She earned Big South Conference Pitcher of the Year acclaim and the most valuable player award as TAMCC won the league tournament with a 4-0 record, the Islanders' third straight conference title and NCAA tournament berth. Since the Islanders were only NCAA for three years, Paulys career strikeout total of 1,370 places her in sixth place all-time. Had the 266 strikeouts as a freshmen counted it would have moved her into No. 3 on the all-time list with 1,636.
At Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Pauly went 24-4 with a 0.23 ERA her senior year. She led the team to the regional title with 304 strikeouts and she was a first-team All-State pick.
BRAKETTES CAREER STATS
Season G-37, W-24, L-8, IP-216, H-114, R-31, ER-24, SO-315, BB-21, ERA-.078
PRESS CONTACT: Bob Baird (203) 378-7262