Ellington Comes Up Short in NCCC Title Game

By Adam Betz

WINDSOR LOCKS – Just hours after knocking off the top seed in the NCCC softball tournament semifinals, the Ellington Knights finally met their match in the championship game.

The fourth seeded Knights fell to No. 2 Granby 9-1 in the NCCC title game, Thursday at Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Ellington (14-6), which defeated top seed Stafford in the semifinals, was unable to mount an offensive attack against the Bears (18-2).

Senior Kari Marks pitched a complete-game for Granby, allowing four hits and striking out 16 en route to the Tournament MVP Award.

“I’d say it was her typical performance, especially when you have players that aren’t used to seeing her.,” said Ellington Head Coach Tom Gordon.

Anna-Marie Groskritz opened up the scoring for the Bears in the second inning with an inside-the-park home run to right field. Teammate Hannah Cronin drove in a run with a base hit to right field a few batters later. In the fourth, Groskritz hit another inside-the-parker homer, this time to center, making the score 8-1.

Ellington’s lone run came in the in the top of the third. After bunt singles by Emma Kloter and Lisa Pare’, junior Kelsey Grant singled to left. Marks was able to escape the inning without any more damage done.

Granby picked up its final run when Marks scored on a throwing-error on a Smith grounder to third.

Down the stretch, Marks continued to pile-up strikeouts against the inexperienced Ellington batters.

Because Ellington was playing in back-to-back games, part of Gordon’s strategy going into the game was to use his bench.

“Our goal for this game was to get all of our players in,” Gordon said. “We have a 19-person roster, and we got every player in this game. That was my goal from the beginning, and we got it.”

Despite the loss, Gordon was proud of his team, and knew that this game was a great learning-experience.

“We’ve already played them twice,” Gordon said. “That’s why I didn’t want to play a lot of my starters. We may see them again, so we’ll see. When you’re facing good pitchers, it’s god for your team.”

Ellington will be on the road against Wilcox Tech in the first round of the Class M State Tournament on Tuesday.

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