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Quick start helps Simsbury beat East Granby/Granby in D6 tournament

East Granby/Granby third baseman Brynne Simard tags out Simsbury’s Rylan Griffin in Saturday’s District 6 tournament game in Simsbury. More game photos

SIMSBURY, July 2, 2022 – Simsbury’s Major Division softball team got a big jump on East Granby/Granby and held on a 4-2 victory in Saturday’s District 6 tournament to force a winner-take-all championship game on Sunday at Salmon Brook Park in Granby beginning at 1 p.m.

The winner of the double-elimination tournament will advance to the Major Division (ages 11-12) state tournament beginning on Thursday at Simsbury’s Memorial Field.

Simsbury will be looking for their second straight D6 title and eighth crown since 2000 while East Granby/Granby, whose nickname is the Beast, will be looking for their first D6 pennant since 2019 and the fourth title in program history.

On Thursday, East Granby/Granby beat Simsbury by 11 runs, 16-5. On Saturday, Simsbury (3-1) never trailed, scoring three runs in the first inning thanks to a pair of hits, four stolen bases and one Beast error.

“I told them to play loose,” Simsbury manager Andy Curtis said. “We didn’t have any pressure on us today. They came out right from the start and put the pressure on East Granby/Granby. They just came to play today.”

Simsbury’s Lexi Burger set the tone immediately. She led off the game with a single and quickly stole second base. She moved to third base on a ground ball out and scored on an error that allowed teammate Jane Curtis to teach base.

Curtis quickly stole second base and scored on a RBI single from Kate Gills for a 2-0 lead. Gills stole second and third base before giving Simsbury a 3-0 lead when she scored on a passed ball.

East Granby/Granby shortstop Emma Lynch is about to tag out Simsbury’s Addison Girard at second base in Saturday’s District 6 tournament game in Simsbury. More game photos

East Granby/Granby (1-1) responded immediately. The Beast put their first two hitters on base when Lily Shuster singled and Ashley Tetreault reached on an error. With two outs, Hazel Lamb walked to load the bases before Aislinn Moore walked to drive in a run. With the bases still loaded, Emma Lynch was hit by a pitch to drive in a second run and cut the Simsbury lead to 3-2.

From this point, both pitchers gained some control over the game. Simsbury’s Emma George gave up just two hits the remainder of the game, scattered three more walks and struck out five.

East Granby/Granby starting pitcher Ashley Tetreault allowed just three hits in the game. In the final five innings, she allowed one hit, walked one and fanned seven.

Simsbury increased their lead to 4-2 in the fifth inning when East Granby/Granby made two throwing errors on the same play and Jane Curtiss scored.

“We had great pitching, great defense, we ran the bases well and now we get to play another day,” Curtis said. ”We’re prepared to come out and win and defend our district title.”

Simsbury’s Addison Girard, left, and Lexi Berger celebrate after Simsbury remained alive with a win in Saturday’s District 6 Major Division softball tournament. More game photos

Simsbury turned a double play in the third inning with Addison Girard and Rylan Griffin getting singles for the winners.

East Granby/Granby got singles from Schuster, Brynne Simard and Lauren Laczka. Beast catcher Hazel Lamb threw out a Simsbury runner trying to steal third base in the fifth inning.

Simsbury 4, East Granby/Granby 2
At Simsbury

Simsbury (3-1)                       300  010  — 4-4-3
East Granby/Granby (1-1)   200  000  — 2-3-3
Emma George and Kate Gills; Ashley Tetreault and Hazel Lamb; WP: George; LP: Tetreault; 2B: none; 3B: none; HR: none

District 6 tournament
SOFTBALL: Major Division (ages 11-12)

Wednesday, June 29
Simsbury 11, Avon 1
Thursday, June 30
East Granby/Granby 16, Simsbury 5
Friday, July 1
Simsbury 11, Avon 0
Saturday, July 2
Simsbury 4, East Granby/Granby 2
Sunday, July 3
Championship: Simsbury at East Granby/Granby, Salmon Brook Park (Granby), 4 p.m.

State tournament
Four sectional tournaments
Section II
At Simsbury
Thursday, July 7
Game 1:
District 3 champion vs. District 5 champion, 6 p.m.
Friday, July 8
Game 2:
District 6 champion vs. winner game 1, 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 9
Game 3:
District 6 champion vs. loser game 1, 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 10
Championship, single-elimination

Game 4: Two teams with best records, 4 p.m.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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