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Simsbury sweeps East Granby/Granby to win D6 championship

Simsbury players celebrate after winning the District 6 championship on Sunday and advancing to the state tournament. More game photos

GRANBY, July 3, 2022 – The Simsbury Major Division softball team likes to make things happen at the plate and on the mound.

Simsbury had just three hits but stole 11 bases and pitcher Emma George struck out 14 batters as Simsbury completed a two-game sweep of East Granby/Granby to win the District 6 championship with a 6-4 victory Sunday at Salmon Brook Park.

Simsbury (4-1) had to beat the Beast twice to win the District 6 title and advance to the state tournament. Simsbury forced Sunday’s winner-take-all game with a 4-2 decision on Saturday.

“We came out with a lot of energy just like we did (Saturday),” Simsbury manager Andy Curtis said. “We got some runs in the first inning. Our pitching settled in, we played good defense and got some good baserunning again.”

Simsbury won their third straight D6 championship and a majority of this team won D6 titles in the (ages) 8-10 and 10-11 (Minor Division) tournaments in 2021 and 2020.

On Sunday under blue skies and bright sun, Simsbury didn’t have a hit in the first inning but took advantage of a walk and an error to get runners on base. Four stolen bases in the inning along with a wild pitch and passed ball helped Simsbury take a 2-0 lead after one inning.

In the second inning, Simsbury’s Ximena Navarro led off the inning with a walk, stole second base, moved to third base on an infield ground ball before scoring on a RBI triple from Addison Girard for a 3-0 lead.

Simsbury’s Jane Curtis scores in the first inning of Sunday’s D6 title game before East Granby/Granby catcher Hazel Lamb can apply the tag. More game photos

East Granby/Granby, which was playing in the D6 final for the seventh time in the last eight years, cut the lead to two runs, 3-1, in the third inning. Aislinn Moore walked, moved to second base on a wild pitch and scored on Lily Schuster’s two-out triple to left field.

The Beast loaded the bases in the fourth inning thanks to a double from Brynne Simard, a single from Annaliese Hassett and Hazel Lamb getting hit by a pitch. A walk to Moore drove in a run to cut the lead to one, 3-2.

But Simsbury hurler Emma George got two strikeouts to end the rally. George did a good job of mixing her pitches and location. Five of the 14 Beast batters struck out looking at the third strike go past them.

Simsbury extended their lead to 6-2 with three runs in the fourth inning. Emma George had a RBI single while one run scored on Kate Gills’ ground ball out. A third run scored on a wild pitch.

East Granby/Granby added another two runs in the fifth inning thanks to RBI triples from Simard and Lamb. But George struck out the final three batters of the game to secure the win for Simsbury.

Simard was 2-for-3 for East Granby/Granby with a double, triple and one RBI. Schuster was 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI.

Simsbury pitcher Emma George struck out 14 in Sunday’s District 6 title game. More game photos

“It’s always a good match against them,” Curtis said. “They have some great players and are coached very well.”

Simsbury advances to the Section II tournament that begins Thursday in Simsbury at Memorial Field. Simsbury will play on Friday and Saturday in the three-team sectional event with the top two teams playing in a one-game title game on Sunday. The winners of the four sectional tournaments will play for the state title.

Simsbury 6, East Granby/Granby 4
At Granby
East Granby/Granby (1-2)   001  120  — 4-6-1
Simsbury (4-1)                       210  30x  — 6-3-0
Annaliese Hassett, Lauren Kacza (4) and Hazel Lamb; Emma George and Kate Gills; WP: George, LP: Hassett; 2B: Lily Schuster (EG), Brynne Simard (EG); 3B: Simard (EG), Hazel Lamb (EG), Addison Girard (S)

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 6. East Granby/Granby 4

2022 Major Division softball state tournament
Four sectional tournaments
Section II
At Simsbury
Thursday, July 7
Game 1:
 District 3 champion vs. Wallingford (D5 champion), 6 p.m.
Friday, July 8
Game 2:
 Simsbury (D6 champion) vs. winner game 1, 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 9
Game 3:
 Simsbury (D6) vs. loser game 1, 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 10
Championship, single-elimination

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

Previous District 6 champions
Major Softball (ages 11-12)
2021: Simsbury 17-9, East Granby/Granby 8-4 (best of 3 series)
2020: Avon/Simsbury
2019: East Granby/Granby 13, Avon/Simsbury 1
2018: Torrington 12, East Granby/Granby 1
2017: Torrington 3, East Granby/Granby 2
2016: East Granby/Granby 13, Burlington 2
2015: East Granby/Granby 14, Simsbury 0 (4)
2014: Torrington 3, Granby 1
2013: Simsbury 4, Avon 3
2012: Torrington 13, Granby 1
2011: Simsbury 12, Thomaston 4
2010: Thomaston 9, Granby 6
2009: Canton 11, Granby 10
2008: Simsbury 11, Thomaston 6
2007: Tri-Town 4, Canton 3
2006: Thomaston 9, Canton 5
2005: Granby 5, Thomaston 3
2004: Terryville 9, Simsbury 8
2003: Simsbury 15, Canton 6
2002: Simsbury 3, Terryville 2(7)
2001: Simsbury 7, Terryville 6 (7)
2000: Torrington

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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