SOUTH BERWICK — A summer of fun has (mostly) come to an end for Ellsworth Little League — but not before two teams made the community proud with their efforts on the diamond.
The Ellsworth Little League 11-12 softball team closed out an outstanding season with a state runner-up finish in the state tournament in South Berwick. In other postseason action, the league’s 9-10 baseball team followed a loss to open the District 1 tournament with five consecutive wins to end its season with a win.
After going undefeated in district play to advance to the state tournament, Ellsworth’s 11-12 softball team opened the tournament July 10 with a tough loss to Windham Little League. Yet the team bounced back quickly the following day with a 7-3 victory over Biddeford Little League before topping Hermon Little League last Monday to earn a shot at the state title.
Ellsworth would fall in the final as Windham recorded a 9-1 victory to repeat as state champions. Nevertheless, the tournament was still a major success for an Ellsworth squad that proved it could compete with the state’s best on the big stage.
“Going into those tournaments against teams from all over, you never know for sure what you’re really up against,” said Ellsworth co-coach Lyndsy Clough. “This was a great experience for them, and it was so great to see them be able take on those teams and do well.”
Members of this year’s 11-12 softball team were Lily Alley, Kaylee Bagley, Sophie Beal, Allie Bivins, Lizzie Boles, Ally Brown, Whitney Carter, Camryn Clough, Olivia Dane, Kennedy Lambert, Sydney Mason, Jenna Moon and Lauren Young. Coaches were Clough, Karrie Alley and Shawn Bagley.
“These girls have been playing together ever since kindergarten,” Clough said. “They’ve come up together through all the different divisions over the years. They’re really close, and that shows in how they play together.”
Elsewhere last Tuesday, the Ellsworth 9-10 baseball team claimed a District 1 title with a 24-23 road victory over Calais in the tournament final. The game was the third tight contest in district play between the two teams following a 12-10 Calais win in extra innings June 30 and a 3-2 Ellsworth victory July 10.
After that 12-10 loss to Calais, Ellsworth would have been eliminated with defeats in any of its next five games. Instead, the team beat Acadian Little League 13-1, Coastal Little League 10-0 and Machias Little League 14-4 before posting the back-to-back victories over Calais to clinch the title.
Members of the Ellsworth 9-10 baseball team were Zeke Belinsky, Mikey Clough, Asa Grinnell, Trey Keene, Julian Larry, Max Lindsey, Bentley Miles, Emmitt Pickard, Brayden Pooler, Declan Welch and Bryce Wood. The team was coached by Peter Austin, Dan Larry and Jon Wood.
With no 9-10 state baseball tournament to be held this year, Ellsworth is done for the year in Little League International play. The league’s teams will close out play with the annual Marty Lyons Classic, which is set to be held Aug. 6-8 in Bar Harbor.
“The best thing [about the season] has been just how excited the kids were to be back on the field,” Clough said. “We were able to just enjoy the games and not worry about shutdowns or masks after the mask mandate got lifted. It was great to be back together again.”