By Todd Palmatier

The Ellicottville/Little Valley 11-12 Girls Softball All Stars, led by coaches Jeff Horth and Kevin Andrews, were the darlings of this year’s Little League tournaments.

They hosted the District 2 tourney at Ellicottville Central School (ECS) during July 4th week and came away as District 2 champs. The team was led by Emma Rupp and Courtney Sexton, who both pitched masterfully for ECLV.

The girls moved on to Sectional play in Fredonia the next week and dominated sectionals, not losing a game. In game one, the ECLV ladies knocked Dunkirk into submission with a 15-0, four-inning game. The girls were led by Lexi Wulf, Emily Horth, Sydney Preston, Jillian Tomsick and Meagan Ellis. Next they faced Grand Island in game two and were getting beat when the girls dug deep from a 5+ run deficit and roared back to win 16-14.  Izzy Deliman and Emma Rupp led ECLV on the field. The girls then again met Grand Island in the finals and won in easy fashion 12-1 in 4 innings. The team was led by Jenna Hadley, Lexi Wulf, Courtney Sexton and Emily Horth.

This victory advanced the team to the NY State Championships in Fishkill last week. The ECLV ladies, being one of the smaller teams, fought hard but lost three games in the round robin tourney.

Although they did not win, this is the first time in a very long time that a District 2 softball squad advanced to the State Championships. The community came together to support them as they donated over $5,000 in funds to help defray the cost for the families’ week-long trip. The team would like to THANK everyone who helped them as they played for themselves and their communities.

In regular season play, the Standing Seam Pirates softball team from Ellicottville won the age 9-10 softball title with a 13-1 record. The CJ Logging Dodgers Majors baseball team from Little Valley won the age 11-12 baseball title with a 10-3 record overall. The ECLV/Franklinville Junior Baseball 13-14 year olds completed their season with an 8-4 record on the season.

In All-Star play, the ECLV 9-10 boys’ baseball team competed in the District 2 competition in Portville and was ousted from the double elimination tourney after two games. In the 11-12 division, Coach Mike Burroughs took a strong team to District play and won their 1st game over Friendship in fine fashion, with Ellicottville’s Clayton Rowland crushing a grand slam to fuel the team to victory. The boys faced Olean/Portville next and did not fare so well and were then ousted by Cuba in their last game. The team was led by Nicholas Burroughs and Nicholas Savidge offensively in the last two games.

The ECLV 13-14 Junior Softball team led by Coach Matt Ellis faced off against District 1 Buffalo River Rock for the Far West softball title on July 11th in a best of three series at ECS. In Game one, ECLV put forth a dominant performance and won 12-4. The team was led by Allison Fisher and Linnea Jimerson of Ellicottville and Candice Mozes of Cattaraugus offensively. The ladies were not so lucky in game two as they had a six run lead and lost on the final at-bats, losing by one run. In Game 3 it was a back and forth affair, but Buffalo River Rock won on their last at-bat which advanced them to the NY State Tourney in Chatham.

The ECLV/Franklinville Jr. Baseball All Stars hosted the District 2 tourney at ECS beginning on July 10th. The boys came out in game one and had 20+ hits in a 16-8 win over Cuba. Isaac Kopp of Franklinville got the win, while Ben Mooney, Jake Peters, Griffin Chudy, Cooper Pritchard and Evan Palmatier each had 2+ hits to lead the charge.

In Game 2, the boys faced Fillmore/Belfast in a back and forth seesaw battle, but lost 16-14. Gage Farrington, Mooney, Peters and Vinnie Marchese each had multiple hits. On day three, the boys beat Allegany 9-8 on a great throw-out play at the plate. The team had 15+ hits in this game with Evan Palmatier, Cooper Pritchard, Ben Mooney, Gage Farrington, Thomas Hackett having multiple hits. The boys returned to action on Wednesday and were knocked out of the tourney by a strong Wellsville squad, but they did not go quietly as they were down 13-4 going into the final 2 innings and stormed back to lose only by 3, 16-13. They finished tied for 3rd in the tourney with Wellsville.