The Essex 11- and 12-year-old softball All-Star team began play in the District 3 tournament in Swanton last week, winning their first two games.
Essex began their tournament against the Northwest Little League All-Stars on June 25.
With Northwest leading 2-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, Essex needed a spark. Their first three batters of the inning provided just that, as Ellie Reed, Cailey Appenzeller and Ainsley Thorne loaded the bases with no outs.
With the winning run at first, Jessie Rose drove a bases clearing hit to left field, clinching the victory for Essex.
Essex pitcher Logan Pollard earned the win, pitching all six innings and giving up just three hits while striking out 14 batters.
Rose led the way with two hits and two RBIs, while Reed, Appenzeller and Sadie Hoffman tallied hits as well.
Northeast pitcher May Gratton was nearly flawless through the first five innings, holding Essex scoreless. While picking up the loss, she struck out 11 and allowed only five hits.
Essex played its second game against the Fairfax Fletcher Westford Little League All-Stars on Saturday, recording the 15-3 victory in four innings.
After falling behind by a run in the first inning, Essex posted six runs in the second, and added seven more in the third.
Emily Augostino was awarded the win, pitching a complete game while striking out eight and allowing three hits.
Jessie Rose posted three of Essex’s 11 hits on the day, while Ainsley Thorne added two and Logan Pollard posted a two-run home run in the second inning.
Thorne and Rose sparked Essex’s 15-run offensive outing, each scoring three times, while Appenzeller, Pollard, Morgan McCuin each scored twice. Ali Stevens, Augostino and Sadie Hoffman added one apiece.
Fairfax’s Taylor Mitchell was 2-2, driving in all three runs for her team.
Essex’s next game is the District 3 Championship, which was scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Swanton, weather permitting.