Ellington Knights softball rolling behind bats, battery

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Ellington - posted Thu., May. 5, 2011
Ellington's Rachel Tshonas pitches strong in relief in the Knights' 13-3 victory over East Windsor on May 2. Photos by Steve Smith.
Ellington's Rachel Tshonas pitches strong in relief in the Knights' 13-3 victory over East Windsor on May 2. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Ellington Knights softball team is off to a 10-2 start, including a streak that has seen them win their last seven games. Some of those recent games, including a 16-1 romp over East Granby and a similar 13-3 victory over East Windsor, have shown that the team has some real offensive muscle.

Coach Tom Gordon said that, unfortunately, there is a large gap between the top and bottom tiers in the conference this year, which explains part of the scoring differential, but his players certainly have pop.

“They’ve been hitting,” he said. “Even against the better pitchers, they hit okay. They know how to swing the bats.”

Gordon said the fact that many of this year’s varsity players came up through the local feeder system’s travel teams has boosted the experience at the plate.

There are still some wrinkles to iron out, as some players are still getting used to new positions. “Defense is the main thing we’ve got to work on,” Gordon said, adding that he has been shuffling some positions, in order to get more playing time for as many players as possible, but as the playoffs approach, he’s working on a “more solidified” defensive set.

The Knights’ battery - staff ace Morgan McPartland and catcher McKenzie Whiting - has been the power behind much of the team’s success.

“McKenzie’s an exceptional hitter,” said Gordon, “and she controls the running game really well.”

“Morgan has pitched most of our games,” said Gordon. “We’re 10-2, and she’s pitched nine complete games. She’s pretty good when she’s on.”

The upcoming schedule will be a test for that strategy, and the team at large.

“We have three or four tough teams coming up right in a row now,” Gordon said, adding that he’s stepping up live batting practice, and lengthening the practice time working on defensive situations.

The team was preparing to play Granby Memorial (7-1) on Wednesday and Suffield (11-1) on Friday.

 


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