315 Elite Enjoy Gratifying Mudville Softball Experience
Teams from all over Section 10 suffered great disappointment when the COVID-19 Pandemic wiped out the spring sports season.
For several Hammond student athletes it was a especially heart-wrenching as the Girls Basketball team lost a chance to play in the New York State Class D Final Four. A group of those Hammond players combined to form Team 315 Elite with players from Harrisville, Hermon-DeKalb and Gouverneur to make the trip to Mudville to play two games last weekend.
The team featured two seniors in Hammond's Kelsey Bennett and Hailee Moore of Harrisville. Junior members were: Hailey Cunningham and Jordan Kloepping of Hammond, Brianna Grant of H-D and Ellen Baer of Gouverneur.
Hammond sophomores Alyvia Crosby and Hannah Belknap and Red Devil freshman Sydney Tanner rounded the squad.
The team played two very competitive games against players from Class C schools and dropped a 4-3 decision to Otego and a 6-5 matchup to Sangerville.
"We only had one practice and the kids played amazing in two competitive games. It felt great to be out on the field again," said Coach Katina Dillon.
"The kids really wanted to play after losing out on their seasons. We had a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun. This was made possible because of generous donations from the community. Black Lake Mini Golf, Chippewa Power and Repair, Marsaw's Fuel, the St. Lawrence Agency, the Citizens National Bank, the Belknap Family and Christina Dillon all donated money so the kids could have the experience".
An experience where safety was a top priority.
"Safety protocols were in place. We socially distanced, we didn't shake hands, we only touched our own equipment, we wore masks and there were no sunflower seeds," said Coach Dillon.
Otego 4 - Team 315 Elite 3: Hannah Belknap had a single in the second inning scoring Bri Grant and Kelsey Bennett hit a home run in the third to tie the game. In the top of the fourth Otego used a home run to take a one-run lead. Sydney Tanner singled in the fourth inning and there were no hits in the final innings. Sydney Tanner pitched a complete game for Team 315 Elite and Kelsey Bennett caught. Sangerville 6 - Team 315 Elite: Hailey Cunningham had three beautiful but singles for Team 315 Elite which scored two runs in the third inning, one in the fifth and two in the sixth inning.
Kelsey Bennett singled twice and Bri Grant tripled and singled and struck out nine pitching a complete game to Bennett who was grateful to don the distinctive red Hammond shin pads for a final time.