Ellis Nominated for All-American for Second Consecutive Season
After coming up just short in an All-American bid following a record-breaking offensive output as a freshman, St. Louis Community College’s Tory Ellis was determined to respond with an even better sophomore year.
The Archers’ infielder posted a robust .463 batting average this year, the highest figure on the team by 114 points.
“I felt a little bit of pressure, because I really wanted to be an All-American after coming so close a year ago,” Ellis said.
As opposed to a year ago, Ellis would take no one by surprise this year. After blasting 12 home runs in her freshman year, there was no doubt as to whom teams would look to pitch around in the Archers’ order. Even with the added attention and caution that opposing pitchers sent her way, Ellis’ production numbers were still strong, with a team-leading six home runs and 21 RBI, which ranked second to Taylor Green’s 26. Her .463 average rank among the top 50 nationally.
Ellis saved some of her best production for the Region XVI Tournament, when she led the Archers over second-seeded Mineral Area College twice.
“She finished the year phenomenal,” said Archers head coach Glen Ellis, who is also Tory’s father. “She had a great three or four days in the tournament. It’s going to be really tough losing that bat next year.”
An unfortunate reality of coaching at the junior college is losing premium players to graduation. But for the elder Ellis, there was a bit more at stake for this particular sophomore standout.
“I’ve coached her since she was six years old, when she first started,” Glen Ellis said. “As most parents do, there’s a lot of encouraging and a lot of teaching. It’s going to be tough to replace her here.”
Despite her stellar career at STLCC, Tory Ellis says she has likely played her last softball game. After she finishes her associate degree this fall, Ellis will pursue a four-year school, sans softball.
Though she had her mind made up regarding her future in the game early this year, the realization of her softball career’s conclusion wasn’t easy to take. Ellis was standing in the on-deck circle as the final out of the Region XVI championship was recorded when the reality of the moment set in.
“That last inning, standing in the on-deck circle for the final out, it was very emotional,” Ellis said. “It really showed me that it’s been a big part of my life for a long time.”
Perhaps she’ll be able to conclude that part of her life with the top honor offered to junior college softball players.
“It’s one of the best awards you can have in college,” Ellis said. “It would really top off everything that I’ve done here.”