With the victory, the Bartow all-stars advance to the 8 p.m. semi-final game today, where they will play Bartow White, the other local team in the tourney.
Gillis scored three runs to lead the opportunistic Blue to their 11-4 scalding of Clayton County at Hamilton Crossing Park, where the games are being played on Field 9 in near-100-degree weather.
"Ellie's just a tough player," head coach Peter Gillis -- and also her father -- said. "She's a real ballplayer and is just aggressive on the base."
Just as important was the dominating pitching performance by Lilly Jordan, who picked up yet another win in the postseason for the Bartow team while contributing offensively with a two-run single in the decisive fifth inning, to help her team ice the game.
"Lilly's just awesome," Gillis said. "She throws hard. She also throws strikes and that makes the batters have to swing at her pitches."
The collision between Ellie Gillis and Rikkell Miller, Clayton County's catcher, momentarily stunned both. Miller left the game and her apparent hand injury was put on ice while Gillis remained in the lineup.
She led the offensive show for Bartow, scoring her runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings.
But it was her run in the fourth that helped turn the game in Bartow's favor.
"I give Ellie free rein to do what she wants when she's at third," Peter Gillis said. "She is just an aggressive player."
Ellie Gillis took off when the ball skipped past Miller on the play only to find the catcher heading toward the plate for a put out as she approached. Gillis charged and was rewarded when the ball escaped Miller's clutches.
Scoring two runs each were Aliza Baker and Paris Poston. Other runs were tallied by Shaniya Wilson, Hannah Lee, Emily Collum and Loren Harris.
Coach Gillis said Baker, who catches for the team, played despite having broken a toe during the week.
"She still suited up for us," he said. "She tough and she wanted to play."
The coach noted the heat was not just courtesy of Mother Nature.
"I just told our players to get up and swing and not worry because she was really bringing it," he said.
Peter Gillis added the players switched to lighter bats to increase their bat speed.
Bartow broke on top in the first inning, scoring three runs. They drew six walks in that part of the frame. They then added a run in the top of the third for a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Clayton answered with three big runs, closing to 4-3.
Bartow answered in the top of the fourth with the run by Gillis, scoring what proved to be the winning run and raising the totals to 5-3.
In the top of the fifth, Bartow tacked on six more runs, improving to 11-3. Clayton scored a run in the bottom of the frame but could do no more damage, resulting in the 11-4 final score.