BREWER, Maine — Brewer High School softball coach Skip Estes had a youthful team a year ago but still managed to carve out an 11-6 campaign.
Several of his youngsters received valuable playing time which would serve them well this season. However, three knee injuries and a shoulder ailment have left Estes doing more rebuilding this season.
Meg Davis, who shared the pitching with Ally Chapman, injured her knee during basketball season and is out for the season. She was also one of the Witches’ leading hitters and their starting shortstop.
Mallory Bubier also suffered a knee injury during basketball season and will sit out the spring. Estes said Bubier, a second baseman-outfielder, started half their games a year ago.
Mikayla Henderson, the backup catcher and an outfielder, suffered a knee injury during soccer season and has just recently been cleared to play. But Henderson is still on the mend and her status is unknown.
All three players are juniors.
In addition, sophomore starting third baseman Alexis Getchell suffered a shoulder injury in March and hasn’t thrown since. Estes doesn’t expect her to be able to play in the field.
Estes said he can only remember two players having torn anterior cruciate ligaments in his previous nine seasons combined.
“This will put us back to square one with a young team. Hopefully, we’ll jell like we did at the end of last season,” said Estes whose team lost to Bangor 9-5 in the Eastern Maine Class A quarterfinals.
Estes said the one positive is that all four players will be back next season.
“And they will all be playing major roles,” said Estes, who has guided his nine Brewer teams to a 114-36 record.
Chapman will do the majority of the pitching and freshman Emily Lord will replace Davis at shortstop. Estes said Lord is just the second freshman who has earned the starting shortstop nod during his 10 years.
Senior Delaney Davis and sophomore Sydney Hewes will also throw some innings.
Senior Keanna Beal takes over the third base job from Getchell.
Estes will also have a first-year starter at first base but has not yet determined who the starter will be. Second baseman Delaney Davis is the only returning infield starter.
Two outfield starters will return in senior center fielder Cassy Green and senior left fielder Emily Tarr. Senior Samantha Pellegrino is back as the starting catcher and will be one of the offensive catalysts along with Davis, Green and sophomore designated player Anna Chute.