OLD TOWN, Maine — At this time last year, eighth-grader Olivia Albert was pitching for the Leonard Middle School softball team.

On Saturday, as a 14-year-old freshman at Old Town High School, Albert will take the circle in for Old Town High School against York in the Class B softball final set for 4 p.m. at Coffin Field in Brewer.

“It’s pretty crazy,” said Albert, who led the fourth-seeded Coyotes into the title game by pitching three gems in the playoffs.

She tossed a six-hitter to beat Nokomis of Newport in the quarterfinals 10-2. Just one of the runs was earned. She struck out eight and walked two. Nokomis had averaged 9.8 runs per game during the regular season.

She then shut out top seed and undefeated Hermon 1-0. Hermon had averaged 14.4 runs per game to that point and defeated Old Town 9-1 and 9-0 during the regular season. Albert allowed four hits with five strikeouts and two walks. She also drove in the only run with a bunt single.

Next, in the Class B North championship game, Albert beat Winslow 2-1 with a seven-hitter. She struck out five and walked two. Winslow had scored 10 or more runs in 13 of its 16 regular-season games and averaged 12.2 runs per game.

Albert also has had a productive season at the plate as she hit 0.424 during the regular season and was tied for the team lead with nine extra-base hits.

She pitches with the poise of a senior. She doesn’t get rattled.

“I know if I hit my spots, the defense will stop the ball. I know they’ll get the job done if I get my job done,” said Albert, who began pitching in fourth grade.

She fell in love with it.

“I like the control you have in a game. You can slow down the pace of the game if your team is rowdy. And you can throw off the hitters,” Albert said.

She feels her pitching has evolved during the course of the season.

“I’ve gotten much better, mentally and physically,” she said. “Getting the opportunity to pitch has helped me so much.”

She isn’t overpowering but she has a variety of pitches, including a quality curve, and hits her spots.

She will enter the York game with an 8-1 record and a 2.20 earned run average over 60⅓ innings this season. She has struck out 52 and walked 18.

“Her pitches have a lot of movement and she keeps her head in the game,” Old Town junior catcher Natalie St. Louis said.

“She’s amazing,” junior third baseman Lauren Gasaway said. “She works so hard at it. She deserves everything she gets.”

Albert makes a full-time commitment to softball. She has played for Portland-based Maine Thunder for three years and also takes pitching lessons on Sundays from Tim Crowell of Brewer.

Sometimes she will do both on the same day.

Playing for the Thunder has been extremely beneficial because she is playing with older, highly skilled players, she said.

“She’s confident but she’s humble,” Old Town coach Jenn Plourde said. “She realizes she doesn’t have to strike people out. She relies on her defense

“She has fun while doing something she loves,” Plourde added.