The Brewer High School softball team has more than held its own in Class A over the years.

Over the last eight seasons, the Witches have reached the regional finals twice, the semifinals once and the quarterfinals four times.

They were beaten in the preliminary round in 2016.

Brewer wound up 10-7 Class A last season, losing to Oxford Hills of South Paris 10-2 in the quarterfinals. Brewer was the sixth seed and Oxford Hills was the third seed.

But the Witches find themselves in uncharted waters this season as they are making their maiden voyage in Class B after dropping from Class A.

“The girls are pretty excited about it and about not playing the same teams over and over again,” said 13th-year head coach Skip Estes.

The Witches will also find themselves with a much easier travel schedule as trips in excess of 100 miles one way to places like Auburn, Lewiston and South Paris, will be replaced by trips to destinations like Belfast, Newport, Hermon and Winslow, all within 60 miles.

Brewer will still play Class A neighbors and rivals Bangor and Hampden Academy twice apiece.

Estes admits he doesn’t know a lot about Class B yet but expects the top six teams in the class to be “real good.”

That would include defending two-time state champ Old Town, who will travel to Brewer for a game on April 30.

“We would probably be in the middle of the pack in Class A this year,” said Estes.

Estes likes his lineup and expects his team to be able to score runs.

“Everyone can hit,” said Estes. “And we should be above average, defensively. We just need our pitchers to mature.”

Libby Hews saw her first action as a pitcher a year ago as she teamed up with older sister Sydney to handle the chores. Sydney Hewes has graduated so junior Libby will get plenty of time in the circle with sophomore Kate West making the jump to varsity after pitching for the jayvee team a year ago.

Estes called West up to the varsity for the playoffs last year.

When Hewes isn’t pitching, she will play first base. Junior Becca Gideon will play first when Hewes is pitching.

Gideon can also pitch.

The Witches have an exceptional shortstop in sophomore MacKenzie Dore, who is also a very good hitter with plenty of power.

Senior M.J. Sellars was the designated player last season but will be the third baseman this season.

Sophomores Jayden Keefe and Kate Austin will share the second base duties.

Senior Emily Lord is a long-time starter who supplies the Witches with a quality center fielder and hitter.

Junior Olivia Kattan will play right field and the left field job is up for grabs as is the designated player job.

Jordan Goodrich is a capable junior catcher with some pop in her bat.

The Witches will open the season at home against Gardiner on Wednesday at 4:30 at Coffin Field.

Gardiner was 15-1 during the regular season and earned the top seed in the Class B North playoffs but was upset by Ellsworth in the quarterfinals, 6-2.

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