BREWER, Maine — Kathryn Austin broke her nose in two places in a loss to Bangor on May 21 when she lost a teammate’s throw from the outfield in the sun and it hit her.
But Brewer High School’s junior second baseman homered in her return to the lineup in Thursday’s win over Erskine Academy of South China. And on Saturday, Austin delivered a clutch two-out, two-run double to help the defending state champs post a 6-1 Class B North semifinal victory over Medomak Valley of Waldoboro at sunny, wind-swept Coffin Field.
Top seed Brewer (16-2) hosts No. 3 Hermon (15-3) in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. regional championship game in Brewer. Hermon beat No. 2 Old Town 4-2 on Saturday.
No. 4 Medomak Valley wound up 16-3 and had its 11-game winning streak snapped.
Austin’s double in the third inning, a line drive to the gap in left-center field, drove in Kenzie Dore (walk) and Becca Gideon (walk) and supplied the Witches with a 3-0 lead.
“It felt so good,” Austin said. “I just wanted to go out there and help my team. I knew there were two outs.”
She said she didn’t know what the pitch was because “I was just so focused up there. I was really determined to go out there and get it for them.”
“She turned on that one [and pulled it],” said Medomak Valley senior lefty Addie Jameson, who had shut out archrival Oceanside of Rockland 2-0 on Friday.
“That’s exactly what we expect from [Austin],” said senior right-hander Libby Hewes, who tossed a five-hitter with seven strikeouts and just one walk while running her record to 15-2.
“She comes back from a broken nose and hits a homer in the last game and then hits a bomb in this game.”
Medomak Valley, trailing 3-0 in the sixth, loaded the bases with no outs and had the Nos. 3-4-5 hitters coming up. Hewes limited the Panthers to just one run by inducing a popup, a run-scoring grounder to first and a fly ball to center.
“She did a great job getting out of that inning,” said Medomak Valley coach Richard Vannah. “That changed the whole ballgame.”
The Husson University of Bangor-bound Hewes then poked a two-run single to left in the bottom of the sixth to cap a three-run rally that gave Brewer some breathing room.
The Witches also were clutch at the plate as five of their six runs were scored with two outs.
“We make each other nervous but we always find a way to get the job done,” Hewes said.
Brewer took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jordan Goodrich’s infield single, Hewes’ sacrifice and Dore’s double off the center fielder’s glove.
Hewes had pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the first.
“I threw pretty decent after the first inning. The nerves hit me in the first. But our team is amazing, defensively. I can count on all of them to do their jobs,” said Hewes, who threw 58 strikes among her 87 pitches.
Two of the hits off her were bunts.
“She was pretty quick. She did her job. And they made a bunch of good plays,” said Medomak Valley clean-up hitter Lydia Simmons, who drove in the run with her grounder after Hattie Watmough, Cassi Smeltzer and MacKenzie Emerson had singled.
Brewer played errorless ball and first baseman Mia Kattan made two gems, sliding to catch a foul popup in the second and diving to her right to rob Aubrey Schaeffer of a base hit in the fifth.
Brewer’s three-run rally in the sixth began with two outs when Sarah Wood walked. Sarah Kiley singled and Wood scored on a throwing error before Hewes poked her hit to left.
Dore, Goodrich and Libby Hewes each had two hits for Brewer and Smeltzer singled twice for Medomak Valley.
Jameson allowed eight hits with six strikeouts and four walks.
“I wish I could have done a little better. I hit my spots but they were just hitting them,” said Jameson, who wound up 11-3 and will begin a career in the United States Air Force this summer.