STANDISH, Maine — State championship softball games often are dominated by top-notch pitchers and solid defense.
On Saturday afternoon, Brewer High School showed off the relentless offense it had featured all season.
The Witches collected 13 hits against York High School ace Abigail Orso, receiving hits from eight of its nine starters while pounding out a 7-1 victory for their second straight Class B state championship.
“[Athletic administrator] David Utterback calls it Skip’s buzzsaw,” said Brewer coach Skip Estes, whose ballclub closed out the season at 18-2.
“She [York’s Abigail Orso] was one of the better pitchers we’ve faced this year. That’s a lot of runs off her,” added Estes.
Brewer, which averaged 10 runs per game going into the final, came up with ample offense to back Hewes and the Witches played errorless defense behind her.
“We all know that we’re capable, [batters] 1 through 9, of hitting the ball, getting singles, moving the ball around and scoring runs,” Hewes said.
She limited the Wildcats to five hits and while she did not strike out a batter she also did not issue a walk. Brewer also took care of business in the field, handling 14 ground-ball outs without committing an error in the contest.
“We did not strike out,” York coach Kevin Giannino said. “We hit the ball and it seemed like every time we hit the ball, we hit it right at someone. That was a little frustrating, but the girls battled.”
He called Brewer a worthy champion.
Hewes, a senior right-hander, threw only 74 pitches, including 52 for strikes, but said there was more pressure this year.
“I did not sleep at all last night and neither did my catcher (Jordan Goodrich),” Hewes said. “Even though we did get it done last year, we didn’t want a loss at the end of our senior year in a state championship game.”
York (16-4) made consistent contact against Hewes, but Brewer bounced back after a four-error performance in Tuesday’s North championship game win over Hermon with a mistake-free effort.
“We just knew that we had to clean it up and play like we can and I think that’s what we did today,” Gideon said of the defense.
Brewer seized the lead early and continued to add to it while building a 6-0 advantage.
The Witches wasted no time getting to Orsi as Hewes fisted a one-out single to left, advanced on a passed ball and scored on Becca Gideon’s seeing-eye ground-ball single past third base with two outs.
“Once I hit that, we kind of all came together and said let’s just get it going from here,” Gideon said.
Brewer scored twice in the second inning as Olivia Cattan, Mia Cattan and Sarah Wood (bunt) hit singles. One out later, a run scored on a wild pitch third strike to Goodrich.
Hewes was walked intentionally to load the bases, but a passed ball resulted in the second run of the inning.
Brewer continued its clutch two-out offensive production in the fourth inning. Facing an 0-2 count, Goodrich laced a single to right-center and Hewes hit an infield single to the shortstop hole.
That brought up the determined Dore, who pounded the next pitch over the fence in center field for a three-run homer.
“Jordan and Libby did their jobs getting on base with two outs, so I just wanted to do my job and bring them in,” Dore said. “The first two at-bats I wasn’t really happy with how I was performing, so I’m happy with that at-bat.”
Orso provided the offense for York, jacking a solo home run with one out in the sixth inning to spoil Hewes’ shutout bid.
The Witches added an insurance run in the seventh on one-out singles by Gideon and Kathryn Austin and Olivia Cattan’s hot smash off the shortstop’s glove that went for an RBI double.
Orsi struck out eight and walked one while going the distance for the Wildcats.
“We all came to hit and we got it done and we’re two-time-state champions,” Hewes said.