(Standish ME) No strikeouts required!
Brewer defeated York, 7-1, to get a second straight Class B championship on Saturday afternoon at St. Joseph’s.
While Brewer pitcher Libby Hewes didn’t strike out any of the York hitters, she did induce fourteen ground-ball outs and that worked nicely for the defensively flawless Witches.
“We try to keep the ball low and outside,” said winning coach Skip Estes afterwards.
The Witches were also extremely efficient with two outs. They collected one run in the first, two in the second, and three in the fourth inning when only a single out would have ended each of those innings.
The three runs in the 4th came off the bat of junior Kenzie Dore. Her line-drive homer over the CF fence put York down, 6-0.
“They had nobody on, and two strikes,” recalled York coach Kevin Giannino. “Then it was base hit, base hit, and then she (Kenzie Dore) hit the clincher.”
The Wildcats (16-4) would get a run back in the 6th when Abby Orso went deep for a solo homer (her 12th) over the left-field fence.
The Witches (18-2) got that run back in the top of the 7th. Singles by Becca Gideon and Kathryn Austin were followed by an error (3B Hannah Gennaro) scoring Becca.
Brewer had twelve hits off York pitcher Abby Orso. “Our AD (David Utterback) calls this team, ‘Skip’s buzzsaw’ because these kids can hit 1-9.” On this afternoon 1-8 had hits against a very good pitcher.
The Wildcats totaled only five hits against Libby Hewes never having more than one baserunner in any inning.
“Our main goal was to score first and it happened,” explained catcher Jordan Goodrich. “Then our defense backed it up.”
Libby Hewes appreciated the early runs: “It was definitely a better feeling this year having those safety runs going into the late innings. Our goal was to get up first. If we didn’t get home team, we were going to get our bats going early.”
York coach Kevin Giannino was surprised that his team didn’t get more hits: “We didn’t strike out. We just hit so many right at them. Brewer is a very strong team.”
Libby Hewes (2 hits) singled in the first and took second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Becca Gideon singled past third driving across Libby.
The Witches started the second inning with two singles (Olivia & Mia Cattan).
Key play: Sarah Wood bunted right along the third-base line. 3B Hannah Gennano let the ball roll hoping it would go foul. It didn’t and when she picked it up, Olivia was safely into third. This loaded the bases with no outs.
Abby Orso (8 strikeouts) K’d Janessa Bishop and Jordan Goodrich but disaster struck on the second strikeout. The ball bounced away from catcher Kayla Dredge and Olivia was able to sneak into home (without sliding) giving Brewer their second run.
Mia moved to third when her sister scored and came home on a wild pitch.
That put York behind 3-0. On this afternoon, that 3-run deficit was huge, even after two innings.
Jordan Goodrich, Libby Hewes, Becca Gideon, and Kathryn Austin each had two hits for Brewer.
CF Becca Gideon came close to making a diving catch in the third inning.
Jordan Goodrich: “Libby was super consistent the whole game and didn’t let up. We worked a lot on defense the last two days because we were a little shaky in our last game.”
Libby Hewes: “Insane is the feeling that we have after winning this for the second time. Everything was working for me today. I am going to Husson in the fall hopefully to play softball.”
Coach Skip Estes: “Libby doesn’t get a lot of press because she doesn’t have huge strikeout numbers. She pitches to contact, and we have a good defense.”
Coach Estes regarding Kenzie Dore: “She’s a once-in-a-lifetime player. Her defense and hitting are both good.”
Coach Estes on his seniors: “I have coached this group of seniors since they were in junior high and summer league. I knew back then that they were special.”
For the second year in a row I did not sit in the press box. Instead, I located in a centerfield “monster” seat. Great view with plenty of room.
Beautiful June day (70s) with a nice breeze.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)