BREWER, Maine — The Brewer High School softball team wanted to earn some valuable Heal points and avenge an earlier loss when archrival Bangor came calling to Coffin Field Monday night.
They accomplished both in impressive fashion.
Junior right-hander Alexa Grindle tossed a seven-hitter and the Witches broke a scoreless tie with six fifth-inning runs en route to a 7-0 triumph.
Brewer (9-4) won its seventh straight game and Bangor fell to 11-3, losing for the second time in four games.
Bangor beat Brewer 6-1 on April 30 in Bangor.
Grindle (5-3) pitched out of jams in the first two innings before settling down and retiring 13 of the last 15 hitters she faced.
Bangor had runners on second and third with two outs in the first and runners on first and third with one out in the second.
Grindle struck out two and didn’t walk anyone while throwing 89 pitches, 57 for strikes.
She was backed by a superb defensive effort as her mates played errorless ball behind her and turned in several gems.
Grindle got 16 ground-ball outs as third baseman Cassie Harvey, shortstop Lindsay Houp, second baseman Kelly Hatt and first baseman Morgan Small handled every ball flawlessly. Grindle chipped in by handling three of those.
Brewer even turned a 4-6-3 double play in the fifth.
“My drop ball worked well,” said Grindle, who pitched her second complete game after firing a three-hitter in a 9-0 win over Hampden Academy last Thursday. “They actually hit it fairly well but they didn’t hit it into the gaps.
“I couldn’t have done it without my defense,” she added.
“We’ve been working on our defense every day,” said Harvey, who handled seven chances and threw a runner out at the plate in the second inning. “We had to be up for the game because it was Bangor.”
“She pitched pretty well,” said Bangor senior first baseman and leadoff hitter Kristen Henigan. “We just couldn’t hit the gaps and they made great plays in the field.”
“We hit balls right to their players and they made the plays they needed to make,” said Bangor senior second baseman Meghan Hope.
Bangor sophomore right-hander Alexis Stanhope (10-2) allowed just two hits through four innings but Small’s fly-ball single to right represented the first time Brewer put the leadoff hitter on in an inning and it triggered the rally.
Harvey followed with a sharp, ground-ball single to left and, after a 6-5 fielder’s choice, pinch-hitter Molly Chapman was hit on the leg by a pitch to load the bases.
Houp was hit by a pitch, a one-hopper, to deliver the first run and Hatt followed by lining a two-run single to right-center.
“I couldn’t believe it. I hit like that all the time in practice but I’ve been in a little rut for a little while,” said Hatt, who had three RBIs. “I haven’t been able to hit any line drives. To get that hit was big. It took me out of my rut.
“We wanted this one. It’s a lot of Heal points,” added Hatt.
An infield error produced the fourth run, Sarah Babin’s groundout off reliever Cordelia Stewart delivered the fifth and Grindle grounded a run-scoring single to left to cap the rally.
Brewer added an insurance run in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk to Hatt.
Deaven Smith doubled and singled for Brewer and Harvey had two singles.
Kamdra Prendergast doubled and singled for Bangor and June Candland singled twice.
“Brewer played well. They did all the little things,” said Bangor coach Don Stanhope.