HERMON, Maine — Shaker Valley pitcher Grace Tutt knew she was facing a formidable lineup in a Scarborough team that scored 44 runs in its three previous games in the State Little League (ages 11-12) Tournament.
But Tutt scattered eight hits and Hannah Collins knocked in three runs as Shaker Valley of Waterboro/Limerick forced a Sunday championship game by beating previously undefeated Scarborough 8-5 on Saturday.
Shaker Valley will take a 4-1 record into Sunday’s 11 a.m. final, while Scarborough is 3-1.
Tutt aided her own cause by singling twice, scoring three times and stealing three bases.
Shaker Valley used two-run rallies in the first two innings to build a 4-0 lead it would never relinquish, despite the fact Scarborough used a three-run fifth inning to pull within 6-5.
But Shaker Valley added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the sixth.
“We played one of our best games today,” Collins said. “Everybody hit, everybody fielded and we all had our heads in the game.”
“It was very important to get a lead. We knew we had to jump on them,” Tutt said. “That relaxed me.”
“They’re a really good team, so we figured if we could jump on them, we could mess with their heads,” Shaker Valley catcher Lacey Bean said.
“We wanted to put pressure on them,” Shaker Valley coach Kevin Tutt said.
Tutt struck out nine and walked two. All the runs off her were unearned. She pitched every game in the tournament.
“My changeup worked real well today. I got a handful of girls out with that. I focused on hitting the (catcher’s) glove and hitting my spots,” Tutt said.
“She had a real good changeup. It confused us,” Scarborough pitcher Mia Kelley said. Kelley was relieved by Bella Dickinson in the third inning.
Tutt started the first-inning rally with a single to right, and she raced to third on an outfield error on the play. Tutt scored on Bean’s triple, and Bean crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
In the second inning, Tutt and Bean walked with two outs, moved up on stolen bases and scored on Hannah Collins’ single.
Audrey Haigis singled in a run for Scarborough in the third to make it 4-1, but Shaker Valley expanded the lead with two unearned runs in the fourth on a first baseman’s fielding error, a stolen base, two wild pitches and a passed ball.
A walk, Madison Blanche’s base hit and an outfield error produced a run in the bottom of the fourth for Scarborough. In the fifth inning, a walk, Dickinson’s RBI single, a run-producing error by the right fielder on a fly ball and Blanche’s sharp RBI single made it a one-run game.
Hannah Dobecki singled, but Tutt induced an inning-ending pop-up.
In the sixth, Shaker Valley loaded the bases with one out on singles by Karlee Wescott and Tutt and a walk before Collins’ fielder’s choice delivered the first run and a bases-loaded walk brought home the second run.
“Those extra runs killed us,” Scarborough coach Chris Kelley said. “We made some errors today. We beat ourselves. We faced a great pitcher, and she pitched great.”
Tutt was Shaker Valley’s only repeat hitter, while Blanche and Dobecki had two hits each for Scarborough.