BREWER, Maine — It took Edward Little High School of Auburn only two pitches to take a two-run lead in a season-opening slugfest at Brewer High School’s Coffin Field on Wednesday.
Edward Little and Brewer wound up combining for 23 hits but it was two defensive gems by Red Eddies junior right fielder Maddie Thistlewaite that played huge roles in their 11-6 triumph.
Brewer trailed 5-1 in the second inning and had runners on first and second with nobody out when the aggressive Thistlewaite started a rare triple play. She raced in to make a lunging, shoe-top catch on Crystal Dore’s sinking liner, then threw to first baseman Leah Burtchell who tagged the bag and threw to shortstop Taylor Depot, who stepped on second.
“I didn’t think I was going to get it. I thought it was going to drop,” said Thistlewaite. “I was playing a little back so I knew I had to hustle to get there. I try to catch as much as I can.
“That triple play was big for me. I’ve never been a part of one before,” she added.
Two innings later, she made a similar catch on Jordan Goodrich’s liner with a runner on first and nobody out.
“Those were big. We could have had more runs,” said Brewer pitcher Libby Hewes. “She’s a great player.”
“We do a drill in practice where the girls catch the ball off their shoestrings and Maddie takes that drill seriously,” said EL coach Elaine DeRosby.
“She had a great game today. Those were key plays,” said winning pitcher Kylie Bureau, who went the distance to pick up the win.
“Maddie is not afraid of a popup. She is amazing,” said EL junior catcher Emily Lashua, the daughter of former UMaine baseball standout center fielder Rick Lashua.
Bureau and Lashua jumpstarted the Eddies as Bureau hit Libby Hewes’ first pitch into the gap in right-center field for a double and Lashua belted her next pitch over the center-field fence.
Brewer got one back in the bottom of the first on Olivia Cattan’s single and Kenzie Dore’s ringing double to left-center, but the Eddies scored three unearned runs in the second on Lashua’s two-run double to left-center and Olivia Jensen’s bloop single.
EL got an unearned run in the fourth on two errors but Brewer got one back in the fifth on Anna Chute’s double and Cattan’s RBI single.
The Eddies scored four times in the sixth to build the lead to 10-2 on Jensen’s RBI triple, a wild pitch and Anna LeBlanc’s two-run double.
But the Witches rallied with four unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth on an M.J. Sellars double, a wild pitch, a walk, a double steal, an error, another walk, Dore’s two-run double off the third-base bag and a Libby Hewes RBI single.
Dore tried to score on Hewes’ single but center fielder Jensen threw a strike to the plate to nail her.
Depot singled home an insurance run in the seventh for EL.
Senior Bureau and freshman Anna LeBlanc (2 RBIs) each hit a double and two singles for the Eddies. Lashua knocked in four with her homer and double and Jensen had two RBIs with her triple and single.
Brewer freshman shortstop Dore had a memorable debut with two doubles, two singles and three RBIs. Chute doubled and singled and Cattan singled twice and had an RBI.
“We made some errors [four] and they made one and that was the real story of the game,” said Estes.